Equal is not the Same

The siblings massage Lil D's feet on the ride to his grandparents' house

Don’t let the dictionary fool you. Equal does not mean same. At least not when it comes to parenting. I’m sitting on the sofa helping my husband plan a special trip with our daughter for her spring break. A trip where just the two of them will go away to a cool city and spend four days enjoying each other’s company. He will leave the office and meetings and call schedules and family obligations behind, and get to know what is going on in her 10-year-old mind. And hopefully they’ll … [Read more...]

The Jenin Autism Project – Rock Star Siblings

Siblings make matching cards.

Melissa Diamond and the rest of the team are still in Jenin, in the West Bank of the Palestinian territory for the next few months working on “The Jenin Autism Project,” part of “A Global Voice for Autism.” They are there to help parents learn about autism and Applied Behavior Analysis and help connect them to other autism resources as well as building their own supportive network. They are blogging their experiences here to share their efforts in figuring out how to best help children … [Read more...]

Jenin Autism Project – A Word from Our Mothers

My friend Kitti South has come back to the U.S, but Melissa Diamond and the rest of the team are still in Jenin, in the West Bank of the Palestinian territory for the next few months working on “The Jenin Autism Project,” part of “A Global Voice for Autism.” They are there to help parents learn about autism and Applied Behavior Analysis and help connect them to other autism resources as well as building their own supportive network. They are blogging their experiences here to share their … [Read more...]

‘Ittefaq’ – Meant to Be

blue contact

I hugged my mom goodbye. Instead of our usual tight and brief hug, I went in for a long one, nestling my head into the crook of her neck, as I’ve done during the times I never wanted to let her go – when she was leaving to go back home after I had given birth to Hamza. Or when I had brought an infant Amal and a newly-autism-diagnosed Lil D to her home for post-partum recovery. Or after I had come home from the hospital after a devastating miscarriage, and she was waiting for me. The hug … [Read more...]

An Autism Unbound from the Rituals of Ramadan

Autism puzzle

In no way is he part of any of our Ramadan rituals. He does not get up for suhoor, the pre-dawn, pre-fast meal, because he is not obligated to fast nor can he tolerate fasting. And, to disrupt his sleep so that he could just join us at that early part of the morning would be asking for major trouble. He does not read the Quran (But we read it to him. He is nonverbal and can’t read English, let alone Arabic, but he can repeat an approximation of the shahada). He does not stand with his … [Read more...]

Autism, Childhood and the Perpetual Questions – A Sibling Speaks Up

holding_hands

How do the siblings of individuals with autism cope with the spectrum disorder's grip on their lives? When so much of a family's life revolves around the child with ASD, how do siblings feel about it all -- the questions from friends, having to leave parties early and a thousand other things? How do you handle going to the mosque when half of your family never comes because your brother cannot handle it and the community isn't the most welcoming? I wonder what my own two younger children feel in … [Read more...]

Loved and Loved Back

Daanish and Amal_soccer

The whole family came out for Amal’s soccer game on Saturday morning – Lil D, Hamza, my husband and myself. I can’t remember the last time we all went to one of her games or one of Hamza’s games. All of us. The kids have been playing with the Ansars soccer league for four years now, and many of these kids have been with Amal on teams since they were five and six years old. Playing with the Ansars is one thing I have tried my best not to compromise for Amal, and now Hamza, even when … [Read more...]


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