Posted by: myautisticmuslimchild | January 11, 2013

Moving to a website

My dear readers and followers. I am happy to announce that this blog is moving to a website http://myautisticmuslimchild.com/ All the post will stay here for your convenience, but I will not be posting any new posts here. Please follow me on the other site, it is easy to subscribe.
Also, if you have a cause to advertise, or an organization on this website feel free to contact me on the email following.. aminsawakening@gmail.com. I hope to see you all at my website, and feel free to give me your advice about the new site. I transferred all my posts onto the new site, as well as posted two new pots there too. one from a guest UmIbrahim , and the other is from me.
Thank you all for being here for me and hope to continue our friendship.

Posted by: myautisticmuslimchild | November 30, 2012

The 30 Days Journey…. Day#30 NHBPM

Day # 30, Recap NHBPM.

First of all I wanted to thank WEGO Health for the challenge.  It was such a great experience writing every day and reading about other health issues as well. I was able to see, that I am not alone advocating, taking care of another person with some sort of illness or disability. I understood that we all encounter difficulties in different shapes and forms, and it is not just me who has ups and downs.

30 posts in 30 days enabled me to learn about other diseases, disorders, and peek into those people’s life. The experience was really an eye opener, and made me realize that  there are so much out there I do not know about, and so many people struggling in a daily basis, yet they are still able to put a smile on their face,

When I signed up I was very excited, but later on I  started to doubt myself if I will have time to  even do  half of what it is required. 30 days later here I am, I stayed on track and delivered every post on time every day. It was a sort of reassurance for myself that I can make the time to do this. Another driving force for me was to speak about autism  which is so close to my heart.

The prompts were really awesome, and it provided all of us with an opportunity to show our cause in a different light. We can all see diversity here, yet there are much similarities at a same time.

I personally experienced some truly amazing encounters with the readers of my blog. For example, writing about life and death brought me much of the private messages inquiring about my son’s health. This showed me how much others care about my son. The post about “letter to  the cause I am advocating for”, allowed my closest friends to understand my every day life. I knew them for years, yet they admit they had no idea how I feel ,and what is our life about. Our friendship got stronger because of this mutual understanding.

My post from yesterday, where I wrote about what I wanted to accomplish in 2013 brought me a possibility that I may in fact achieve that goal before 2013 even starts.

My lists of benefits can go on and on regards to WEGO health NHBPM challenge. Thank you WEGO health for making it possible for me to express my thoughts, ideas, experiences, fears and hopes about my life, and my children’s life. In a course of this event, I discovered many more positive attributes of  my kids and the writers who participated. I met some truly amazing, strong, kind smart people in a process, so this month was certainly a very fruitful month for me and my family.

Looking forward to another invitation with you all, and I wish WEGO health, and all of its contributors, best of health. Keep up all the advocacy, because you all do make a huge difference in someone’s life. Until the next time take care.

Posted by: myautisticmuslimchild | November 29, 2012

My Wish… A Friend For My Son… Day # 29 NHBPM

Day # 29 NHBPM at WEGO health, I chose the prompt, “If I could accomplish one thing (anything) in 2013 it would be…”   

There are many wishes for me, but one stands out that could qualify for a miracle, but still more reachable than any other of my prayers. If I could accomplish one thing in 2013, it would be finding a good friend for my ASD son Amin.

He had a wonderful friend back in Florida, his name is Brandon. They were close in age, they were in a same class room mostly, and they just became friends. They even got into trouble together. I loved that little boy along with his wonderful parents, and I know Amin deeply cared about him as well. Many times Amin sings this song from Yogi Bear movie “you are my best friend and I love you Brendon”. He never sang that song before , only after we left Florida. Every time I hear that song it brings tears into my eyes, knowing he misses him.

