Conversations with D

Ali Family Autism Truths #29 – April 29, 2016Setting: In our Kitchen one evening. I have made brownies, and they are cooling on the counter. Everyone has eaten dinner, and D is drawn back to the kitchen by the smell of something heavenly. He comes up to me, standing at the counter, and pushes his face close to make eye contact – a rarity. It means something important if he leans in to look you straight in the eye. Otherwise, eye-to-eye contact is difficult for him. Overwhelming, I sus … [Read more...]


In passing by the bathroom where D was showering, my niece remarks, he sure sings a lot in the shower. Yes, he does. D sings, he hums, he makes sounds and gets up in your face with a loud, fast cacophony of babbles when he is trying so hard to convey something to you. His face comes close to yours as if to say – don’t you get what I’m trying to say? Understand me.We, his closest loved ones, know the lilt, strength, cadence, tone, melody and volume of his sounds so well. The satisfactory noise … [Read more...]

Ali Family Autism Truths #8 – To be Known, Understood

April 8, 2015 – Autism Awareness Month, Ali Family Autism Truths #8 As I write this, you lie next to me, the sleepiness finally hitting you with gentle waves, silencing the sounds you make and bringing stillness to your ever-moving limbs. You watch me type, seeing the words flow on this screen, and I wonder if you're reading what I'm writing. Maybe you can read. Maybe. There is so much I still don't know about you, about all you may be able to do. If you are reading this, I wonder -- are you ok … [Read more...]

Ali Family Autism Truths # 3 – Spinning in Circles

April 3, 2015 - Autism Awareness Month, Day Three of Ali Family Autism Truths"A" came with me today when I went to pick up D from school. She and her little brother, H, had half-days, as Spring Break has now begun. With H off to Jummah prayers with his grandparents, A kept me company on my afternoon drive. The other kids rarely come with me when I get D. They're both coming home on busses at that time themselves. So it was a little disconcerting to A to see her older bro pulling his arms … [Read more...]

What Would He Say?

My friend tagged me in a post on Facebook – a beautiful video made of moms being asked how they would describe themselves as mothers. And in the snippets aired, the moms all talked about things they didn’t like about themselves as parents, or wanted to improve:Be more patience.Think before speaking.Be more confident as a mother.Then, the moms were brought back to watch videos of their children describing them. And here, the way the children viewed their mothers conveyed what was s … [Read more...]

I Don’t Feel Well

I felt it coming on Friday – that tickle in my throat that I knew would get big if I didn’t nip it in the bud, fast. And though I started my usual cold-averting tricks, spending 1.5 hours outside under the lights Friday evening at Hamza’s soccer game as I screamed and cheered him on didn’t help my throat any.By the end of the night, the throat was hurting. Hurting bad. Salt-water gargles, Airborne, medicine, hot tea with ginger and honey, turmeric in milk – I dug into my arsenal. But it got w … [Read more...]

I Want ‘More’

You ever have those moments where your love for your children surges up like a tidal wave, drowning you in overwhelming warmth and sweetness? It could be the most mundane thing, but in that moment, your love for your child is so clear and pure and strong that it almost hurts.It happens when Hamza comes home from school yelling “Mama!” because he is so excited to see me and tell me about something that happened that day. Shoes full of mulch from the playground, fingers dirty, his nose needing … [Read more...]