Ali Family Autism Truths #21 – The Most Vulnerable

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?

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

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

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

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...]

I Plan, God Laughs

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” -- Corrie ten BoomA soft plush white ball. A small turquoise blue-striped oblong pillow. A puppy-dog pillow pet. A fuzzy throw that is supposed to be draped on our sofa. These are the four go-to’s for D when he is feeling unwell or his anxiety is up, and he needs to stuff something up his shirt.Usually the signs are clear and indicative of the level of his anxiety or well-being. The arms go in the shirt. The hood goes up on his … [Read more...]