Autism Road Trippin’

Lil D lying down in the back seat, arms drawn in, hood up, spinning his beads, at the end of a very long road trip.

The whole summer was leading to this moment, this trip, this foray back into autism road trippin'. Were we up for the challenge? Would we be fools for trying? Was it too much to ask of Lil D? Was it too much to ask of our other children, of each other?When is it worth it to pursue a family vacation, to push each other's limits, to stretch against the bubbles of our comfort zones in the name of family togetherness, in the name of life lessons, in the name of growth? And when do we say, no, … [Read more...]

Eleven

You came into my room the other day, voice strained and your face barely masking your frustration, holding up a chewed-up Lego piece for my inspection.He chewed it again, you said. I put a rubber band tight around the knobs of the glass cabinet where I keep my Lego things, and still he got in and ruined what I built. And he chewed this piece. He ruins everything. My first instinct is to say, really? Really? It’s just a Lego piece. And he does not ruin everything. Nor does he do any of it on p … [Read more...]

Fourteen

Usually you have the third row of the car all to yourself, but with your Nanajan (maternal grandfather) catching a ride with us, I’m sitting with you in the back, encroaching upon your space. But you don’t seem to mind. You are unexpectedly happy to have the company.So this is the perspective from where you sit every time. It’s bouncier back here, and though the people in the front – usually me and your Baba – are less than seven feet in front of you, somehow we seem far away, our voices muff … [Read more...]

How are We Handling the Charge Laid on Us?

Daanish through the window

The bombs are dropping in Gaza and people are dying. Syrians are being brutally massacred. In Iraq, Christians are being expelled and religious shrines destroyed by the so called “Islamic State of Iraq,” and so much strife is painting our domestic and global world with dark, troubling hues. All this as the holy month of Ramadan comes to a close with some of the holiest days of the year.And like so many of my friends – Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu and more – I am feeling overwhelmed and em … [Read more...]

Ramadan, Autism and the Trials of Our Hearts

Daanish_Maymont

At 4 a.m. there was a party going on at my house. With my nieces and nephew having spent the last 24 hours at our place having a sort of epic, ongoing Ramadan sleepover, and my sister-in-law and her husband coming over to do sehri (the pre-fasting meal) with us before taking their kids home – the atmosphere was noisy and fun.Come on, finish eating! There’s only a few minutes left!Quick, drink that water! Time’s almost up!Who’s coming to the masjid to pray fajr?And then through th … [Read more...]

Praying for Ramadan Blessings and a Respite from Ramadan Despair in Autismland

Daanish on the RV

On a brilliant sunny afternoon, when the potted plants are certifiably glinting with shine and promise on my deck, when there is a buzz permeating the house as my children and my father-in-law eagerly wait for the evening so they can look for the moon in anticipation of the start of Ramadan, one would think that excitement and hopefulness would be the mainstays our collective family mood.And they are – for everyone else. And to an extent, I am excited too. I’m about ready to launch a great “3 … [Read more...]

The Worrywart

worry

The words have been stuck in my head for several days now. I mean, it’s who I am. It’s who so many of us are. But I don’t want to be defined that way.Mamma, you worry a lot. Like, you worry all the time. Why do you worry so much?My 10-year-old casually threw this comment out at me two weeks back after hearing me on the phone discussing my concerns about Lil D. I usually try not to discuss my myriads of daily concerns about him in front of the kids, but I guess I had been slipping.Why … [Read more...]


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