Amazon Go, a ‘No-Check-Out-Line’ Grocery Store, Great Option for Autism Families

Um, where was this when I lived in New York City with D and his baby sister A more than a decade ago and used to practice walking up and down the aisles of our local grocery store with D, praising him for keeping himself together and giving him an M&M at the end of every aisle?(Yes, I know it was classic ABA, classic Pavlovian training, all that. But it was pretty much the only thing out there at the time in regards to autism behavior therapy.)Grocery stores, any stores have always … [Read more...]

Facing the Future in Autism Land

The future rewards those who press on. I don't have time to feel sorry for myself. I don't have time to complain. I'm going to press on. – President Barack ObamaAs I waited for my own fella, I saw the youngster walk out of the school, accompanied by a teacher’s aide. I had seen the child numerous times in the past, in fact just the day before when I had been at D’s school for a parent-teacher conference and a fire alarm drill happened.That day the child, I’m guessing eight or nine years o … [Read more...]

On the Front Lines of Autism, Not Terrorism

Like millions of other Americans (and global citizens), my husband, daughter and I gathered together to watch the first of the 2016 presidential debates between Republican candidate Donald J. Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary R. Clinton. A mere ten minutes into it though, I was ready to check out.Not because I was fed up or frustrated with the debate, but because it was approaching D’s bedtime. So I headed to his room to hang out with him until he was fully sleepy and ready to call it a … [Read more...]

On Autism and Trust: The Saddest Happy Person

I’m either the happiest sad person in the world, or the saddest happiest person.We have the whole day to ourselves, just me and D. So I ask him – what do you want to do? We can go swimming! We could go to Jumpology! We could go to the park. We could go get fries. Whatever you want.He pauses for a minute, contemplating his choices, and then pulls me to our bed, which I’ve deliberately left unmade. We become a tangle of pillows and blankets, arms and legs in the ultimate cuddl … [Read more...]

People of Faith Encourage Presidential Candidates to Address Disability Concerns

Editor's Note: This is a guest post by my friend, Curtis Ramsey-Lucas, the director of interfaith engagement with the American Association of People with Disabilities, calling for the 2016 presidential candidates to address disability concerns. I also have been keeping a close watch on how the candidates are addressing the questions and concerns of those with disabilities and their families, and believe faith groups should sign on to this letter urging candidates to support life-changing … [Read more...]

We Must All Live Truthfully

Ali Family Autism Truths #30 – April 30, 2016I read an article in the other day about prenatal testing, about a family of two scientist-parents who invented a machine that could sequence and separate genes to better and earlier tell if an unborn baby would have Downs Syndrome or a host of other disabilities.The article was titled, “How A Prenatal Test is Transforming Modern Medicine.” One of the main scientists interviewed in the piece, who has an adult son with Downs, said that after eve … [Read more...]

Conversations with D

Ali Family Autism Truths #29 – April 29, 2016Setting: In our Kitchen one evening. I have made brownies, and they are cooling on the counter. Everyone has eaten dinner, and D is drawn back to the kitchen by the smell of something heavenly. He comes up to me, standing at the counter, and pushes his face close to make eye contact – a rarity. It means something important if he leans in to look you straight in the eye. Otherwise, eye-to-eye contact is difficult for him. Overwhelming, I sus … [Read more...]