Iftaar Interlude – Reviving an Old Tradition to Work Around Autism

ramadan_iftar_02

Home-based iftaar (fast-breaking) parties are pretty much out where we live, in lieu of large community-based potluck iftaars. But last year my husband and I decided to revive the tradition, because we wanted to bring our friends and family to our home to break their fast, and because we wanted to bring that feeling of  Ummah (Muslim community) home to Lil D, since he has been unable to attend the community iftaar events the past few years. (Too, big, too noisy, too chaotic, too much … [Read more...]

Answering the Prayer of A Mother, A Traveler, and One Who is Fasting

Mideast Saudi Hajj

Big day tomorrow. We’re off to the Washington, D.C. metro area for a follow up appointment with a specialist for Lil D.As we have traversed this panic-fueled, emotionally-laden path since last January to try and figure out why so many things had taken a turn for the worse with our 11-year-old son, why self-injurious behaviors and some OCD behaviors had taken over his life, why school and home life became so awful for him, our investigations led us from an in-hospital stay for  multiple te … [Read more...]

Lean On Me

Family back shot

My mother always told me that one of our biggest fallacies is that when ten good things and one bad thing happens, we will fixate on the bad, worry about the bad, lose faith over the bad, get depressed over the bad, despair over the bad – and not remember the good. She is a smart woman.We’ve had a nice week or so with Lil D, sandwiched between two very, very awful incidences. And though I’m inviting trouble by writing this (telling you about the good days – because that always seems to jinx t … [Read more...]

In Autism Land, What is a Good Day?

hamza's bismillah

The house was too quiet last night, as my husband and I sat on our couch after all kids were in bed, half asleep and tired from the past two weeks of activity. It was a good tired, as my husband remarked to me, “That went well. That was a lot of fun.”He was referring to the lead-up to our youngest son’s Bismillah ceremony, the Bismillah itself, and the week afterwards when his sister and her family stayed with us. The weekend of the Bismillah (a culturally-based religious ceremony where a chi … [Read more...]

The Bismillah – Preserving Dignity in an Autism Life

quran

Family and guests are arriving, the food is cooked to feed everyone at the house, the batwas (party favors) have been filled and labels added, the laddus (classic Indo-Pakistani dessert) are made, the decorations for the hall are ready, and the food for the party is coming together. It’s Bismillah time at our house.A Bismillah is a cultural/religious occasion (it’s not mandated in Islam), a ceremony that marks when a child is ready to learn how to read the Quran. Typically, it happens when a … [Read more...]

Lets Get Ready for Ramadan!

ramadan-charge

I took the kids (younger two) to Jummah (Friday) prayers today at one of our local mosques. The khutbah (sermon) was about making the most of the month of Sha’baan and preparing for the holy month of Ramadan. Sure comes up on you fast, doesn’t it? We are a month away from Ramadan (predicted to start on July 20, depending on the siting of the new moon) and aside from the hilarious spiritual discussion trolling the social networks about how a Muslim should handle the problem of opening night of the … [Read more...]

Moments of Autism Humor – Lil D Was Here

forks

Good morning, sunshine! Wake up my jaanus (darlings). Time for school. It's wakey wakey time! La illaha, illallah, Muhammad dur Rasullallah.This is what I say every morning, without fail for the past nine years, as I've woken up one, then two and now three children for school. It's become a routine, something that comforts all of them, even when they are grumpy, whiny or tired and not wanting to get up - a good morning greeting followed by the kalma, or shahada, which is a Muslim's … [Read more...]


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