Which Truths Can be Shared, and Which can Only be Lived?

Which truths are we charged with sharing, and which truths must remain more quiet for the sake of the greater picture or, more importantly, one’s privacy?I was chatting with a friend today – someone I’ve “met” through my autism writing, who also writes extensively on autism, on life with her autistic son, on neurodiversity and other disability topics. I was telling her how difficult it is to lay one’s life bare and share intimate truths, day after day for 30 days.More so, what is difficul … [Read more...]

It’ll Never Be Enough

Ali Family Autism Truths #9 - April 9, 2016The house is full of family tonight, with my sister-in-law and kids joining us for a late dinner. D’s used to his cousins in and out of the house, and finds his own spaces to chill when the human population of the home becomes too much.It used to be that life more or less revolved around D, his activities, his therapies, his needs and what he could manage and could not. The rest of the children were much younger back then, and they didn’t have th … [Read more...]

A Diner Story in Autism Land

It was a quintessential New York corner diner – the hustle of waitresses bringing sandwiches, soups and other lunch and breakfast fair to mostly regular customers. Booths, tables with chairs and a diner counter where you could get what I thought was the best milkshake in New York City.Olympic Flame Diner, on W. 60th Street kitty-corner from then-Roosevelt Hospital – where D was born, where A would be born several months later.Back when D was a little over two years old, and I was, well I … [Read more...]

Eid Mubarak and the Blessings of Family

Don’t ever take your family for granted.Ever. ********** The alarm on my phone beeped to wake me to get ready for Eid prayers. I swiped it to turn it off and noticed litany of messages, as usual. One stuck out at me – my sister in law messaging a group of us to tell us there had been a stampede in the Mina camps, and hundreds of Hajjis had died.Innal lilahi wa inna lilayhi raji’oon. From God we come and to God we return.If you are a believer like me then you believe that those who p … [Read more...]

All Haste to the Wedding

The bags are packed, the plans have been made and the caregiver has been hired.We are breaking our own rules, for better or for worse.We are taking D to a Big Fat Indian-Muslim Family Wedding.If I could get out of it on his behalf, I would. As we draw closer and closer to departure (tomorrow for me and the younger kiddos, and Friday for his dad, grandparents and D to join us), I keep thinking – why are we doing this? Why are we subjecting D to this?Six summers ago, after a … [Read more...]

Ali Family Autism Truths #27 – The Friends We Make Along the Way

April 27, 2015, Autism Awareness Month, Autism Truths #27At a birthday party we attended yesterday, the theme was superheroes. The kids were running around in padded superhero costumes, some with capes flying out behind them as they darted in and out of the house, bobbing and weaving through the adults. Teenage girls, the friends of the birthday boy's older sister, were also decked out in teenage-versions of superhero costumes. They were giggling, laughing, taking selfies and scarfing down … [Read more...]

The Non-Negotiables

As the kids grow, especially with A entering in her tween-coming-into-teen-middle-school-years, our stories, struggles, challenges and joyful moments take on a different flavor. And what I’m able to share with you about those stories changes as well. Because even though A is as eager as ever to see herself in my writing and know that this story isn’t just her brother’s story (which it isn’t), I know there are things that she’d rather not have the whole world know.I’ve been thinking about non- … [Read more...]