Out of the Mouths of Babes

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We’re having Sunday morning conversation at our house, as my three kiddos (for once) sit together calmly at the dinner table with me and eat their breakfast. Lil D, who is hungry because we all slept in a little (though he awoke bright and early like he always does), is sitting down nicely and eating – no trying to run around and come back for bites, none of the recent rigmarole of me trying to make him sit down and eat with him resisting me at every step.A nice Sunday morning family bre … [Read more...]

Dating Life Again

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There comes a point when you’re coming through a tough, tough time, and even though things aren’t exactly easily manageable (forget great, or even really good) yet -- you decide that it’s time. It’s time to start dating life again. Because if you don’t start trying, you’ll never get out of your pajamas, make yourself presentable, get out of the house and become social again.As Ramadan came to a close last week and we neared the Eid-ul-fitr holiday, I made that decision. I chose to date life a … [Read more...]

Iftaar Interlude – Reviving an Old Tradition to Work Around Autism

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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

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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

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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...]

More Thoughts on Balancing Appreciation of Good Days with Wanting Better Good Days

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I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude and good days since my last post, in which I reflected on Hamza’s Bismillah and the week afterwards with our family and Lil D, about being grateful for all that went well while still feeling unhappy about all Lil D missed. I am wondering that by the constant pursuit of “better good days,” am I hindering myself from appreciating what is good and peaceful about the moments at hand?Is there a danger in comparing good experiences with better ones when it c … [Read more...]

The Bismillah – Preserving Dignity in an Autism Life

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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...]


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