Over Dozens of Sundays, You Taught me Love

This is Day Nine of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 9, 2017. This letter is written by Isaiah Fleming-Klink, who was D's partner and peer buddy in the John Maloney Project (Open Gym) for four years. JMP is a local partnership between high school students and autistic students of all ages, where the kids get together every fall and spring on Sundays across a six-week schedule and engage in physical activity and friendship building. The JMP has been a constant in D's life for 12 ye … [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...]

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...]