Ali Family Autism Truths #27 – The Friends We Make Along the Way

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April 27, 2015, Autism Awareness Month, Autism Truths #27At a birthday party we attended yesterday, the theme was superheroes. The kids were running around in padded superhero costumes, some with capes flying out behind them as they darted in and out of the house, bobbing and weaving through the adults. Teenage girls, the friends of the birthday boy's older sister, were also decked out in teenage-versions of superhero costumes. They were giggling, laughing, taking selfies and scarfing down … [Read more...]

Ali Family Autism Truths #21 – The Most Vulnerable

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April 21, 2015 - Autism Awareness Month, Autism Truths #21When I picked up D today from school,, his lead teacher escorted him to my car (usually it's one of the teaching assistants). She tends to come out to the car line usually only to tell her students' parents something great that happened that day -- or something bad.Great, not bad, please -- I said to myself.She started with the great - D had a great day today. Did all his work very well, especially his work on the VAAPs … [Read more...]

Ali Family Autism Truths #5 – How Inclusive was Your Easter or Passover Service?

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April 5, 2015 – Autism Awareness Month, Ali Family Autism Truths #5 In private conversations with friends today, friends celebrating Easter or having celebrated Passover, we shared some of our frustrations in trying to participate in religious ceremonies and attend services at Houses of Worship with our autistic children. While many churches, synagogues (and even some mosques) and other Houses of Worship have made great strides in tailoring services for all in their congregation, or at the very … [Read more...]

Motherwhelmed and Wanting More

D happily  twirling beads around his Nanijan's (grandmother)'s finger

There are the articles, posts, op-eds and stories that the important ones. The BIG ones. The ones to affect change, get you thinking, expose a problem, right a wrong, grow awareness for a cause or situation, promote activism or convey a story that needs to be heard.Then there are the ones that are seemingly nothing – the sharing of a thought, an experience, a feeling. Take what you want from it. Maybe sharing it is just an exercise for the writer to get out what she is feeling in her brain a … [Read more...]

The Here and the Now

We sat and played scrabble on the futon in our “cozy” New York City apartment. She was a new bride, as was I. I was even more newly pregnant with our first child – just a few weeks and on bed rest. My husband was in his first year of residency and hers was interviewing for a residency position in the city, which was why she was spending the day with me. (Her husband’s parents and mine were friends.) We had that in common, and so between new marriage talk and other chit-chat, we passed the day ple … [Read more...]

The Non-Negotiables

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As the kids grow, especially with A entering in her tween-coming-into-teen-middle-school-years, our stories, struggles, challenges and joyful moments take on a different flavor. And what I’m able to share with you about those stories changes as well. Because even though A is as eager as ever to see herself in my writing and know that this story isn’t just her brother’s story (which it isn’t), I know there are things that she’d rather not have the whole world know.I’ve been thinking about non- … [Read more...]

Dear Pope Francis, Thanks for Bringing Love to Those with Autism

Photo courtesy of Associated Press.

I was sitting with a group of newcomers, reverts, new and old friends yesterday at a luncheon our halaqa (Islamic study group) had put together to reach out to anyone new to our community. In speaking with our small group about why we need to reach out to each other and stay connected, a sister in the group made an important observation (paraphrasing):It can be hard for reverts (converts to Islam) in our community. They can feel lost or disconnection. Not welcomed. The Christian community … [Read more...]


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