Khalid has a dream

Khalid rather causally informed me that he once a had dream that he was the illegitimate heir of both Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos. And I’m not sure what’s funnier, the biological impossibility or Khalid’s usage of the exact phrase “illegitimate heir” in describing it. And this from a kid who wasn’t promised to talk…

Are you my daughter-in-law?

A young woman with Down’s Syndrome (who has been baking for a long ole time already) gets rejected from too many bakery jobs. So she opens her own bakery. This video made me cry for so many reasons. I’m scared of what my son’s future will hold. I know that him being rejected over and…

News

I’ve got news and you get to decide which category you want to put it in. See, if you live in Dubai, then you’ll consider that we’re moving to be bad news.  If you live in Dallas though, then you’ll think it’s pretty good news, because that’s where we’re headed InshaAllah.  It is official.  I…

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

As part of our homeschooling exercises, I give Khalid written questions to answer about stories we’ve read.  This was his terse, and entirely pragmatic response to the epic tale of Peter Rabbit. 🙂 Who is Peter Rabbit? He was the rabbit who robbed Mr.McGregor’s garden.   What did his mother tell Peter Rabbit and his…

Caution: Rant Ahead

The mechanism of autism is unknown, and that’s ok. Research takes time, especially when you’re talking about complex neurological disorders. We- the people who have to manage autism behaviorally before it can either be prevented or effectively treated- find meaning in our role in making the lives of children better before we can make their…

Sometimes, I love autism :)

Last week or so- HF decided that we were going to stay up super late (or some of us, nap super late) and then go out and watch the Geminid meteor shower with the Dubai Astronomy Club.  I thought it was a lovely idea.  The grand reveal to the children went something like this: HF:…

This is NOT complaining

This is an elaborate status update that you didn’t ask for.  But it’s not complaining. I’ve been cat-sitting for my sister’s cats for a week or so now, and they follow me from room to room mewling expectantly.   Whenever I sit down to work they loll all over the keyboard, chew the wires, yowl…

By the steeds, choo choo!

Autism has its pros and cons- and boy does it ever have its cons- but SubhanAllah, it really has its pros. Khalid doesn’t just like dinosaurs, he likes reading about them, and he doesn’t just read stories, he reads encyclopedias.  And he’s not just reading encyclopedias, he is memorizing them- word for word, page by…

Sweetness.

At nine in the morning, Khalid came and asked if he could borrow my phone. I told him yes, but he HAD to wake me up at 9:40, because I had a doctor’s appointment to get to. I have bronchitis so I’ve been stealing some extra snoozes in the morning. Khalid agreed, took my phone,…

Some milestones are funnier than others

And Khalid hit a new one this week, all by himself.  He wrote, directed, and narrated his first independent documentary film.  And he did it on my phone without telling me, and it almost got deleted because I had no idea what it was.  But here it is.  Khalid’s first documentary ever.  Transcript available in…

A happy dance

Coming home, coming home! HF is coming home! After roughly two weeks abroad for work, HF is coming home in three hours.  I told Khalid that Baba would be home by the next morning.  Khalid’s response was: “Oh, I think I will jump all day at school!” “Does that mean you’re excited?” “Yeah!” Me too…

Today the barber, tomorrow- the moon!

This video offers advice for hairstylists to help give children with autism less traumatising haircuts.  I really wish it had been produced four years ago.  Getting Khalid’s hair cut used to be as terrible for the stylist as it was for him, and he’d cry so hard he would vomit and/or soil himself.  Khalid would end up…

How to melt momma with happiness

Khalid: Momma, what does the word “hang out” mean? Me: To hang out? That means to spend time together talking and enjoying someone’s company. Khalid: Okay, right. Can we hang out? Me: I’d love to. 🙂 Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah.

And I quote

Khalid: Momma, when I die…? Me: (putting my drink down slowly) Yes Khalid? Khalid: And my body goes into the earth…? Me: Yes? Khalid: Will people remove my fossils and put them in a museum? Me: No dear, they won’t. Khalid: Why not? Me: Because you’re not a dinosaur dear. _____ Iman: (is looking through…

Enunciation, The Sequel

Khalid and I are in his doctor’s office for a visit, and we make a bathroom stop.  I carefully hand Khalid my purse and a folder of papers. I’m a little nervous, but I want Khalid to get this right. Me: Khalid, I am going to use the bathroom.  I would like you to please…

Next time I’ll enunciate?

Khalid, Iman and I stop in to use the restroom before I swing by a legal office to pick up some papers for work. I am holding a large, black leather document binder with fancy official paperwork inside. Me: Khalid, I would like to use the bathroom, would you watch this for me please? Khalid:…

Gorgeously *Normal*

Me: Khalid, can you give Musfira one of your chips please? -Khalid looks into bag- Khalid: I’m sorry, I don’t have any more. Me: (Sappy happy grin) **** Khalid: Did you know, the trains in Train Conductor 2 run in New York! Me: New York? Khalid: Yeah, not old York, New York.  That’s funny! Me:…

Homeschooling: We are now.

