Dear Future Self – What Is Our Family’s Autism Future?

This is Day 14 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 14, 2017.Dear Future Self,I would like to know you so much.I would not like to know you.Like many a parent of an autistic child, a large part of my brain and mental self is consumed by thoughts of the future, specifically D’s future, what it will look like, our places in that future and what all it will entail.It shapes nearly everything I do or plan to do; it shapes most research and all-consuming thoughts I have. This pa … [Read more...]

Dads, Sons and the Sweet Secrets that Bind Them

This is Day 13 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 13, 2017. This guest post is written by D's Dad, otherwise known as "Baba."Dear Dads,One of the biggest dilemmas we face as parents of autistic children is trying to find things, material things, toys and activities that our kids really enjoy. I was mentioning to my wife the other day that D is almost 17 and has never verbally asked me for a specific toy or game. He has never verbally requested a movie, a dream vacation, a cruise or a … [Read more...]

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 your meds, putting bags in the kitchen area for yo … [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 means I have a stu … [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 with family outings for so long. We all have. T … [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 in D's life for 12 ye … [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 way for you and me to figure each other out. I’ve spent a lifetime studying at yo … [Read more...]