His Theatrical Debut – On Inclusion and Plays in Autism Land

Image from the theatrical program for "Caps for Sale"

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...]

With Head Bowed, I See the Light


[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 #29 – The Way to the Unknown Future

D at Short Pump_resized

April 29, 2015 - Autism Awareness Month, Autism Truths #29Most mornings are a mad rush of arms and legs, cereal bowls, packed lunches, backpacks and last minute signing of forms. Once I get the younger two out the door -- either on the bus or with their Baba -- I turn my attention to D,  who usually is up by the time and playing around, waiting to get ready for school.I assist him quickly, using the time we have together to prompt him through his morning routine -- teach him the steps to … [Read more...]

Ali Family Autism Truths #28 – You Can’t Walk Away

D, chilling on the sofa before bedtime.

April 28, 2015 - Autism Awareness Month, Autism Truths #28I was face-timing with my daughter tonight, helping her complete an English assignment. She and the her siblings are at home with their Baba and grandparents, and I am out of town and spending time with my father, who had surgery today.In the background, I heard the voices of D loud and clear. A was in the study working, and when it got too loud where she was, she picked up her phone and computer and took me into the family room. … [Read more...]

Ali Family Autism Truths #27 – The Friends We Make Along the Way


April 27, 2015, Autism Awareness Month, Autism Truths #27At a birthday party we attended yesterday, the theme was superheroes. The kids were running around in padded superhero costumes, some with capes flying out behind them as they darted in and out of the house, bobbing and weaving through the adults. Teenage girls, the friends of the birthday boy's older sister, were also decked out in teenage-versions of superhero costumes. They were giggling, laughing, taking selfies and scarfing down … [Read more...]

Ali Family Autism Truths #26 – What We Are Afraid to Say Out Loud

D swinging with all his might.

April 26, 2015 - Autism Awareness Month, Autism Truths #26Sometimes it all feels so fragile -- life held together by bits of tape and pieces of string, with prayers and promises. The slightest quiver in the universe and it all falls apart, despite all our planning, all our praying, all our hopes for the future. We can try and secure the future for our loved ones as best as possible. We can try and keep them safe. But nothing is in our control.Last night our family went in different … [Read more...]

Ali Family Autism Truths #25 – The Right of Choice


April 25, 2015, Autism Awareness Month, Autism Truths #25D brought his iPad to me just a few minutes back to request something to eat. We discovered something new with his ability to make choices a few weeks ago when he requested chips off his iPad - that all chips are not the same.A few weeks back, he pressed the button for "I want" and then pressed "chips," saying kippa to us (his verbal approximation of the word, chips). But when I presented him with a snack-size packet of Lays potato … [Read more...]