In Our Society, Autism is Seen as Damaged

Ali Family Autism Truths #26 - April 26, 2016Editor's Note: For the last five days of April, I'm out of town and am getting creative with our Ali Family Autism Truths posts. Today's and the next two day's posts are actually brief interviews my friend Jamie Pacton did with Syrian autistic children and their families, who have been helped by A Global Voice for Autism. Jamie writes about autism for Parents.com. A Global Voice for Autism is a wonderful organization that helps autistic … [Read more...]

The Truth is, It’s Very Hard, This Autism Living

Ali Family Autism Truths #25 - April 25, 2016The goal is being as independent as possible. Not needing us, not needing support, as much as possible.The premise of this makes me smile because in the culture we were brought up in (Indian, Muslim), the focus was on achieving success and living a good life but always being close to one's family. The family unit should always stay together and rely on each other. The respect for one's elders is tantamount in our family. Respect for elders, … [Read more...]

Life Cannot Be Locked Out

Ali Family Autism Truths #24 - April 24, 2016Life cannot be locked out. Nor can safety or protection be locked in.The truth is, like it or not, when raising a child with autism, locks can be a large part of your world. Some autistic individuals have a tendency to bolt or run away, which means better and more locks on doors to the outside.(There was a terrible, frightening period when D did this, and in the span of 48 hours before we could get extra locks installed on all doors … [Read more...]

A Hidden Message in Autism Code

Ali Family Autism Truths #23 - April 23, 2016No lengthy post tonight. Just this photo. After a pretty good day, things headed downhill fast post-dinner for D. I went up to sit with him, knowing there probably wasn't much I could do. Heck, I figured he'd just get more upset by having a body close by. But, I figured I could lurk in the corner of his bedroom. As I've written numerous times before, sometimes all I can do is just be with him, however close he'll let me be.It's as much for me … [Read more...]

Which Truths Can be Shared, and Which can Only be Lived?

Which truths are we charged with sharing, and which truths must remain more quiet for the sake of the greater picture or, more importantly, one’s privacy?I was chatting with a friend today – someone I’ve “met” through my autism writing, who also writes extensively on autism, on life with her autistic son, on neurodiversity and other disability topics. I was telling her how difficult it is to lay one’s life bare and share intimate truths, day after day for 30 days.More so, what is difficul … [Read more...]

The Truth of Perceptions and Outcomes

My mother-in-law and I sat around the kitchen table this morning – me with my laptop open doing some office work, her flipping through a catalogue. Our conversation meandered all over the place until I asked her:When did you and Abba (my father-in-law) really make that decision to settle here in the U.S. with us and make this your primary home base instead of your home in India?As we tripped down memory lane together, she wove a story for me about how, though from the time we got married … [Read more...]

It’s Not “Just Autism”

Ali Family Autism Truths #20 - April 20, 2016I pretty much don’t have to even write today’s Ali Family Autism Truths #20 (dude! Made it two-thirds of the way through!) – because my friend Nakia pretty much said it all today: I forgot yesterday's autism fact because Zak went to bed on time in his own bed, so I was a little spooked. But here you go: most aspects of ‪#‎autism that neurotypical people focus on are the social aspects -- the differing communication and play styles, or the way that … [Read more...]