Guest Post: What I Learned When I Took a Stand to Bullying

This is a guest post by Shaheer Mirza, a high school student, about his experience with bullying.By Shaheer Mirza“Don’t go near Shaheer!  He has a bomb!”“Terrorist!”“Do you belong to ISIS?”These are the statements I’ve repeatedly heard as a middle school, and now, high school student. When the taunting started in sixth grade, I tried to brush the words off and kept a low profile.  But it was frustrating.  I had done absolutely nothing to my peers, but because I was Muslim, oth … [Read more...]

Conversations with Daughter A: Laying Down Truths in School

Ali Family Autism Truths #7  April 7, 2016Scene: In the car, today, after I picked up daughter A (who is 12 years old) from school then drove over to get D from his school. The following conversation ensued. It’s not word for word accurate, but pretty much spot on.A: So there are these two girls in my gym class, and I don’t mean to be mean about them but …Me: What?A: They’re saying stuff about another boy in P.E. He has some sort of disability – I don’t think its autism – I don’t … [Read more...]

#IStandWithAhmed – Parenting Black Kids, Parenting Brown Kids, Parenting Muslim Kids

Counting to ten isn’t going to help today. Maybe counting to ten thousand. I’m not sure about that either.We are affected by that which is close to us. That which we identify with. That in which we see ourselves. It’s just the way it is, which is why I struggle to get more people to care about autism and the needs and rights of those living with special needs and disabilities.We know this life inside and out. And so my younger two kids know autism because their oldest brother is autis … [Read more...]

How Young is Too Young to Fast?

She sat on the sofa and refused. I tried everything I could to convince her, but she kept refusing and refusing and refusing.You're not ready, I told her. You're too young. It's too long a day. I love that you want to, but not today. Next year!And that's when she started to cry. Why are you making me stop when I really want to? And then she said the words that I have said to her so many times. This is between me and Allah. I want to fast. I know I can. So don't stop me.And so I wiped … [Read more...]

Mommy, Can I Draw the Prophet Muhammad?

Wendy Thomas Russell over on the Patheos Atheist channel has a blog called Natural Wonderers, which is about "raising curious, compassionate kids in a secular family." She occasionally runs a series called "Mommy, What's that?" that is "aimed at giving secular parents some simple, straightforward and open-minded ways to describe religious concepts." She approached me and some of the bloggers at Patheos Muslim to take part in a round table discussion around this question that a child may ask: … [Read more...]

Jenin Autism Project – A Word from Our Mothers

My friend Kitti South has come back to the U.S, but Melissa Diamond and the rest of the team are still in Jenin, in the West Bank of the Palestinian territory for the next few months working on “The Jenin Autism Project,” part of “A Global Voice for Autism.” They are there to help parents learn about autism and Applied Behavior Analysis and help connect them to other autism resources as well as building their own supportive network. They are blogging their experiences here to share their efforts … [Read more...]

The Jenin Autism Project – Families Gain Key Insights in How to Help Their Children

My friend Kitti South Robinson along with Melissa Diamond are in Jenin, in the West Bank of the Palestinian territory for the next few months working on “The Jenin Autism Project,” part of “A Global Voice for Autism.” They are there to help parents learn about autism and Applied Behavior Analysis and help connect them to other autism resources as well as building their own supportive network. They are blogging their experiences here to share their efforts in figuring out how to best help childre … [Read more...]