Every time we walk and passed by kids and he looks at them, and they won’t even look at him or just make a remark about him,  it breaks my heart into million pieces over and over again. I see the look on his face how much he want to be included, and he knows he is rejected. I see it in his eyes, his facial expression changes, he looks so sad, and it is painful.

I tried many times to find him a friend , a playmate but so far I am unsuccessful.

So if I can accomplish anything in 2013 or even sooner that time, I would like to find him a friend. A person who will love him like Brandon did, or even more, who cares about him , and who can overlook his awkward moments.

Who can kick and throw balls with him, run around with him, laugh and play with him. Who can be there for him when others making fun of his condition, or shortcomings, who can be  patient with him until he figures out how to do certain things. I would love to have another Brandon there for him to feel that someone else, other than mommy loves to play and have fun with him, so he knows that not everyone is rejecting him.

This may seem very minor to others, but friendship is important to all human beings. We are social creatures, and strive to be with others. Although ASD kids are not that social, but they still have the needs to be around people.

My heart aches to see him being alone, to see him I am the only one he can go to the playground with, and the look on his face is heart breaking when he sees the other kids having fun.

So my mission this year and 2013 to find a friend for him, to see him being happy and carefree, and wanting to go out to play with someone who cares about him, even when his homework is not done. I want him to feel true friendship all over again, where he can express himself once more, and create lifetime memories with his little friend.

 

Posted by: myautisticmuslimchild | November 28, 2012

Combat the Haters Day#28 NHBP

Day # 28,chose the prompt ” Write about how you deal with mean comments / trolls / snake oil / or bullies”

“Haters are the people who will broadcast your failures and whisper your success.” (Will Smith)

This quote is all so familiar to me, and experienced it a lot.

I always been very sensitive, but after my son’s diagnosis for a while I was in tears on a daily basis due to cruel and ignorant comments about my son and  my parenting style. It seemed that regardless what I do, it is not good enough for people. I felt like I was singled out, and started to doubt myself as a mother.

It did not take long to realize that my life can not continue this way, and I need to stand up for myself in order to protect my kids, as well as to show good example  to both of my children not to put up with bullies.

I developed a new attitude “ignore the ignorant”. Slowly, I was able to differentiate between constructive criticism, ignorance and haters. I started using  the positive criticisms to build up my knowledge, to strengthen my parental skills , I found patience to either ignore the ignorant, or if I had time educate them about autism, and finally I was able to dismiss all the haters and their comments

This ability helped me to be able to concentrate on my children much better, get my emotional state balanced, and feel more confident about my parenting skills. I realized  that no one is perfect,  we can strive for that perfection we are seeking, and in the process just do our very best. I recognized the importance of taking care of myself as well, because giving everything for the children will not benefit them long-term.

Slowly but surely we balanced our life to the point that we can combat any “attack” that we may encounter. This doesn’t mean that I am immune to those cruel remarks.  Over the years I developed a “thicker skin”, and learned to joke about some of the painful comments that I come across. I realized these things will never go away, people will bully, or make ignorant statements, ask stupid, offensive questions. The key to a peaceful life is not to react to these encounters, but to try to combat it in a positive, constructive way. Being firm and confident  in what I do is helping me to teach my children not to be harmed by anyone, or to be afraid to stand up for themselves or others who might be bullied.

My typical 10 yrs old daughter had many occasions to prove to others that they should not mess with her or her brother. She became a confident strong little girl. My son needs help since he can not defend himself with words nor actions.

I recognize that I had way too many sleepless nights, and wasted many days paying attention to those who are not worthy, and have less tolerance, education and patience than I. Words hurt, just as much as physical encounters. We need to choose our words carefully, and stop judging others according to what we see. We don’t see the whole picture ever, since we are not living that other person’s life, so before we judge we need to get our facts straight.

Furthermore, I might not be perfect and that amusing you, but trust me you are not perfect in everything either.

Bullies and haters even ignorant people did not break me down after all, but they made me stronger, made me strive for higher standard in life. I am glad I can say that I never lowered myself to their level, and I hope I can continue to keep my head high and stay above them for  the rest of my life.

