#AutismAwareness Looks Different When You’re a Teen

This is Day Six of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 6, 2017Dear Folks,The world sure looks at you different when you are a teenager, young adult or adult with autism. Whether you are autistic in a vein similar to D or autistic in a myriad of other manifestations – it’s just a different reaction.I posted this today on Facebook: D and I stopped at our fave halal meat/ethnic grocery store on our way home - there were a bunch of desi [South Asian] folks in there I didn't recognize. I … [Read more...]

Living the Disability/Autism Life: Are We Really Being Seen?

This is Day Three of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 3, 2017. Dear Friends,Today D and I stopped off at an ethnic grocery store that we frequent on our way home. When this store opened several years ago, I was excited because it was close to our home and stocked halal meat. As I got to know the owners, about a year later they told me (after seeing D with me) about their adult son, for whom the store is named.Their son has several different disabilities, one of which I think is au … [Read more...]

Autism and the (Desi) Dinner Party

This is the first time I’ve seen you looking relaxed, she said to me.Really?You always looked tense. This is the first time you don’t.Uh, thanks, I said to her. It didn’t take a genius to know what the difference was between this party and all the others we had attended prior to it – it was the first time we had decided not to bring Lil D with us and had left him home with a babysitter.We have some desi (South Asian) cultural traditions that are pretty set in stone – parties are … [Read more...]

Do You Remember 13?

Do you remember 13? Seventh grade or eight grade maybe? A mixture of hormones, uncertainty, a growing sense of self and figuring out how to fit in with the right friends without compromising your true self? And what is that true self? Is it growing out of what your parents taught you, or is it developing independently apart from the external influences in your life?Do you remember 13? Not wanting to hang around your family all the time, wanting to be out of the house more, but you aren’t old … [Read more...]

The Inner Circle of Friends

This was the texting conversation had with a good friend of mine a few days after my family (and a few others) had enjoyed a dinner party at her place: Her- “Oh! And I found Lil D’s underpants. They were in the attic.”Me - “Ha! He went all the way up there? Embarrassing. You have a bathroom up there?”Her - “Yes we do. Don’t worry about it at all. I’ll give it to you next time.”Me - “Thanks. And I’m sorry about that.”Her - “Please, don’t even think about it.”Me - “That’s it – … [Read more...]

Three Questions for American Muslims: Rabiah Ahmed

The Muslim Portal at Patheos  is hosting the “Three Questions” project for the month of September in conjunction with the tenth anniversary of the terrorist acts of 9/11.  We are asking American Muslims from across the nation three simple but important questions. Click here to learn more about the project.Rabiah Ahmed, director of Mirza PR and a board member of the My Faith My Voice project, offers her answers to the three questions:1. What is the most pressing issue or concern for you as … [Read more...]