What We Can (and Must) Learn from Each Other

Daanish trampoline

It’s a conversation I remember vividly, last April, standing outside Lil D’s school after I had drove him to school and walked him to his classroom. A conversation I had with a mother of a fellow classmate about if public school was good for our children.Slowly, the routines we had been building for years and celebrating as a normal part of his day were dissipating. He was in his fifth and last year in his public school (in a self-contained autism classroom), and each day was fraught with anx … [Read more...]

Yahoo CEO Melissa Mayer’s Telecommuting Problem

Melissa Mayer

The summer of 2010 was one of the most challenging months I’ve endured in my career.  I affectionately call it Ramadan boot camp, and let me tell you why.I was working as the website content coordinator for Islamic Relief USA, one of the largest charity organizations in the U.S. Our central office was in Northern Virginia, but I worked fulltime in a telecommuting position 1.5 hours away in my home.The telecommuting agreement came after back-and-forth negotiation. There were a few of us in … [Read more...]

Growing His Voice

Daanish with backpack

Every morning the routine is the same – I get up about 30 minutes before the kids and get things ready. Lunches are put into backpacks, notes are written, breakfast is put on the counter (if I’m lucky), the cat is fed and Lil D’s iPad is taken off the charger, zipped into its case and put in his backpack.Oh that iPad. That electronic device that has grown its own personality in this house – Lil D’s sidekick; his “little buddy” (unlike Gilligan was to the Skipper, but I’m dating myself now); h … [Read more...]

Holding on to ‘Himaat’ in Autism Land

strength

In Urdu there is a word called himaat, and the best I can explain it in English is to have courage, strength or fortitude -- to have the wherewithal to do something otherwise difficult. Or simply put, to have himaat means to have nerve.Himaat is a popular Urdu word, used by elder women and tragic Bollywood heroines alike – meri himaat toot gai. (My courage is broken.) Or, meri ku himaat nay hai. (I don’t have the strength to do …) As they have aged, I’ve watched both my mom and mother-in-law … [Read more...]

To Valentine or Not – Do We Need to Debate This?

valentine

The kids came home from school today with the usual Valentine’s paraphernalia.  We don’t “do” the holiday at home really. (Though husband I joke back and forth about it, our latest being riffs on this picture he saw on Facebook that you see to the right. You know -- things like No Valentines! Talk to the hand!) Jokes aside, figuring out what to do with the kids when it comes to non-religious “holidays” (which often stem from some religious practice centuries ago) has been a work in progress in ou … [Read more...]

Lessons from the Pope’s Resignation – None of Us are Indispensable

PopeBenedictXVI

Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation today. And I immediately thought two things – how busy and emotional a time this is going to be for Elizabeth Scalia, a fellow managing editor of the Catholic Channel at Patheos (and all the columnists, writers and bloggers on that channel), and is it even possible for a Pope to resign?Apparently it is, but it hasn’t been done in more than 600 years. As the news unfolds, opinions are voiced, speculations are made and jokes go viral about the Pope’s … [Read more...]

I Hit (and Scream, Pinch, Bite, Kick, Cry or Drop) for a Reason

puzzleandhand3

I am often stressed by the sheer number of decisions I make for Lil D; making educated guesses at what he wants, what he likes, what he needs, when he must follow through on a something or endure a situation, and when we should cut him some slack. What therapies we try, what treatments we pursue, which doctors we see and when we let things ride.Two articles I recently read have burrowed their way into my head, one from an adult with autism and one from a special education consultant. Both … [Read more...]


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