#AutismAwareness Looks Different When You’re a Teen

This is Day Six of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 6, 2017Dear 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 were a bunch of desi [South Asian] folks in there I didn't recognize. I … [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 store is named.Their son has several different disabilities, one of which I think is au … [Read more...]

Did Autism Speak?

Autism Awareness Month, or as many in the autism community like to call it, Autism Action Month, is ending today. For some of us -- we are happy to see it go, as the response to autism and the awareness of what this developmental and neurological disability is nowhere near where it should be.Some in the autism community, including self-advocates with autism, look at the increasing numbers (1-50 school age children have autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, according to the latest reports from … [Read more...]

When an Autism Awareness Event is Anything But

We’ve hit the middle of April, and while there was a flurry of focus on autism at the start of the month, it still is very much “Autism Awareness Month.” Awareness events sponsored by local and national organizations continue to occur across the United States, but sometimes I wonder how much real “awareness” is actually happening? How many of these events just serve as fundraisers for the organizations sponsoring it?Fundraising is not bad, and of course autism organizations must capitalize o … [Read more...]

My Jihad is Autism, Faith and Everything In Between. What’s Yours?

What’s your jihad?Mine is autism awareness and living with autism.My jihad is my son, Lil D, and helping him (and our family) overcome challenges brought on by his autism, helping him be as healthy as possible and finding out what we can do to make him happy. My jihad is making a place for him in this world, getting this world to accept him, care for him, and help him to succeed the best that he can.My jihad is my children -- raising proud, well-adjusted, Muslim-American children who … [Read more...]