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

An Autism Prayer: Am I Doing the Right Thing? Show Me the Way

This is Day Two of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 2, 2017 – World Autism Day. Dear D, When you were three, they gave you an Official Diagnosis of Autism, said a bunch of things to your Baba and I, put some literature in our hands and sent us on our way. You were our darling son, beautiful and so far away from us. Yet to call us Mamma or Baba with any purpose, barely paying attention to the newborn… Read more

What is this Autism Living?

This is Day One of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 1, 2017. This month I’ll be writing a series of letters. Dear Friends, Have a seat and get comfortable. Or, what’s more likely – slow down what you’re doing as you scroll this post on your phone. Lend me your attention for a few moments. It’s that time of year again, and while I’d like to just go about our family’s regular living (which is autism living 365 days… Read more

UPDATE How will Autistic Travelers be Affected by the Banning of iPads, etc, on Flights from Several Muslim-Majority Countries?

UPDATE: The day I was writing and publishing this piece, Abed Ayoub, legal and policy director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) in Washington, D.C., contacted me to ask if autistic individuals use iPads to help communicate and mitigate their challenges, and if so, what are the ways in which they use iPads. He was working with a client whose child had autism, and they were getting set to travel when word came of President Trump’s new electronics ban on… Read more

Neutrality & Acceptance – European Court of Justice’s Upholding of Workplace Bans on Headscarves

It’s interesting, to me at least, that early this week I sat on a panel on “Fueling Hate: The News Media, Bias and Islam” at the University of Missouri’s College of Journalism and declared that there are stories that many Muslims (journalists and otherwise) feel they are done, done, done with – one of which includes articles on hijab, headscarves, burkas and other types of modest Muslim dressing. And yet here we are, because the legislation and policing of “religious clothing”… Read more

Reza Aslan’s “Believer” – Seeking Truths & Understandings in an Increasingly Divided World

How do people personally experience religion and faith? Why do they believe what they believe, and is there any way for us to find a connection with people who have vastly different belief systems from our own? Author, scholar and Muslim American Reza Aslan immerses himself into different faiths and faith rituals around the world to explore these and other questions in “Believer,” a new CNN series debuting March 5 at 10 p.m. In this spiritual adventure series, Aslan dives… Read more

Muslims (Depending on Who You Ask) at Oscars 2017

To save one life is to save all of humanity. – Quran, 5:32 Do we talk about Iranian director Asghari Farhadi’s winning his second Academy Award for his film, “The Salesman,” but boycotting the event because Iran is one of the seven countries targeted by President Donald Trump’s #MuslimBan? Do we talk about how Khaled Khateeb, a 21-year-old cinematographer and Syrian national who filmed “The White Helmets” was denied entry to the U.S. to attend the 2017 Oscars because of… Read more

Stay Woke: 15 Women and Men on Why They Marched in the Women’s March

The numbers tell the story: More than 3.3 million people joined more than 500 Women’s Marches across the United States, with estimates showing 1 out of every 100 Americans attended. More than 70 sister marches occurred around the world, even in Antarctica. In fact, there were marches on all seven continents. The Women’s March on Washington (with lower estimations putting the numbers at 500,000) was nearly three times the size of President Donald Trump’s inaugural crowd. There were zero arrests… Read more

An Autism Story – on Betsy DeVos, the Supreme Court and What Should Matter to Us All

Nearly five years ago, we sat in a room – myself, my husband, D’s teacher and principal at the time plus representatives from our county’s exceptional education department. We were at the tail end of a long, difficult, heart-breaking fifth-grade year for D, trying to come to an agreement regarding his future schooling and education. By this point, D had spent five years in our public-school system in two different self-contained autism classrooms under the tutelage of two capable teachers… Read more

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