Fourteen

Usually you have the third row of the car all to yourself, but with your Nanajan (maternal grandfather) catching a ride with us, I’m sitting with you in the back, encroaching upon your space. But you don’t seem to mind. You are unexpectedly happy to have the company.So this is the perspective from where you sit every time. It’s bouncier back here, and though the people in the front – usually me and your Baba – are less than seven feet in front of you, somehow we seem far away, our voices muff … [Read more...]

Praying for Ramadan Blessings and a Respite from Ramadan Despair in Autismland

Daanish on the RV

On a brilliant sunny afternoon, when the potted plants are certifiably glinting with shine and promise on my deck, when there is a buzz permeating the house as my children and my father-in-law eagerly wait for the evening so they can look for the moon in anticipation of the start of Ramadan, one would think that excitement and hopefulness would be the mainstays our collective family mood.And they are – for everyone else. And to an extent, I am excited too. I’m about ready to launch a great “3 … [Read more...]

Eligibility Where it Matters Most

Search For Solution

Have you read the report, Mrs. Ali?Do you have any questions?One by one, they asked me these two questions – regarding the observation report, speech and language evaluation, education report and the newest one – a functional vision assessment. (We waived the need to do a psychology evaluation this time, as everyone on the team agreed nothing had changed in that area.)Yes, I have read the report.No, I don’t have any questions.(I have a million questions, but none of them perta … [Read more...]

Envious of Each Other’s Struggles and the Place I Need to Be

Daanish through the window

How will they know they are accepted by Allah? When the joy from their blessings and the trouble and despair from their afflictions are the same to them. -- paraphrased from a saying of Rabiah al Basri - a sahabi (companion) of the Prophet Muhammad (saw).The Facebook statuses I am reading today, this Jummah (Friday) are so very real and raw and honest. Several friends who are in Jerusalem and tried to get to Masjid al Aqsa for Friday prayers wrote about how men under the age of 45 were de … [Read more...]

Bismillah and the Road Less Traveled

bismillah

Bismillah-hir-rahman-hir-rahim.In the name of God, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.In the name of the One who is the most charitable, the most helpful, the most mercy-giving, the most generous, compassionate, forgiving, gracious, kindhearted, forbearing, lenient and sympathetic.I’ve been thinking about this phrase, Bismillah, and how Muslims invoke it at the start of any new endeavor, when faced with any big trial, when placing forth any effort, any step and well, anything. We … [Read more...]

Ali Family Autism Truths for Autism Awareness Month – The Last Ten

Daanish and Mama holding hands

The blank screen on my phone stared back at me, waiting for me to write the last Ali Family Autism Truth on the last day of April -- Autism Awareness Month. I was at a blank. How do I sum things up? Is that even possible? Because there is no summation to Lil D's life with autism, or our life with him. It's ongoing, and just because April was ending didn't mean our autism truths were ending. Autism doesn't end like that.The last ten days of truths left me anxious, because there was so much to … [Read more...]

Autism Doesn’t End Like That

A rare moment of holding hands as we leave his school.

So much -- and so little -- can happen in 30 days.The woods that spread out from our house are coming to life, with branches going from winter-bare to being covered in lush green. Spring is finally ushering its way in. I sat on our deck on April 2 – World Autism Day – devastated after a heartbreaking day of shocking news about you, and I watched you play. You swung back and forth on the hammock and jumped with abandon on our trampoline. The silence of our neighborhood was punctured by the hap … [Read more...]


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