What We Do for Each Other

This is Day 12 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 12, 2017. Dear D, Whenever time comes for us to take a family vacation or trip somewhere, I always somewhat dread it (even if it’s a trip to the beach, which is our gold standard, tried-and-true go-to family vacation/retreat spot), though I feel guilty about that, like I should be more thankful and positive. Do you? What do you think when you see me doing the prep cooking, packing… Read more

Dear World, Here’s What I Want You to Know from Someone Who’s Actually Autistic

This is Day 11 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 11, 2017. Today’s guest post comes from the autistic son of a friend of mine, who is nonverbal but definitely not non-communicative. Charlie is an 11-year-old autistic boy who loves reading, swimming, going to the beach, skiing and jumping on the trampoline. He is homeschooled and loves learning. He communicates using a letter board and keyboard. Read more about and from Charlie here. Dear World, I have autism, which… Read more

In Autism Land, Where Does Our Family Happiness Lie?

This is Day 10 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 10, 2017. Dear Family: What does family togetherness mean to you? What does “having fun” as a family mean? Is it all of us together embarking on some new adventure, or some tried-and-true old favorite thing to do? Is it some of us doing things that are enjoyable while others stay home where they have a better shot of feeling more relaxed, less anxious and thereby happier? I’ve struggled… Read more

Over Dozens of Sundays, You Taught me Love

This is Day Nine of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 9, 2017. This letter is written by Isaiah Fleming-Klink, who was D’s partner and peer buddy in the John Maloney Project (Open Gym) for four years. JMP is a local partnership between high school students and autistic students of all ages, where the kids get together every fall and spring on Sundays across a six-week schedule and engage in physical activity and friendship building. The JMP has been a constant… Read more

Dear D – Help Me to Help You

This is Day Eight of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 8, 2017. Dear D, I can see you’re pulling your arms into your shirt, sometimes stuffing a pillow up the front. This evening we had biryani for dinner – your favorite – and you were in tears when we called you to dinner. We went for a walk before dinner and the entire time I could hear your shallow breathing, those signs of distress. There has to be a… Read more

Dear Rock Star Autism Siblings – Five Pieces of Advice

This is Day Seven of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 7, 2017. This letter is written by 13-year-old “A,” D’s sister. Dear Rock Star Siblings, Hi! You might know me by the name of A – that’s what my mother likes to call me in her articles. I’m 13 years old, and I’m in eighth grade. I have two brothers, one who is nine and one who is nearly 17. My little brother is a hilarious goofball who never… Read more

#AutismAwareness Looks Different When You’re a Teen

This is Day Six of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 6, 2017 Dear Folks, The world sure looks at you different when you are a teenager, young adult or adult with autism. Whether you are autistic in a vein similar to D or autistic in a myriad of other manifestations – it’s just a different reaction. I posted this today on Facebook: D and I stopped at our fave halal meat/ethnic grocery store on our way home – there… Read more

Dear Allies and Friends – Own it When You Play the ‘Autism’ Card

This is Day Five of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 5, 2017. Dear Allies, Advocates and Friends (Autism and Otherwise), It’s called playing the autism card, or the disability card – and often it’s not the autistic or disabled person who does it. In Season one, episode 12 of the hit ABC sitcom “Speechless” (one of my most favorite new shows this year for its fresh, real and hilarious disability storylines covered from all aspects and angles), Ray wants… Read more

Dear Former Self – Here Are Some Autism and Life Things You Need to KNow

This is Day Four of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 4, 2017. Dear Former Self, Boy, are you in for a ride. I could write a whole book to you, and maybe this will be just part one of several letters to you. But, let’s start with a few things: You are a lot stronger then you think you are. Everything begins and ends listening to your son and listening to your gut. God never left you. When D… Read more

Living the Disability/Autism Life: Are We Really Being Seen?

This is Day Three of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 3, 2017.  Dear Friends, Today D and I stopped off at an ethnic grocery store that we frequent on our way home. When this store opened several years ago, I was excited because it was close to our home and stocked halal meat. As I got to know the owners, about a year later they told me (after seeing D with me) about their adult son, for whom the… Read more

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