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 store is named.Their son has several different disabilities, one of which I think is au … [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 of the year and not just one month), I can’t let this occasion go by unrec … [Read more...]

Autism Truths and the Humanity of Us All

April 1, 2016 - Ali Family Truths #1D came up from the basement earlier today, hungry for dinner. Or rather, hangry – losing it in a way I know so well. Mood was restored after dinner was consumed, but that was when I noticed his right forefinger.Bloodied.Whoa, whoa, whoa – wait a minute, I said. Let’s take care of that. And so he willingly allowed me to wash and clean the finger and bandage it. But I still haven’t figured out how it happened. I’m just glad I caught it.D wasn’t ab … [Read more...]

Ali Family Autism Truths #30 – We Will Live Truthfully

April 30, 2015 - Autism Awareness Month, Autism Truths #30Why should you care? Really, why should you care? There is an earthquake that has devastated Nepal causing the deaths of nearly 4,000 people. In Baltimore, following the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody, the city is crying for justice, and African Americans across the country are warning that this cannot go on, that post-racial America is a myth, that #BlackLivesMatter. ISIS continues to wreak havoc. California is … [Read more...]

Ali Family Autism Truths #1 – Learning from Each Other

April 1, 2015 - Autism Awareness Month - Day One of Ali Family Autism TruthsD is sitting downstairs right now picking through his dinner, while one of his therapists, who is playing the care giver role, sits with him. I've kicked the rest of the family out for dinner, and I'm sitting upstairs keeping an ear out for any issues that may come up. Call this a dry run. Call this part of my hypervigilance in making sure he is cared for and supported in a manner that will be best for him. Next week … [Read more...]

Ali Family Autism Truths for Autism Awareness Month – The Last Ten

The blank screen on my phone stared back at me, waiting for me to write the last Ali Family Autism Truth on the last day of April -- Autism Awareness Month. I was at a blank. How do I sum things up? Is that even possible? Because there is no summation to Lil D's life with autism, or our life with him. It's ongoing, and just because April was ending didn't mean our autism truths were ending. Autism doesn't end like that.The last ten days of truths left me anxious, because there was so much to … [Read more...]

Autism Doesn’t End Like That

So much -- and so little -- can happen in 30 days.The woods that spread out from our house are coming to life, with branches going from winter-bare to being covered in lush green. Spring is finally ushering its way in. I sat on our deck on April 2 – World Autism Day – devastated after a heartbreaking day of shocking news about you, and I watched you play. You swung back and forth on the hammock and jumped with abandon on our trampoline. The silence of our neighborhood was punctured by the hap … [Read more...]