Posted by: myautisticmuslimchild | November 27, 2012

If I could go anywhere…Day # 27 NHBPM

Day #27 “If I could go anywhere…”

If I could have a choice and ability I would like to go to Sanibel Island. I used to go with my family when I was a kid and I have great memories about all those times. A few years back I went with my kids, and they really enjoyed our stay there. This place is kid friendly, there is so much to do in our own pace. An island where every member of the family can find something to do and to enjoy.

This is the location where one can create lifetime memories, and  may never get tired to go back over and over again. It provides with a variety of activities for all ages and all interest. The restaurants are great and offer GFC food for those who are on this diet. they have a great selection, so you do not have to eat the same thing again and again.

For our family this place is really a blessing. My son is being autistic  and having a typical daughter, I always have to look for  something that will accommodate both of their interest.

The beaches are clean, and not crowded, at least when we are there it is pretty reasonable.  We can see and experience the ocean life up close and personal, sometimes too close,  which creates a lot of excitement. The water is just nice, very clear and warm, and for us it is just heavenly picking up shells.

The sunset dinner boat rides are truly amazing, and  can be very romantic with your spouse. Dolphin watch wild life cruises are truly amazing. It is not just for the kids, but it is enjoyable for the entire family.

If one want to stay on the ground there are places that we can rent bicycles and tour the island with the bikes.

There are so much to see and experiences in a calm yet exciting way.

Another attribute of this island is that people are just really nice and accepting. I had not got any weird stares about my son, nor any ignorant comment. I got sweet smiles and helping hands. Although, we  did not have any meltdowns, tantrums or anything that could attract too much attention to us, but it is clear that my son has autism and despite that fact we were accepted.

If I could go anywhere right now, or any other time in the future It would be Sanibel Island. that is the number # 1 vote for my family.

Posted by: myautisticmuslimchild | November 26, 2012

I am Unique, I am Who I am… Day 26 NHBPM

Day 26th at WEGO Health, and I chose the prompt “Make a chart / meme / poster and write about it”.

I have to admit that my daughter helped me to get the picture, and put the writing on it. Yep, I am not that good with the technical stuff, so she helps me out here and there.

With autism we fail many times to see the whole person, and we concentrate on deficiency not the strength.

We are all different with various abilities and weaknesses, but most of us are able to fit in socially. Persons with autism  have to battle with discrimination, scrutiny about  things that they never accomplished, attitudes from others who have been ignorant about their condition.

As this little poster say we have a little of this and a little of that in all of us, but we are really truly a whole. Just like the way they make the cakes.In order to be delicious, we need ingredients to put it together to be a whole.

As a person we are a whole as we put those pieces together, all people have the right ingredients, but some doesn’t know how to mix it and use it  right away. It is just a matter of time to be able to see a unique individual with all those little exclusive abilities that make some one stand out.

So, we might have a bit of this and bit of that, but at the end of the day we are  a 100% as a person , we are who we are, and we should not be looked at and treated as a lesser person. Our differences that makes this world interesting, and go around.

Posted by: myautisticmuslimchild | November 25, 2012

My Goals… Day #25 NHBPM

Day # 25 NHBPM, I chose to write about “How have your goals as a patient / advocate / person evolved?”.

When I started my blog, I had only a few goals that I wanted to focus on. Reaching out to the community, making them understand what is autism about, and how wrong it is to discriminate against these children and their parents. I wanted the community get together to reach out to these families, so they may not be isolated, and they may have a close to normal life.

I wanted parents of ASD kids  not to hide their children from a public eye, so those deserving children can reach their full potential.

I wanted to share latest researches, new therapy or medical interventions that can potentially help to make lives better for the autistic children as well as their families. I tried to reach out to the typical siblings, who I am still thinking of hidden casualties in some cases.

