Ali Family Autism Truths #22 – The Double Standards

April 22, 2015 – Autism Awareness Month, Autism Truths #22 At dinnertime this evening, my seven-year-old son H laid a good one one me. His older brother D, who had been sitting with the six of us at the dinner table plowing through his dinner, got up and left the table with a few more bites to go. We called him back – D, come and take another bite! He came back and protested, pushing my husband’s hand away as he… Read more

Ali Family Autism Truths #21 – The Most Vulnerable

April 21, 2015 – Autism Awareness Month, Autism Truths #21 When I picked up D today from school,, his lead teacher escorted him to my car (usually it’s one of the teaching assistants). She tends to come out to the car line usually only to tell her students’ parents something great that happened that day — or something bad. Great, not bad, please — I said to myself. She started with the great – D had a great day today…. Read more

Ali Family Autism Truths #20 – To Just Be Present

April 20, 2015, Autism Awareness Month, Autism Truths #20 He grows sleepy, trying to find a comfortable position in the uncomfortable waiting-room chair as the medicine takes it’s effect. I put his head on my shoulder, but in a few seconds he moves it away. I put my arm around him so he can lean on it, but he shrugs away. D’s never been one to lean on anyone too much. He seeks out foot pressures and back rubs sometimes,… Read more

Ali Family Autism Truths #19 – The Unattainable Truth

April 19, 2015 – Autism Awareness Month, Autism Truths #19 I’ve seen my fair share of hijab (headscarf) “fat suit” stories – you know, the ones where a woman decides she’ll wear a hijab for a month to see what it feels like to be a Muslim woman. (The 2015 version of the woman who dons a “fat suit” to feel what it’s like to be overweight.) The first one or two such articles I read impressed me. I mean… Read more

Ali Family Autism Truths #18 – Sometimes the Truth Hurts

April 18, 2015 – Autism Awareness Month, Autism Truths #18 We are winding down our Saturday, me sitting on my bed banging this post out, and D chilling and winding down on the chaise lounge in my room, twirling his beads on an especially long piece of plastic. I’ll be asking him to relinquish his beads soon, as the final lapse toward sleepy time will be hard to come by if he keeps stimulating himself with the beads. Between two… Read more

Ali Family Autism Truths #17 – Brotherly Love

April 17, 2015 – Autism Awareness Month, Autism Truths #17 His brief seven years on this earth is littered with the best exchanges with his big brother, D. Driving home from school the other day: D bhai, do you know that you have a mustache? He says to his 14-year-old brother. Ya! His brother answers back. I stifle my laughter as I drive the car. Or, a few months earlier: Mamma, will you come downstairs with me? (He wants to… Read more

Ali Family Autism Truths #16 – Siblings Who Roll with It

April 16, 2015 – Autism Awareness Month, Autism Truths #16 My daughter came home after school today and told me she had changed her mind after talking to her friends. Of course. After talking to her friends. There is some after-school spring festival happening tomorrow, and I asked her twice earlier in the week if she wanted to go, because a yes answer would require some planning from me — you know, picking the boys up, who would watch them,… Read more

Ali Family Autism Truths #15 – Am I Getting it Right?

April 15, 2015 – Autism Awareness Month, Autism Truths #15 The truth of it is, it’s very hard to tell a true story when the one who is the central person in that tale has no say in the matter. Is it fair, then, to share D’s story when he cannot share it himself? Am I getting it right? Am I writing things he would want to have written or shared? Am I guarding his privacy the way it should be guarded,… Read more

Autism Awareness Truths #14 – (Dis)Respect the Stim

April 14, 2015 – Autism Awareness Month, Ali Family Autism Truths #14 Perseveration, according to, is a “continuation of something (as repetition of a word) usually to an exceptional degree or beyond a desired point.” According to good old Wikipedia, “in psychology and psychiatry, perseveration is the repetition of a particular response, such as a word, phrase, or gesture, despite the absence or cessation of a stimulus, usually caused by brain injury or other organic disorder.” Surprisingly, neither Merriam-Webster nor have… Read more

Ali Family Autism Truths #13 – To Witness A Miracle

April 13, 2015, Autism Awareness Month, Autism Truths #13 When D was seven years old, he proved to me that miracles do indeed happen. I saw it with my own eyes in a way that was clearly obvious, like a bright beam of light being shown down on him. After several attempts to toilet train D as a toddler, I was growing a bit desperate with the idea that it would never happen. His school and after-school therapy program didn’t… Read more

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