With Head Bowed, I See the Light

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[A] person whose head is bowed and whose eyes are heavy cannot look at the light. -  Christine de Pizan, Ditié de Jehanne d'ArcWith his head on my lap as we sit in the back seat, we drive home.He is heavily dozing under a medicated sleep, and the husband and I wonder how we are going to get him up the front steps into our home. Why not drive around some more, run some errands if you want, I say to my husband. We'll stay in the car until he starts to wake up.So that's what we do. … [Read more...]

Ali Family Autism Truths #23 – What is God’s Truth in All This?

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April 23, 2015 -- Autism Awareness Month, Autism Truths #23It seems like we are always living waiting for the other shoe to drop. Even when things are relatively smooth and good, we wait, wondering when it will all fall apart.It's falling apart in front of my eyes.Something is distressing D right now, at the end of the day. Distressing him pretty badly. Something internal, perhaps something external, something I don't know how to fix. The shoe is dropping, and I can see that he is … [Read more...]

Ali Family Autism Truths #5 – How Inclusive was Your Easter or Passover Service?

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April 5, 2015 – Autism Awareness Month, Ali Family Autism Truths #5 In private conversations with friends today, friends celebrating Easter or having celebrated Passover, we shared some of our frustrations in trying to participate in religious ceremonies and attend services at Houses of Worship with our autistic children. While many churches, synagogues (and even some mosques) and other Houses of Worship have made great strides in tailoring services for all in their congregation, or at the very … [Read more...]

The Ease and the Glory

When we first were officially told that D's diagnosis was autism, we were devastated. This may be insulting to some on the spectrum, but I'm keeping it real. There has been so much heartache mixed in with joy these past 11 years since that day that it all seems inexplicably intertwined.You can't have one without the other. As much as I've tried to lessen and alleviate D of the excruciating hard parts of autism, it's still there, perhaps to remind us that the beautiful moments and the joy are … [Read more...]

#JeSuisCharlie – When Will Clemency and Kindness Prevail over Extremism?

Copyright © 2006 David Monniauxm permission from Wikimedia Commons

I’m wagering that when many of us (speaking to Muslims now, or people who have read a bit about Islam and the Prophet Muhammad, may peace and blessings be upon him) were growing up or first starting to learn about our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), we were told the story of the Prophet and the woman who threw garbage on him.As the hadith goes, as this was told to me by my parents, when the Prophet Muhammad was trying to spread the word of Islam as it was being revealed to him by Allah ( … [Read more...]

The Here and the Now

We sat and played scrabble on the futon in our “cozy” New York City apartment. She was a new bride, as was I. I was even more newly pregnant with our first child – just a few weeks and on bed rest. My husband was in his first year of residency and hers was interviewing for a residency position in the city, which was why she was spending the day with me. (Her husband’s parents and mine were friends.) We had that in common, and so between new marriage talk and other chit-chat, we passed the day ple … [Read more...]

Dear Pope Francis, Thanks for Bringing Love to Those with Autism

Photo courtesy of Associated Press.

I was sitting with a group of newcomers, reverts, new and old friends yesterday at a luncheon our halaqa (Islamic study group) had put together to reach out to anyone new to our community. In speaking with our small group about why we need to reach out to each other and stay connected, a sister in the group made an important observation (paraphrasing):It can be hard for reverts (converts to Islam) in our community. They can feel lost or disconnection. Not welcomed. The Christian community … [Read more...]


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