Many told me, it is a noble cause, but it will not be easy. In Muslim society, even if we are living in the west, the cultural stigma can hinder or make it impossible everything I try to do.

Well, they were  wrong. We are all parents here with autistic children, and we want the best for these kids. We have to tackle the every day hassle of all the things autism throws at us, and we have to struggle to keep  clear mind regards to cultural and community issues that doesn’t want to accept us or our children.

Many times I received private emails from all over the world from people who wanted to remain anonymous, but wanted to talk about issues in their lives. My primary goal was to be there for these individuals, and help them through these difficulties by encouraging them, or giving helpful links so they may be able to help their children regardless the local resources not being readily available.

I was able to connect people to one another in their region, so they can hep each other and create an effective support system. Slowly, our religious leaders started to get involved as well, and recognize the importance of helping these families.

My goal was small, and I understood that I can not rush to achieve  them, and slowly I seen progress in many ways. I can see more blogs about autism in Muslim communities, I can see more Muslims reaching out to the affected families, I can see steps being made to help and to be aware.

I can not take credit for all these improvements, by I like to think that I may have a little piece to contribute to spread awareness about autism in the Muslim community.

During these years of working on helping the community to educate themselves about this disorder, made me to be a more  tolerant person. I was able to learn about different cultures, and develop a strategy that helped me to be more effective approaching this matter across borders.

Fighting for a cause doesn’t just mean that we help others, make awareness and spread understanding. In the process one may realize their true calling and help to see the goodness in everything. Persistence, dedication and humility  are all part of evolving our goals, our personality and our true identity.

Posted by: myautisticmuslimchild | November 24, 2012

If I Had More Than 24 hrs/Day and Unlimited Funds… Day#24NHBPM

Day#24 NHBPM. I chose the prompt “if I had more than 24 hrs/day, and unlimited funds.

How many times I wished or wondered about, what would I do in case of having longer time every day. Sometimes when I voice this hypothesis some of my close friends told me it would not be good for me, because I would find more work to do. They might be right, but deep down I know I would rest more, sleep longer than 4 hrs, and allow the kids to sleep in, knowing they have enough time to finish their studies.

If I would have more than 24 hrs/day I would take up on a new project, or a new activity for the children involving other ASD kids and their typical siblings. I would take the kids to swim  every morning to start out the day in a good note, than have a nice relaxing breakfast outside of my garden. Once the school-work is done, and homework finished we can have a long walk in the park,  time to spend in the playground to tire everyone out. At night after everyone is clean and fed and in their pajamas we can play our board games longer, watch a short movie, read a bedtime story and have the children go to sleep.

I would still have time for myself to read the books they been siting on my bookshelf, or downloaded on my kindle. I really want to read every day, but its been so long that I had time to pick up a book and read it just for fun. It is always reading what I have to read, and it is long overdue for me to read something entertaining.

I know this is very simple what I wanted to do with my extra time, but I know it would make a world of difference how I feel about myself and my time.

Another grand wish I have is unlimited funds. Wow, when I think about that my brain starts working overtime. So much I could do with the extra resources, and the potential could be great. For the beginning I would create nice resorts in different places, for families with special needs children, to accommodate everyone there, including parents.They can pick and choose where they want to spend their vacation, if it is by the beach, or in the forest, by the mountains, or a theme park. They would even have a chose of getting onto a cruise ship. They would never have to endure disapproving looks, ignorant questions, and they would have everything at hand whatever they may need.

I would be able to offer a scholarship to families who wants their kids to attend a school where their children are educated with dignity. There would be no special need child left without proper education.

I would create  a gift shop where parents can pick a gift for the kids, or kids can get nice presents for their parents/caretakers.

I would have a beauty shop for moms where their children can be taken care of by caring, loving people while they pamper themselves.

if I would have unlimited funds all special needs children would get all the medical treatment they need, and all therapies that allow them to improve and reach their full potential.

