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...]

30 Ali Family Autism Truths for Autism Awareness Month – The First 10


April is Autism Awareness Month. And as much as individuals with autism and those in the autism community feel that we are waaaaaaay beyond awareness and must be focused on action, I've come to realize in my nearly three years of chronicling our autistic son's (and our family's) life -- there is still so much people don't know or understand. For those who do not directly know someone with autism, they are still so unaware.Unaware about what it means to be autistic, what sorts of challenges … [Read more...]

Life Goes On


They prayed for my son at Friday prayers last week.Another milestone I never imagined would’ve happened as part of our parent-child journey. But life goes on.It seems altogether wrong and disloyal and nonsensical that life should be going on. We sat in the waiting room of the doctor’s office last week, making nervous small talk with my parents while we waited for the doctor to come out and give us Lil D’s test results. Husband and I had run through the scenarios in our head, from best cas … [Read more...]

You are Enduring Love

Dilshad and Daanish falls shot

My darling boy,The sun is shining and the air is warm with the scents and sounds of a spring most awaited. You are swinging in the hammock in the backyard, spinning your beads on a twig with your hoodie pulled over your head and sunglasses perched on your face. God, you are handsome.It seems fitting that on today, World Autism Day 2014, we have come to a point in our autism journey where the path has played a cruel, cruel trick on us. Where there seems to be no alternate route, where the … [Read more...]

Do You Remember 13?

Lil D through the window

Do you remember 13? Seventh grade or eight grade maybe? A mixture of hormones, uncertainty, a growing sense of self and figuring out how to fit in with the right friends without compromising your true self? And what is that true self? Is it growing out of what your parents taught you, or is it developing independently apart from the external influences in your life?Do you remember 13? Not wanting to hang around your family all the time, wanting to be out of the house more, but you aren’t old … [Read more...]

Words Matter in Autism Land and Beyond

words matter

One might call me a pushover – my husband often does, saying that I’d rather keep quiet and not ruffle any feathers, except when it comes to Lil D. And even with him, in forging relationships with his teachers, therapists, aides, caregivers, bus drivers and bus aides, babysitters and everyone else throughout the years, my approach has been to win them and teach them with kindness, firmness and openness.To try and be open-minded as to what they feel and know in their relationships with Lil D, … [Read more...]