Ali Family Autism Truths #20 – To Just Be Present

D lying in my lap.

April 20, 2015, Autism Awareness Month, Autism Truths #20 He grows sleepy, trying to find a comfortable position in the uncomfortable waiting-room chair as the medicine takes it's effect. I put his head on my shoulder, but in a few seconds he moves it away. I put my arm around him so he can lean on it, but he shrugs away. D's never been one to lean on anyone too much. He seeks out foot pressures and back rubs sometimes, but more often he shrugs our hand away. The sleepiness is coming in waves … [Read more...]

Moment-to-Moment

moment

By 11:30 p.m. last night, the only two people left awake in our home were Lil D and me. The kids had gone off to bed much earlier, and their Baba had gone to sleep as well with the prospect of being woken up all night long by calls from the hospital where he worked. It had been a rough day and a rough evening with a pocket of calmness in between – like a comforting sandwich filling couched between two bad, bad pieces of bread.And yet we had to eat it, digest it, and work with it. A bad day th … [Read more...]

Words Matter in Autism Land and Beyond

words matter

One might call me a pushover – my husband often does, saying that I’d rather keep quiet and not ruffle any feathers, except when it comes to Lil D. And even with him, in forging relationships with his teachers, therapists, aides, caregivers, bus drivers and bus aides, babysitters and everyone else throughout the years, my approach has been to win them and teach them with kindness, firmness and openness.To try and be open-minded as to what they feel and know in their relationships with Lil D, … [Read more...]

The Charity of Messy Drawers

drawers

We went back and forth on it for months. I’d try to down play it, hide that it annoyed the heck out of me too, so that the husband wouldn’t fixate on it. But the fact was that this habit of Lil D’s just continued unabated, no matter what we tried.In the grand scheme of autism things, it’s nothing big – he is constantly opening and slamming drawers, taking something out of one and dropping it in another. And anything he finds on any surface area of the house goes into some drawer. We have fork … [Read more...]

It was Everything

Lil D and his therapist in the pool.

On our sixth (fifth, or was it the seventh? Who knows? I’ve given up counting) snow day, when it was deemed too unsafe for busses to drive kids to school but I could drive and other desperate parents who needed to get to work or just get their kids out of the house could drive – I pulled my car out onto our unshoveled driveway and uttered a prayer out loud:Please God. Please. Please. Please. Please. Throw me a bone. Let him enjoy this. Let him have a good time. Let things go smoothly. Let it … [Read more...]

Deserving Respect

holding-on

So many things are different now.So many.And though I know that parenting is a journey, and we learn from our early selves and fine-tune our methods as the years progress, that we make many mistakes, and that sometimes mistakes need to be made for us to learn and grow – but that doesn’t lessen the guilt or heartache that I wish I had known then what I know better now.That as important as it is to teach Lil D how to do things he doesn’t very well want to do, or navigate situations he d … [Read more...]

What is the Gift in All This?

Photo by DeAnna Nicole Photography

Sometimes the memories resurface with such veracity so as to take my breath away with the pain and utter helplessness I have tried to bury. Maybe we are not meant to forget our worst times. Maybe they are to be reminders so that we appreciate everything better that comes before and after, even when that better doesn’t seem good enough.I am sitting on our sofa in our family room settling in to watch some TV. The kids have gone to bed under protest. The house is quiet and I’ve turned the fir … [Read more...]


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