I know these are unrealistic dreams, and I also know it would make many lives easier. Still, I do not give up hope on those projects, but I  also know my limitations. I do what I can with what I have, and pray that I can still make a difference in someone’s life. This is what we should aim for, and we should never be discouraged and think about what we do not have, rather concentrate on what we have and work with that.

Posted by: myautisticmuslimchild | November 23, 2012

What the Doctor and I learned from Each-other day #23 NHBPM

Day #23, Today’s prompt “What’s something  the doctor taught me, or I taught the doctor”.

There is always  room for learning, it would be arrogant to say we know everything.

My son’s condition and diagnosis taught me many things about life, but his doctor taught me  other important things.

When he was only 13 months of age, after his vaccination I kept  telling him something is really wrong with Amin, but he kept telling me the same old story, ” he is a boy, a second child, and have a talkative sister.” Yet, he could not explain why he lost his words almost overnight. He was, and still is an excellent pediatrician with long years of experience, and that was somewhat comforting for me to accept his reasoning. I did not listen, and went behind his back to  get answers to my questions.

Not knowingly , he taught me that I do not have to listen to him always, I need to be my son’s advocate and follow my gut feelings regardless how good doctor he is. He taught me, that I can think for myself regards to my son’s health, and I can make an independent decision, and I do not need to get his approval of it. He taught me to stand up for my children, beating all odds and scrutiny, and not even think about  other consequences. He taught me to be the advocate for my kids  for life.

In the mean time, he admitted that he learned a very valuable lesson, a lesson that he never thought of in his 30 yrs of practice. He learned to listen to a mother’s intuition. He told me, that now  it is part of  how he teaches his interns and residents, telling them to listen to the mothers, because they spent more time with the child, and know more about them than anyone else. He also told me that he always respected parents, but the respect  is at new highest seeing that doctors can overlook things that is a very serious problem, yet parents still fighting until they get answers.

I think it is important to keep open mind in every situation. What we learn from each other is always a benefit for the present and the future. Once we set our egos aside, and keep our ears and eyes open, we can learn from one another and make this world a better place.

Posted by: myautisticmuslimchild | November 23, 2012

I am Thankful for… Day 22 NHBPM

Day # 22 NHBPM. The things I am thankful for.

There are many things to be thankful for, but sometimes we concentrate on troubles rather blessings.

Despite the crazy journey we had in a past 8 + years we had some amazing encounters with some truly amazing people, and we had some awesome, positive changes in our household.

Amin’s ASD showed us who are truly being there for us. As they say,” it is easy to be around while the sun is shinning, but the ones that are there for you during the storm are the one they truly love you.”

Once the family’s shock was over, we got closer to one another to help Amin recover, or get better. Having closeness with family members is priceless.

So we had our heart breaks losing people from our lives, but once we realized what it really means we were thankful to see those person’s true colors. This allowed us to meet new people , and develop friendship that based on mutual understanding and respect. That I am very thankful for,, a handful of true friends are better than an army of  “plastic” people.

Also, I am thankful for all the progress Amin made. I was told that he will acquire some simple tasks, but will never tackle anything major. Well the doctor was wrong, and my intuition was right.

I am grateful for all the teachers and therapist that worked with Amin and believed in him, pushed him hard to achieve much more academically, and to be independent.

I am thankful for my daughter who is simply amazing with her ASD brother. Knowing all the hardship she encountered, she still loves that little boy with all of her heart, and protect him from everything that might harm him.

I learned so much about life since my son was diagnosed with autism, and I am grateful for every little part and every person it. I learned to appreciate things that did not matter to me too much before.

I become more aware of what really matters, and don’t sweat the small stuff, I am more content and happier too.

Believing in God carried me far, and that is the most important thing that I am grateful for.

Without our creator, I could never overcome all those obstacles, so I am thankful for God to helped me develop a strong unconditional faith.

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