“Speechless” – ABC’s new Fall Comedy Focuses on Disability

I'll admit, this one got me kind of excited and laughing. As ABC is rolling out its promos for its new upcoming shows and comedies, I happened to catch the trailer for "Speechless," a new half-hour sitcom slated for the Fall 2016 schedule. It's described as: "Maya DiMeo (Minnie Driver) is a mother who is willing to do anything for her family. Her son, JJ (Michah Fowler) has cerebral palsy and she will fight for justice in order to give him what he deserves."They manage to fit in most every … [Read more...]

It’s Not “Just Autism”

Ali Family Autism Truths #20 - April 20, 2016I pretty much don’t have to even write today’s Ali Family Autism Truths #20 (dude! Made it two-thirds of the way through!) – because my friend Nakia pretty much said it all today: I forgot yesterday's autism fact because Zak went to bed on time in his own bed, so I was a little spooked. But here you go: most aspects of ‪#‎autism that neurotypical people focus on are the social aspects -- the differing communication and play styles, or the way that … [Read more...]

On Block Formations and Autism Negativity

Ali Family Autism Truths #18 - April 18, 2016More than twelve years ago, a series of evaluations and research had led us to a life changing moment: We sat in an office at Beth Israel Hospital in New York City, waiting for the head of the Behavior Developmental Pediatrics department to talk to us. She had done a series of evaluations on D and had consulted with his pediatrician and us.Soon, she ushered my husband, D and myself into her office. My mother-in-law sat with baby A, then barely … [Read more...]

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream. There’s the (Autistic) Rub

Ali Family Autism Truths #8 - April 8, 2016At 5:30 a.m., my phone rang. Or rather, it vibrated on the nightstand next to my bed. When I woke out of deep sleep to its hum and grabbed it, bleary eyed, I saw that it was my mother-in-law, calling from downstairs (where their bedroom is).I began to panic. With my father-in-law home from the hospital seven days ago after his triple bypass surgery, and with them sleeping by themselves downstairs the past three days, the rule was that they … [Read more...]

It Takes a Village to Live this Autism Life

Ali Family Autism Truths #6 - April 6, 2016In the span of three weeks, D’s two trusted, tried and true therapists/care givers both gave their notice. One took a different job in town and couldn’t fit after-school home therapy for D into his schedule anymore. The other took a job out of state and is moving on to new adventures.I hate seeing good therapists/care givers go, though I always wish them well. When we first started bringing therapists and caregivers into our home to help D more t … [Read more...]

Where We Mourn

A writer and peace seeker recently said to me (paraphrasing), "There should be a 48 hour period of mourning after any tragedy. No commenting, no posting opinions to social media, no rush to judgment or condemnation, no rush to defend or castigate. Forty-eight hours where we mourn and attend to our collective sadness."Seems I'm stepping away from his astute advice by the very act of writing this. But, at times like this -- when Belgians are reeling in Brussels, Turks are reeling in Ankara and … [Read more...]

Why Brandon Stanton’s Letter to Trump Means the World to Muslims, to Humans

Let's pause.Let's pause in a time of frenzied information and sharing of videos, news, quotes, facts and opinions, in a time of seemingly endless what-the-hell moments in listening to the dumbfounding and hateful rhetoric and thoughts spewing from the mouth of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (and other candidates too - I see you Ted Cruz and your hiring of noted Islamophobe Frank Gaffney as a foreign policy advisor) -- and let's slow it down.Slow it waaaaaaay down for a … [Read more...]