Hajj 2014 – Never Say Never – Umrah with Our Autistic Daughter

This article is part of Patheos Muslim’s and Altmuslim’s Hajj 2014 reflection series, which is focusing on the good, the difficult and everything in between about the holy days of Dhul Hijjah, the Hajj pilgrimage and Eid ul Adha, the second major holiday for Muslims. Although this post is about an Umrah trip, it ties into the spirit of the Hajj.Editor's Note: This post is written by my friend and guest writer, Joohi Tahir, about the Umrah she and her family did a few years back. Joohi's daug … [Read more...]

Seven

It’s a Friday night, and I’m doing one of the things I love most to do – watching your little legs pump furiously up and down the field as you chase after the ball with your teammates, playing the kind of crazy, legs-a-flying soccer that only five- and six-year-olds can play. There is a cloud of legs and dust wherever the ball goes, and finally, after four seasons of playing, your “one shining moment” has come:You score!You run down the field and leap into my arms, pumping your fists and … [Read more...]

Autism and the (Desi) Dinner Party

This is the first time I’ve seen you looking relaxed, she said to me.Really?You always looked tense. This is the first time you don’t.Uh, thanks, I said to her. It didn’t take a genius to know what the difference was between this party and all the others we had attended prior to it – it was the first time we had decided not to bring Lil D with us and had left him home with a babysitter.We have some desi (South Asian) cultural traditions that are pretty set in stone – parties are … [Read more...]

The Teenage Years

We were out running errands on Sunday while Lil D hung out at home with a beloved care giver. I had given her different ideas of things to do to get him out of the house, since he had come home on Friday and had pretty much refused to venture out.What’s the big deal, my husband said to me, if he just wants to stay home?No, I stubbornly said. He should do something! We’re making our other kids get up off their butts and go out with us!I suggested to our care giver that she show Lil D t … [Read more...]

Autism Road Trippin’

The whole summer was leading to this moment, this trip, this foray back into autism road trippin'. Were we up for the challenge? Would we be fools for trying? Was it too much to ask of Lil D? Was it too much to ask of our other children, of each other?When is it worth it to pursue a family vacation, to push each other's limits, to stretch against the bubbles of our comfort zones in the name of family togetherness, in the name of life lessons, in the name of growth? And when do we say, no, … [Read more...]

Eleven

You came into my room the other day, voice strained and your face barely masking your frustration, holding up a chewed-up Lego piece for my inspection.He chewed it again, you said. I put a rubber band tight around the knobs of the glass cabinet where I keep my Lego things, and still he got in and ruined what I built. And he chewed this piece. He ruins everything. My first instinct is to say, really? Really? It’s just a Lego piece. And he does not ruin everything. Nor does he do any of it on p … [Read more...]

Fourteen

Usually you have the third row of the car all to yourself, but with your Nanajan (maternal grandfather) catching a ride with us, I’m sitting with you in the back, encroaching upon your space. But you don’t seem to mind. You are unexpectedly happy to have the company.So this is the perspective from where you sit every time. It’s bouncier back here, and though the people in the front – usually me and your Baba – are less than seven feet in front of you, somehow we seem far away, our voices muff … [Read more...]


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