Guest Post: What I Learned When I Took a Stand to Bullying

This is a guest post by Shaheer Mirza, a high school student, about his experience with bullying.By Shaheer Mirza“Don’t go near Shaheer!  He has a bomb!”“Terrorist!”“Do you belong to ISIS?”These are the statements I’ve repeatedly heard as a middle school, and now, high school student. When the taunting started in sixth grade, I tried to brush the words off and kept a low profile.  But it was frustrating.  I had done absolutely nothing to my peers, but because I was Muslim, oth … [Read more...]

Conversations with Daughter A: Laying Down Truths in School

Ali Family Autism Truths #7  April 7, 2016Scene: In the car, today, after I picked up daughter A (who is 12 years old) from school then drove over to get D from his school. The following conversation ensued. It’s not word for word accurate, but pretty much spot on.A: So there are these two girls in my gym class, and I don’t mean to be mean about them but …Me: What?A: They’re saying stuff about another boy in P.E. He has some sort of disability – I don’t think its autism – I don’t … [Read more...]

What We Can (and Must) Learn from Each Other

It’s a conversation I remember vividly, last April, standing outside Lil D’s school after I had drove him to school and walked him to his classroom. A conversation I had with a mother of a fellow classmate about if public school was good for our children.Slowly, the routines we had been building for years and celebrating as a normal part of his day were dissipating. He was in his fifth and last year in his public school (in a self-contained autism classroom), and each day was fraught with anx … [Read more...]

Trust and the Autistic Child

I put Lil D on the bus this morning, like I do most school-day mornings. We walk out to the bus, often in semi-darkness before the day has broken, and I escort him to the steps of the bus. The bus matron takes over from there, guiding him to his seat and attaching his harness to the seat. Sometimes he is agitated, upset and crying. Other times he is calm and eager to go. As I silently pray Aytul Kursi (a verse from the Qur’an), I wave goodbye, tell him I love him, and wish him a good day at sch … [Read more...]