Ali Family Autism Truths #8 – To be Known, Understood

teddy bear_resized

April 8, 2015 – Autism Awareness Month, Ali Family Autism Truths #8 As I write this, you lie next to me, the sleepiness finally hitting you with gentle waves, silencing the sounds you make and bringing stillness to your ever-moving limbs. You watch me type, seeing the words flow on this screen, and I wonder if you're reading what I'm writing. Maybe you can read. Maybe. There is so much I still don't know about you, about all you may be able to do. If you are reading this, I wonder -- are you ok … [Read more...]

Words Matter in Autism Land and Beyond

words matter

One might call me a pushover – my husband often does, saying that I’d rather keep quiet and not ruffle any feathers, except when it comes to Lil D. And even with him, in forging relationships with his teachers, therapists, aides, caregivers, bus drivers and bus aides, babysitters and everyone else throughout the years, my approach has been to win them and teach them with kindness, firmness and openness.To try and be open-minded as to what they feel and know in their relationships with Lil D, … [Read more...]

Milestones in Autism Land

Daanish on the RV

It’s the milestones that have tripped me up over the years, causing me to focus on what wasn’t happening in the time it should happen, instead of the little, incremental steps forward (and backward, and then forward again) that were unfolding in front of my eyes. Milestones are a tricky thing.Pediatricians tell you when a child should roll over, sit up, crawl, walk, start to babble, say Mama and Dada, imitate your sounds and point to something. When they should start to say little sentences a … [Read more...]

Recovering His Voice

Daanish and Dilshad at the lake

I prayed two rakat shukrani – that’s a short, extra prayer Muslims do when they are thankful for something. And thankful I am.Henrico County police called last night. They recovered Lil D’s iPad.Let’s pause for a celebration before we get into the story! Channel that feeling of Rocky Balboa, jumping over the stairs outside his home, throwing air punches, and beginning to jog down his neighborhood streets. He’s gathering energy, he’s pumped, and as he jogs, people on the street call to him … [Read more...]

Fighting for His Voice

ipad woman

Whenever I lost something, my parents taught me to immediately utter the du’a (prayer), Innal ilahi wa innal ilayhi raji’oon. Say it, and surely God will bring whatever you lost back to you, my parents, in-laws, and so many elders told me. This du’a is the proper thing to utter when someone passes, but also it’s a du’a for loss of any kind. The phrase comes from the Quran, Surah al Baqara, verse 156. The full verse is: “Who, when a misfortune overtakes him say: ‘Surely we belong to God and to Him … [Read more...]

Losing His Voice

Daanish and iPad

Ever lost your voice to a bout of laryngitis? It’s pretty frustrating not to be able to say what you want. One day you can talk, and the next day your voice is all hoarse and croaky and then the day after that you go silent.Lil D lost his voice this weekend, and not to laryngitis. His iPad, his assisted communication device – his voice – was lost/stolen on Saturday on an outing to Target where we live in Central Virginia.He lost his voice. A voice he (and we) have fought so, so, so hard t … [Read more...]

I Want ‘More’

Dilshad and Daanish falls shot

You ever have those moments where your love for your children surges up like a tidal wave, drowning you in overwhelming warmth and sweetness? It could be the most mundane thing, but in that moment, your love for your child is so clear and pure and strong that it almost hurts.It happens when Hamza comes home from school yelling “Mama!” because he is so excited to see me and tell me about something that happened that day. Shoes full of mulch from the playground, fingers dirty, his nose needing … [Read more...]