Lessons in Autism Land – Less of the Doing, More of the Listening

This is Day 18 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 18, 2017.Dear D,Teach me your ways, oh son of mine. Teach me how you wake up every morning when I call your name, push the heavy blankets off you and face your day.There is never a Salaamualaikum, Mamma, or even a sleepy, mumbled ‘sup as you stumble down the hall into the bathroom. Just silence as you get up and get going with your day and your morning routine. Your sister slams her door shut to ready herself for school in pri … [Read more...]

Dear Parents – Do the Work

This is Day 17 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 17, 2017.Dear Autism Parents (Is that even a thing? Can we say that?)The only way you’re going to figure this out is to start talking, sharing and connecting. A lot of you have come to me over the years to ask about different therapies, government supports, medical treatments, where to find doctors, where to find spiritual support and on and on and on.I wish there was a one-stop shop, an Autism Super Store, if you will, that cou … [Read more...]

Dear Future Self – What Is Our Family’s Autism Future?

This is Day 14 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 14, 2017.Dear Future Self,I would like to know you so much.I would not like to know you.Like many a parent of an autistic child, a large part of my brain and mental self is consumed by thoughts of the future, specifically D’s future, what it will look like, our places in that future and what all it will entail.It shapes nearly everything I do or plan to do; it shapes most research and all-consuming thoughts I have. This pa … [Read more...]

Dads, Sons and the Sweet Secrets that Bind Them

This is Day 13 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 13, 2017. This guest post is written by D's Dad, otherwise known as "Baba."Dear Dads,One of the biggest dilemmas we face as parents of autistic children is trying to find things, material things, toys and activities that our kids really enjoy. I was mentioning to my wife the other day that D is almost 17 and has never verbally asked me for a specific toy or game. He has never verbally requested a movie, a dream vacation, a cruise or a … [Read more...]

A Trump Presidency – Conversations with our Children

Last night (in my opinion) ended badly.This morning started badly. I had to do what millions of parents who were not in favor of a Trump presidency were doing: Break the news to my kids. It did not go over well.We get small pockets of time with our children to explain tough things, times when they are open to hearing us and absorbing our words. You look for those times and dive in when you see it. Quickly enough, the window closes.I dove into the window with my daughter this morning, … [Read more...]

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...]

On the Front Lines of Autism, Not Terrorism

Like millions of other Americans (and global citizens), my husband, daughter and I gathered together to watch the first of the 2016 presidential debates between Republican candidate Donald J. Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary R. Clinton. A mere ten minutes into it though, I was ready to check out.Not because I was fed up or frustrated with the debate, but because it was approaching D’s bedtime. So I headed to his room to hang out with him until he was fully sleepy and ready to call it a … [Read more...]