The Gandhi of Autism

Lil D planking with Bluebell, our cat.

After all the kids came home from school yesterday, after we got through the first hour of craziness – unpacking backpacks, assessing homework, the requisite post-bus ride-avoidance-of-meltdown shower for Lil D and hearty snacks for all – I settled Amal into her homework and Hamza with a monster truck video on Netflix and headed upstairs.Lil D was lying on his bedroom floor, which is how I usually find him these days. When I say that he is planked about 80 percent of the time, I’m not kiddi … [Read more...]

The Long (Bus) Ride Home

school bus

Amongst the many, many prayers I say in my daily salat and scatter throughout the day, today’s important prayer is for the bus – Lil D’s bus ride. He is riding the bus home today, for the first time in nearly six months. And I am, for the lack of a better adjective, anxious.Lil D has been a bus rider for most years of his school life – from when he first started going to [an autism] school fulltime in New York City (Manhattan) at the tender age of three, to the five years he spent in public s … [Read more...]

Reflections on Fatherhood Beyond Special Needs

Daanish and Taruj

Instead of writing a "Father's Day" post myself, I asked my husband to write - reflect on what it has been like for him to father our three children, to father a special needs child. Though he was on call at the hospital the whole weekend, he took time to write this piece. His experiences and thoughts are similar and different than mine, but as real as mine as well.Yesterday was Father’s Day, and as I was sitting with my eldest son in the afternoon in his room, we had one of those moments whe … [Read more...]

I Get By with a Little Help from My Friends

Daanish trampoline

When the phone rang at 1:25 p.m. yesterday, I knew who it was before I picked it up: Lil D's teacher calling me to come get him because he was too worked up (or potentially on the verge of a meltdown, or coming off a meltdown) to ride the bus.I'm prepared for this. I've let go of so many "norms" for Lil D these past months that the new autism norm in our house (and isn't that an oxymoron?) is sadly quite minimalistic.We've let go of so many years-old programs and expectations and demands … [Read more...]

Autism’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

jekyllandhyde

Dr. Jekyll graced me with his presence yesterday.It had been a really, really long time.Mr. Hyde took a backseat and allowed Dr. Jekyll to regain control for the better part of the day. I realized that I spent much of the day holding my breath, waiting for Hyde to rear his ugly head and regain control of my son. So after we got home from school, I let my breath go and made plans for the afternoon, thinking, what could it hurt? Let’s try something. Let’s try something we used to be able to … [Read more...]


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