The Bittersweet

This is Day 29 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 29, 2017Dear Friends,The morning yes was spent at H’s elementary school for field day, volunteering at the frisbee-throwing station. Cute kindergartners, first graders and then second graders came through my station, taking turns throwing the frisbee into a goal. I cheered them on, laughed with them.On the opposite end of the field the tug-of-war battles were happening, as class by class lined up to compete against each other in a … [Read more...]

Dear Siblings – What is Your Role in our Family Autism Future?

This is Day 25 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 25, 2017Dear A and H and other autism siblings,Last night I was at a training seminar to learn about how to apply for SSI (supplemental security income, a form of social security) benefits for your brother once he nears the age of 18. There are a lot of things we need to do for him in the coming year as he approaches the age of majority – SSI, consider guardianship (apply in court to become his guardian and figure out what kind of gua … [Read more...]

Piecing Together the Puzzle of the Future – As a Family

This is Day 24 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 24, 2017Dear Family,I came home from a long medical appointment the other day and walked into the house. D and his Baba were sitting on the stairs – D behind his Baba, arms and legs wrapped around him. He was digging his chin into his Baba’s head, slapping him on the shoulders with his hands (rather hard) and literally covering him with the kind of affection you usually don’t see between a near-17-year-old and his Dad.As we are wo … [Read more...]

Dear Rock Star Autism Siblings – Five Pieces of Advice

This is Day Seven of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 7, 2017. This letter is written by 13-year-old "A," D's sister.Dear Rock Star Siblings,Hi! You might know me by the name of A – that’s what my mother likes to call me in her articles. I’m 13 years old, and I’m in eighth grade. I have two brothers, one who is nine and one who is nearly 17. My little brother is a hilarious goofball who never fails to make me laugh. He’s one of the biggest clowns I’ve ever met, and he has the most chi … [Read more...]

Which Truths Can be Shared, and Which can Only be Lived?

Which truths are we charged with sharing, and which truths must remain more quiet for the sake of the greater picture or, more importantly, one’s privacy?I was chatting with a friend today – someone I’ve “met” through my autism writing, who also writes extensively on autism, on life with her autistic son, on neurodiversity and other disability topics. I was telling her how difficult it is to lay one’s life bare and share intimate truths, day after day for 30 days.More so, what is difficul … [Read more...]

Conversations with Son H – Where He Lays Down Truths

Ali Family Autism Truths #12 - April 12, 2016Scene: At our kitchen table where eight-year-old H is doing his homework, and I am doing office work on my laptop:H: Hey Mamma?Me: Hey what?H: When did you know D bhai was autistic?Me: When he was very little. The doctor officially told us when he was three years old, but I knew a long time before that.H: Did you know when …Me: When what?H: Nevermind.Me: Tell me!H: Did you know D bhai was autistic when he was in … [Read more...]

Conversations with Daughter A: Laying Down Truths in School

Ali Family Autism Truths #7  April 7, 2016Scene: In the car, today, after I picked up daughter A (who is 12 years old) from school then drove over to get D from his school. The following conversation ensued. It’s not word for word accurate, but pretty much spot on.A: So there are these two girls in my gym class, and I don’t mean to be mean about them but …Me: What?A: They’re saying stuff about another boy in P.E. He has some sort of disability – I don’t think its autism – I don’t … [Read more...]