Its Not Just Autism Living. It’s Living.

Last night I sat in a darkened room with my eldest son, D, as he alternately cried a dil-se-dhook rona (heart-worn crying) and screamed in anger and frustration. The best I could do was be present to his pain, until he worked himself through it and fell exhaustedly asleep.This morning, going on barely 3-4 hours of sleep, I showered, dressed up and drove with my parents to attend the eighth-grade awards ceremony/graduation for my daughter. She had been excited about it for days, planning our … [Read more...]

6 Ways to Create an Autism-Friendly Ramadan and Eid

This is a guest post from my friend Nakia Jackson, mom to Zak, who is autistic and awesome.By Nakia JacksonThe stories about autism-friendly Santas and Christmas-related events has sparked some envy. Ramadan and Eid usually find Zak and I at home. The crowds make for extreme sensory overload in an environment where if he bolts, it’s hard to catch him.But, there are many things our mosques, community centers and Muslim communities can do to help make Ramadan and Eid more autism f … [Read more...]

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Our Ramadan Preps are with Autism in Mind

The Ramadan preps are in full force around me -- from the texts, WhatsApp messages and social media posts being passed back and forth sharing certain du’as (prayers), schedules for daily Quran reading, to ways to engage children, crafting and reading projects to help kids connect with the fasting month to advice how to fast safely and break fasts with healthful foods and so much more.Memes on avoiding fried foods upon breaking one’s fast. Advice posts on how to maintain an exercise routine wh … [Read more...]

Risk Taking and Autism Truths

This is Day 30 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 30, 2017. Last post of the series.Dear Readers:A story:The kids’ activities for the day were clear to me when I woke up: H had Islamic Sunday school, D had Open Gym, A had homework and I had plans to do laundry and run a bunch of errands. I had a caregiver coming to help me manage everything, with the kids’ Baba working this weekend. Everything was planned out in my head.Except, there was a vibe coming off of D this morning th … [Read more...]

The Bittersweet

This is Day 29 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 29, 2017Dear Friends,The morning yes was spent at H’s elementary school for field day, volunteering at the frisbee-throwing station. Cute kindergartners, first graders and then second graders came through my station, taking turns throwing the frisbee into a goal. I cheered them on, laughed with them.On the opposite end of the field the tug-of-war battles were happening, as class by class lined up to compete against each other in a … [Read more...]

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...]