I’m worried about Khalid.  He hasn’t been feeling well these past few days, and his tolerance for things has been reduced to almost zero. Can’t find train? Sob. Don’t like color of cereal? Sob. Don’t want to greet guest? Sob. Thomas the Tank engine dubbed in Arabic? MELTDOWN. When we ask him questions, he doesn’t…

One of the upsides to autism

Last week over breakfast, Khalid sneezed and then said: “Alhamdulillah.  Momma, now you say- Yarhamakullah, and then I say yahdeekumAllahu wa yuslihu balakum.” You can stare blankly for a moment.  That’s what I did, and then I realized- he’s been reading through every page of the Dua Kids application on my iPhone, and as usual-…

Alhamdulillah for ABA

One of the reasons why I am so grateful for Khalid’s autism is ABA- Applied Behavior Analysis.  In the context of teaching a child with autism, ABA can be broken down in to two core concepts: 1)      The teaching of tasks from simple to complex 2)      The reinforcement of correct behavior and extinction of incorrect…

A parenthetical sigh

I don’t know if I’m cut out for this whole autism advocacy thing.  For all the bright, informative, grinning I do, I still go home and feel absolutely hopeless about autism and what it’s doing to an entire generation of children, their families, their siblings.  This isn’t an issue of faith to me- but of…

Water and Oil. Autism and Iron.

So it’s been a little over two month’s since I’ve updated, which may be the longest I’ve ever gone in the history of this blog.  Ever.  I have an excuse. Well, I have a whole bunch of excuses, so let’s throw some at the wall and see if any of them stick. The dog ate…

And I quote…

(I’m in my room making dua after maghrib prayers, and Khalid discovers me) Khalid: Momma, are you hiding? Me: No, I’m just making dua. (He smiles at me) Me: Hey Khalid, I love you. Khalid: I know. (I kiss Khalid’s head) Khalid: Oh, you’re being good! Me: Thank you.

Om-Nom!

Well, Khalid is back at his old school and Iman is happy to be going along with him. I’ve yet to visit the old school and formalize their removal, but I’ll definitely be doing so- especially since we paid half the fees in advance! Khalid was immediately happier back in familiar settings- the first day…

Fifth Time’s the Charm?

School number four says they cannot offer Khalid the learning support he needs. I say I already provide the support he needs, he comes with not just a shadow, but an ABA therapist. They say their decision is final. I wonder how they decided they couldn’t provide Khalid with the support he needs without ever…

Ouch

Dear Ms. Khalid’s Mom, Unfortunately we are not able to accommodate Khalid this year, academically he fits in for Foundation Stage 2 but will require learning support assistance due to behavior and concentration age related expectations.  According to the age related assessment Khalid understood the questions that were asked by the teacher however did not…

(Too cool for school)

The hunt continues to find Khalid a suitable English-speaking school that is autism-friendly, uses sound behavior reinforcement principles (rather than education through intimidation) and doesn’t cost an arm, a leg, two kidneys and your left earlobe.  I’ve been to three schools just today, dragging Khalid and Joy along for the ride and leaving a trail of…

In a nutshell

Khalid fell down and busted his head on the corner of the wall.  Stood him up and said Khalid, did you hit your head?  With blood pouring down his face he answers: No.   No tears, no crying.  Rocking in pain, but outright denial because he refuses to acknowledge things he finds uncomfortable.  He’s an…

I *heart* Islam

One of the most difficult things for me, in running AutismUAE, is trying to escape from being thanked or praised by the parents of children we help via our therapists.  I don’t mind being cried on, but once people start telling me how great/awesome/cosmic I am, I really start to squirm.  I feel guilty, because…

Darn you, Pixar

Khalid has a hard time expressing himself, which is very common for a person with autism.  We’ve learned to keep a closer eye on him, to looks for signs of things that he may not be able to tell us.  Today, for example, when Iman started bawling and saying that Khalid bit her, I checked…

A First, but Probably not a Last

This afternoon Khalid requested ‘momma’s kemtooter,’ so as I was heading out for a meeting, I came to turn my laptop on and log in for him so he can play games.  My computer has been password protected for a few months now, roughly since Iman realized she could drag, drop, and delete icons from…

Khalid’s first blog: Dictated by Khalid himself.

My name is Khalid. I am five years old. I like strawberry milk juice. My sister is Iman. My baba is sitting. My momma is sitting on the sofa. Miss Taleen is big. Miss Hind is big. Swish milk. Joy and Iman are in the house. Iman is late. Couting 123! 1 2 3 4…

Last Day of April

It’s been over two and a half years since I was thrown into the deep end of autism parenting and just over six months since I started AutismUAE, and while it’s impossible to say that you’ve heard it all, one can assume that they’ve heard a fair amount.  But nothing I had ever heard before…

Knee-high Theology

So I’m home again in Dubai, 32 weeks pregnant and horribly sick- I’ve spent the last four days more asleep than awake, if you can count passing out punctuated by coughing myself silly as sleeping.  Today I get to see an ENT finally, Alhamdulillah.  We’re getting ready to pack the kids into the car and…

April is Autism Awareness Month!

Because it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t slather my blog in as much autism as my daily life is slathered in, this month, I intend to post as much as possible about autism.  Whether you want me to or not. :p  So here I go. 🙂 First of all, there’s this picture gallery of…