Join the #DisabilityKhutba Campaign in Our Push for Inclusion, Recognition and Acceptance

“He (Musa) said: ‘Oh my Lord! Expand my breast for me and make my affair easy to me, and loose the knot from my tongue (that) they may understand my word … (Quran 20:25:28)”We are committed to owning our own narratives and taking action in many worthy arenas. But what about the most vulnerable in our communities? What of their families? What about the spiritual struggles of families with special needs — embracing them, including them, connecting them to resources, helping them in the myriad o … [Read more...]

We Must All Live Truthfully

Ali Family Autism Truths #30 – April 30, 2016I read an article in the other day about prenatal testing, about a family of two scientist-parents who invented a machine that could sequence and separate genes to better and earlier tell if an unborn baby would have Downs Syndrome or a host of other disabilities.The article was titled, “How A Prenatal Test is Transforming Modern Medicine.” One of the main scientists interviewed in the piece, who has an adult son with Downs, said that after eve … [Read more...]

His Theatrical Debut – On Inclusion and Plays in Autism Land

In flipping through his yellow binder, where his teachers and I do our daily communication, I found it.A simple flyer with a simple announcement. But it was everything to me. Everything.We are putting on a play! ********** In our parental autism journey, there came a point when I learned that the so-called "normal" experiences and rites of passages of childhood are not always meant to be -- and that was ok. I didn't feel it so much in the early years after D's diagnosis, when he was in … [Read more...]

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

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...]

EnabledMuslim – Tackling Disability Inclusion in the Muslim Community

Sometimes I wonder – what does it matter to him, whether he sets foot in any type of masjid/mosque? My son is definitely unMosqued, as is my entire immediate family, to some degree. Oh, we go to events and Jummah prayers at a mosque where we live, but that connection, that sense of belonging that feeling of strong community? – Yeah, not so much.By this point in our lives, though I want for our mosques and our communities to grow more inclusive of individuals with special needs and their fam … [Read more...]

Rolling the Dice on Race Day

We loaded the adaptive jogging stroller into my car as the rain started. I gathered a blanket and a bag with Lil D’s favorite snacks, water, a change of clothes and his go-to manipulatives (beads, natch!) and put everything on the kitchen counter, so we would be ready in the morning. As it was past 11 p.m. and we knew we had to be up at the crack of dawn, my husband headed up to bed. I stayed up and made a batch of mini-muffins, which I figured would be great for an early-morning on-the-go b … [Read more...]

To Those Who Believe that People with Autism Have No Worth, I Have a Message for You

We live in a pretty quiet neighborhood – it’s your classic big old-style Southern colonial Virginian houses, complete with magnolia trees out front. Kind of a weird fit for an American Muslim-Indian family with a headscarf-clad mom (me), old school Indian in-laws (who are newly minted American citizens!), husband and three kids, the eldest of whom certainly disrupts the serene scene at times.It’s a neighborhood of kids and school busses, but not teeming with kids playing outside or in the str … [Read more...]