Giving Thanks for Good Autism Teachers

When I entered Lil D’s classroom to pick him up the other day, Sanjay* immediately turned around in his study carrel and called out to me: “Mrs. Ali, Mrs. Ali! If Lil D hits himself, will you be mad?”“No, Sanjay, I won’t be mad.”“Mrs. Ali, Mrs. Ali, if Lil D hits one of his friends, will you be mad?”“No Sanjay, I won’t be mad. But I’ll tell him that it’s not nice to hit.”“Mrs. Ali, Mrs. Ali, if Lil D hits one of the teachers, will you be mad?”“No, Sanjay, I won’t be mad. I’ll … [Read more...]

I Get By with a Little Help from My Friends

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...]

Behind the Parenting Mask

Parents are pretty good at wearing masks, keeping up a solid front in the face of stressful situations, making sure the kiddos don’t know when things are barely in our control. Most parents are good at that. Even I, who has been told by several people that every emotion I’m feeling is seen on my face -- even I am pretty good at putting up an fairly controlled front.One night last week during dinner, my husband, our two younger kids and I were eating dinner while our eldest son was in the thr … [Read more...]

Three Questions for American Muslims: Hussein Rashid

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.Hussein Rashid, an adjunct professor at Hofstra University and a writer, media personality, and consultant, offers his answers to the three questions:1. What is the most pressing issue o … [Read more...]