The Language of Brothers in Autism Land

This is Day 28 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 28, 2017. Our son, nine-year-old H wrote this letter to his 16-year-old brother, D bhai.Dear D Bhai,When I first realized you were different, I didn’t know what Mamma meant when she told me some things about you. I didn’t get it. I realized that you couldn’t talk in our language, but you had one of your own. You do many things that other human beings don’t do, and most of all you liked toys that didn’t seem fun to other people – like … [Read more...]

Marriage, Autism Truths and the Ties that Bind

This is Day 27 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 27, 2017Dear Husband and Collective Spouses,This morning I was talking to my niece – the one who is newly married to a young gentleman who is doing his medical residency. She was telling me about how the challenges of being newly married when one spouse is doing residency and has literally no time to do anything else, (Sounds familiar?) And, I was reminded of a conversation we had a few days ago. Because I remember these things bet … [Read more...]

Finding Room for it All in Autism Land

This is Day 26 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 26, 2017Dear World:At the beginning of April, on Day One, I wrote this: Here’s a question – how do you find that balance or place for the narratives that celebrate the neurodiversity differences of autism and feature the voices and stories of those who are actually autistic and teach the world about acceptance, accommodation and inclusion, AND also openly talk about the challenges, the medical comorbidities, the huge difficulties som … [Read more...]

Dear Siblings – What is Your Role in our Family Autism Future?

This is Day 25 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 25, 2017Dear A and H and other autism siblings,Last night I was at a training seminar to learn about how to apply for SSI (supplemental security income, a form of social security) benefits for your brother once he nears the age of 18. There are a lot of things we need to do for him in the coming year as he approaches the age of majority – SSI, consider guardianship (apply in court to become his guardian and figure out what kind of gua … [Read more...]

Piecing Together the Puzzle of the Future – As a Family

This is Day 24 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 24, 2017Dear Family,I came home from a long medical appointment the other day and walked into the house. D and his Baba were sitting on the stairs – D behind his Baba, arms and legs wrapped around him. He was digging his chin into his Baba’s head, slapping him on the shoulders with his hands (rather hard) and literally covering him with the kind of affection you usually don’t see between a near-17-year-old and his Dad.As we are wo … [Read more...]

As Moms, Do We Care for Ourselves?

This is Day 23 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 23, 2017Dear Moms, Particularly Muslim Moms of Color,Last night I took the boys and went to the home of a friend, who has two sons on opposite ends of the autism spectrum. D has been in classes with both over the years. Another mom who has two sons (out of four) on the spectrum also joined us. We had come together, along with my friend’s family, for a confirmation celebration.Probably the best part of being at her home was that ev … [Read more...]

Make His a Life of Ease

This is Day 22 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 22, 2017Dear God,It seems almost silly to write to you when you know my inner most secrets before even I realize them. But this all seems like a cosmic joke sometimes, one in which I’m the only one who doesn’t get the punchline and that it’s all going to be just fine if I learn to smile along more.You’ve been patient with me, more patient then I probably deserve. And you’ve taken it upon Yourself, in Your divine wisdom to give me … [Read more...]