I Don’t Know – Three Bad Words in Autism Land

I think, today at least, that the three most frustrating words in Autism Land for a mom must be – “I don’t know.”Driving home today with Lil D after I picked him up from school (after the day he had, a bus ride home was out of the question), I called my husband and was telling him about the awfulness that had been escalating for the past five days. There were things happening similar to the horrible self-injurious behaviors, potty accidents, and withdrawal from the world that we had struggle … [Read more...]

Answering the Prayer of A Mother, A Traveler, and One Who is Fasting

Big day tomorrow. We’re off to the Washington, D.C. metro area for a follow up appointment with a specialist for Lil D.As we have traversed this panic-fueled, emotionally-laden path since last January to try and figure out why so many things had taken a turn for the worse with our 11-year-old son, why self-injurious behaviors and some OCD behaviors had taken over his life, why school and home life became so awful for him, our investigations led us from an in-hospital stay for  multiple te … [Read more...]

The Selfish Prayer and Fifth Grade Graduation

We ate cake tonight, baked and decorated by our daughter for her big brother. We were celebrating Lil D’s fifth graduation with cake and biryani, and although he had eaten his meal half an hour before and had since retreated upstairs, it was still a celebration. I served the cake to the family on a familiar square yellow platter, decorated with red and blue large dots and covered with Arabic and English writingBismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim -- In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Co … [Read more...]

Little Feet Meet – Relishing The Good Days with Special Needs

The field is abuzz with activity, as media trucks gather and high school students and organizers take to the grounds to lay out equipment, set up refreshment tables, make sure wheelchair ramps are in place and do a thousand other important pre-event activities. The sun is shining and temperatures begin to warm up – there’s not a hint of a cloud in the sky. The golf cart is brought to the field and takes a test turn around the track. Checklists are considered, and busses begin to rumble in, dis … [Read more...]

Hey Autism, Verily with Difficulty There is Ease

Spring break on the beach: Are we a couple of free-wheeling college students on Daytona Beach? Nah. We’re a family of five (seven with my in-laws included) who decided to come to a beach in South Carolina because it seemed the only place that everyone, especially our eldest son, would have some fun.The question asked of me by so many leading up to this trip was: What do you think will happen? Meaning, our family’s life -- in a way -- has been held hostage the past several months by the ext … [Read more...]

A Special Eid for Autistic and Special Needs Children

Anyone who tries to connect that divide between raising an autistic child and adhering to faith traditions knows what a difficult task that is. And I’m not talking about crisis of faith, about those “What is God’s plan? or “Why my child?” or “Will my prayers ever be answered?” type of problems. I’m talking about including special needs children in faith practices and in houses of worship.Whether the child is high-functioning, moderate, or severely autistic, whether he can talk or not, if he h … [Read more...]