Dear Pope Francis, Thanks for Bringing Love to Those with Autism

Photo courtesy of Associated Press.

I was sitting with a group of newcomers, reverts, new and old friends yesterday at a luncheon our halaqa (Islamic study group) had put together to reach out to anyone new to our community. In speaking with our small group about why we need to reach out to each other and stay connected, a sister in the group made an important observation (paraphrasing):It can be hard for reverts (converts to Islam) in our community. They can feel lost or disconnection. Not welcomed. The Christian community … [Read more...]

No Matter How Hard the Living in Autism Land, We All Deserve to Live.

London McCabe

Let’s start by saying this:Human life has value. It has worth and meaning. No matter how hard a struggle one’s life may be, no matter how tough things get for the one living his life and secondly for others who are helping that person to live his life -- life is precious. We all have the right to live, a right that no one should ever take away.London McCabe deserved to live. As did Jude Mirra. Isabelle Stapleton, who survived a murder attempt by her mother, also deserves to live her lif … [Read more...]

Moment-to-Moment

moment

By 11:30 p.m. last night, the only two people left awake in our home were Lil D and me. The kids had gone off to bed much earlier, and their Baba had gone to sleep as well with the prospect of being woken up all night long by calls from the hospital where he worked. It had been a rough day and a rough evening with a pocket of calmness in between – like a comforting sandwich filling couched between two bad, bad pieces of bread.And yet we had to eat it, digest it, and work with it. A bad day th … [Read more...]

Raise Your Voice: An Eid Celebration for Special Needs Children

MAS DC 2014 Eid celebration

I can feel it. On more days than others, I can feel it. I can almost smell a change in the air, the movement towards action built on the weary shoulders of ongoing awareness. It’s starting to happen, all too much slowly for my impatient bones, but inch by inch, bit by bit. Not only are our Muslim communities starting to recognize and acknowledge the different needs and challenges of individuals and families with special needs, we are beginning to lay the path – brick by brick – to affect some rea … [Read more...]

Will He Be OK?

The thoughts are difficult to shift aside in the waning hours of the night. They have been building up over the day, over the years even, and they settle in heavier when he struggles with nighttime anxiety and sleep. It’s easy to lose oneself in the day to day, because the day to day takes all the energy you can muster. But since the minute he was born, we have been in an inexorable march towards an uncertain future.I can’t keep hiding behind the day to day.And while some days I hold on a … [Read more...]

Hajj 2014 – Never Say Never – Umrah with Our Autistic Daughter

Mehreen and her Baba performing Umrah.

This article is part of Patheos Muslim’s and Altmuslim’s Hajj 2014 reflection series, which is focusing on the good, the difficult and everything in between about the holy days of Dhul Hijjah, the Hajj pilgrimage and Eid ul Adha, the second major holiday for Muslims. Although this post is about an Umrah trip, it ties into the spirit of the Hajj.Editor's Note: This post is written by my friend and guest writer, Joohi Tahir, about the Umrah she and her family did a few years back. Joohi's daug … [Read more...]

Autism and the (Desi) Dinner Party

photo courtesy of Mareenasrecipecollection.com

This is the first time I’ve seen you looking relaxed, she said to me.Really?You always looked tense. This is the first time you don’t.Uh, thanks, I said to her. It didn’t take a genius to know what the difference was between this party and all the others we had attended prior to it – it was the first time we had decided not to bring Lil D with us and had left him home with a babysitter.We have some desi (South Asian) cultural traditions that are pretty set in stone – parties are … [Read more...]


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