Eligibility Where it Matters Most

Search For Solution

Have you read the report, Mrs. Ali?Do you have any questions?One by one, they asked me these two questions – regarding the observation report, speech and language evaluation, education report and the newest one – a functional vision assessment. (We waived the need to do a psychology evaluation this time, as everyone on the team agreed nothing had changed in that area.)Yes, I have read the report.No, I don’t have any questions.(I have a million questions, but none of them perta … [Read more...]

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Lil D and his sister walking together.

Last night, after dinner, with my in-laws out visiting my sister-in-law and my husband upstairs putting our youngest to bed, I drew the curtains on the world and called Lil D to join me on the family room sofa. Amal was already there, nose buried in a Nancy Drew mystery. And Lil D came bounding up the stairs. Seeing me on the sofa, no phone in hand, no laptop open nearby – his face lit up.I could almost hear the thoughts in his head: Ahhhh Mamma. We’re going to chill now. No dis … [Read more...]

Heart of Gold

heart of gold

One child needed help understanding the terms of the scientific process when conducting an experiment. Then she needed help with calculations based on absolute numbers. Then another needed help with estimation problems in math. The six-year-old needed to be scolded to get back to coloring his patterns. Another child wanted me to explain what “setting” meant when writing a story. Still another needed to be quizzed for a reading comprehension test. And the eldest, who was prepping for his upcoming … [Read more...]

Ingratitude in the Face of Gratitude – the Autism Oxymoron

Daanish adn Dilshad nose to nose

I finally broke at 1:02 a.m. this morning – July 26, on the 17th fast of Ramadan the day before our big trip. The deluge began with this text to one of my best friends:“I am so sad to leave Lil D. Eff autism. Not fasting right now – I can say that, right?”To which my friend replied, “I’ve been waiting for this text …”And I answered, “Eff eff eff eff eff autism. He should be coming with me. … I should not be leaving my son for a month. … I’m feeling like a bad mom …”And we went bac … [Read more...]

An Autism Report Card

report card

After years upon years of scrutinizing progress reports and hashing out (and assessing) IEPs (individualized education plan – what special education students have written for them in lieu of following a set school curriculum), I got Lil D’s year-end report card today with percentages listed for his final grades.These percentages translate to letter grades. My son has never received letter grades in his life, as his IEPs have addressed the most basic of academic skills with a heavy emphasis on … [Read more...]

In Autism Land, Who is the ‘Kismat-Wali’ (One with Good Fate)?

Daanish smiling

There is a phrase in Urdu – kismat-wali – meaning one who has good fate, who is blessed, very much like the word “kismet.” My mother-in-law called me kismat-wali. She is visiting her daughter these days, who has five children, works full-time and has leads an incredibly busy life. The classic Super Mom – that’s my sister-in-law. After spending some time with her and seeing how much she manages between the kids, her teaching job, cooking and housework, my mother-in-law remarked that I am a kis … [Read more...]

The Long (Bus) Ride Home

school bus

Amongst the many, many prayers I say in my daily salat and scatter throughout the day, today’s important prayer is for the bus – Lil D’s bus ride. He is riding the bus home today, for the first time in nearly six months. And I am, for the lack of a better adjective, anxious.Lil D has been a bus rider for most years of his school life – from when he first started going to [an autism] school fulltime in New York City (Manhattan) at the tender age of three, to the five years he spent in public s … [Read more...]


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