This is Day 26 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 26, 2017 Dear World: At the beginning of April, on Day One, I wrote this: Here’s a question – how do you find that balance or place for the narratives that celebrate the neurodiversity differences of autism and feature the voices and stories of those who are actually autistic and teach the world about acceptance, accommodation and inclusion, AND also openly talk about the challenges, the medical comorbidities, the… Read more

This is Day 25 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 25, 2017 Dear A and H and other autism siblings, Last night I was at a training seminar to learn about how to apply for SSI (supplemental security income, a form of social security) benefits for your brother once he nears the age of 18. There are a lot of things we need to do for him in the coming year as he approaches the age of majority –… Read more

This is Day 24 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 24, 2017 Dear Family, I came home from a long medical appointment the other day and walked into the house. D and his Baba were sitting on the stairs – D behind his Baba, arms and legs wrapped around him. He was digging his chin into his Baba’s head, slapping him on the shoulders with his hands (rather hard) and literally covering him with the kind of affection you… Read more

This is Day 23 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 23, 2017 Dear Moms, Particularly Muslim Moms of Color, Last night I took the boys and went to the home of a friend, who has two sons on opposite ends of the autism spectrum. D has been in classes with both over the years. Another mom who has two sons (out of four) on the spectrum also joined us. We had come together, along with my friend’s family, for… Read more

This is Day 22 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 22, 2017 Dear God, It seems almost silly to write to you when you know my inner most secrets before even I realize them. But this all seems like a cosmic joke sometimes, one in which I’m the only one who doesn’t get the punchline and that it’s all going to be just fine if I learn to smile along more. You’ve been patient with me, more patient then… Read more

This is Day 21 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 21, 2017 Dear Government Agencies – Federal, State and Local, With as much frustration as I’m about to unload, let me start with a positive – as a parent of a teenager with autism, there is no where I’d rather live then in the United States. My son’s autism isn’t the only reason I’m glad to live in this country (I was born here), but it certainly is a… Read more

This is Day 20 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 20, 2017 Dear Parents, Muslim and Otherwise I thought I’d direct this letter to Muslim parents of kids with autism. But really, it applies to all parents of autistic kids. I’m particularly concerned with Muslim parents of children with autism and other disabilities because as a network of communities, we are historically reticent from discussing matters of health and sexuality in a public setting, let alone openly and honestly… Read more

This is Day 19 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 19, 2017 Dear Public School Special Education Administrators and Educators, I admire a lot of you. I really do. To educate students with special needs and disabilities takes intelligence, patience, innovation, passion, compassion and superb listening skills in droves. You are working closely with parents and an entire administrative team to come up with Individualized Education Plans that tailors curriculums for each student you teach. You work to find… Read more

This is Day 18 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 18, 2017. Dear D, Teach me your ways, oh son of mine. Teach me how you wake up every morning when I call your name, push the heavy blankets off you and face your day. There is never a Salaamualaikum, Mamma, or even a sleepy, mumbled ‘sup as you stumble down the hall into the bathroom. Just silence as you get up and get going with your day and… Read more

This is Day 17 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 17, 2017. Dear Autism Parents (Is that even a thing? Can we say that?) The only way you’re going to figure this out is to start talking, sharing and connecting. A lot of you have come to me over the years to ask about different therapies, government supports, medical treatments, where to find doctors, where to find spiritual support and on and on and on. I wish there was… Read more

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