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...]

#IStandWithAhmed – Parenting Black Kids, Parenting Brown Kids, Parenting Muslim Kids

Counting to ten isn’t going to help today. Maybe counting to ten thousand. I’m not sure about that either.We are affected by that which is close to us. That which we identify with. That in which we see ourselves. It’s just the way it is, which is why I struggle to get more people to care about autism and the needs and rights of those living with special needs and disabilities.We know this life inside and out. And so my younger two kids know autism because their oldest brother is autis … [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...]

No Matter How Hard the Living in Autism Land, We All Deserve to Live.

Let’s start by saying this:Human life has value. It has worth and meaning. No matter how hard a struggle one’s life may be, no matter how tough things get for the one living his life and secondly for others who are helping that person to live his life -- life is precious. We all have the right to live, a right that no one should ever take away.London McCabe deserved to live. As did Jude Mirra. Isabelle Stapleton, who survived a murder attempt by her mother, also deserves to live her lif … [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...]