Behind closed doors

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People often praises me for appearing so positive about my daughter’s condition.

To these people, I’d like to say:

> Every Human Being who faces hardship in life will automatically try to handle the situation to the best of their capability. This is Human nature, isn’t it?

> Having a child with Special needs didn’t transform me into a Super mum or a Super Hero. Far from that… Most of the time, I am feeling weak and vulnerable.

> I have not accepted Autism but I acknowledged its presence and its impact in our lives.

> Some days, I am “tolerant” and some days, I lack patience (my number one weakness!). On these misty days, I feel like a complete failure. I am the spoilt child in front of my daughter who is demonstrating so much altruism and compassion.( Altruism and compassion, features you “presumably” hardly find in people with Autism…)

> I am the mother, I am the Neurotypical but at the end of the day, I am learning a big deal of wisdom from this child.

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Baby boy

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I am expecting baby nr 3. My daughter “T” is super excited about it. Her teacher and her teaching assistants were informed of my pregnancy well before some members of my own family,in-laws or friends. From the very start, she’s been telling them that “mummy’s got a baby boy inside her belly”. So I haven’t been given a choice on whether I wanted to keep my pregnancy a secret or not.

“A- -b-a-b-y– boy”. Yes, she made her decision on the gender too. It has to be a boy!Although I tried to explain to her that the baby could be a girl too, it just seemed that she refused to take that idea on board. As if she already knew…

When I was pregnant with her, I would never have expected “T” to be autistic or to have any specific condition. I guess like every mum, you innocently believe that everything will be perfect.
That ‘s what makes pregnancy nr 2 and 3 so different from pregnancy nr 1.I don’t take anything for granted anymore. At the back of my head: questions, concerns and worries…
* Is this new child going to be healthy?
* Is he going to have any learning disabilities?
* Is he going to have any physical handicap?
* Is he going to be ill?

Allahu Alaam (Allah knows best), whatever happens should happen and InshAllah, we will all be alright.

Ramadan resolutions

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Another Ramadan has gone and I have been thinking of a couple of resolutions .
Alhamdulillah, Ramadan helped me realize how exhausting this year had been for me and how I urgently need to slow down.

Resolution nr 1: Less courses

Since April, I am working full-time which is a good thing but I also enrolled to way too many courses and classes considering that I also have 2 young children and a husband (or a third child, some might say)
This is why this trimester, I have decided to enrol only to relaxing and fun classes (ie Sewing and Upholstery)
Cooooooooooooooooooooooooooool!!!

Resolution nr 2: Looking after myself

I lost weight. I also look like I haven’t been sleeping well for months. ( which is somehow the truth!)
The alarm rang when one day my line manager told me to relax and to look after myself. Later on, my supervisor sent me home when it wasn’t time for me to go
I must have looked pretty ugly on that day.

This is all my fault. I gave up my Yoga-at-home sessions when I vowed to practice it as much as possible
So That’s it ! I am going to follow that beauty queen healthy lifestyle: loads of sleep and loads of water to drink.
I am also planning to treat myself to that Muslim Beauty Salon in Streatham “to sort out my face”.
And to end with, I’ll try to spend a little bit more of my budget on Beauty goodies “to keep fit”!

Resolution 3: Chilling at home and spending more time with the girls

I need to find more time to play with them. They are all over the moon when I am being the crazy mummy.


Resolution 4: Spending more time in my ibadat

Definitely thinking of registering to the Islamic Online University set up by Bilal Philips. There are quite a lot of courses available for free with audio and video features. That will enable me to learn while cooking or cleaning. Hurray!

Ok then, let’s start now. Steady, ready, go!

My daughter’s future

Well, my daughter is autistic…But…I do have high expectations for her. As I lately confessed, I would like my daughter to become a doctor and a hafidha. However, I do agree that I should allow her some freedom in regard to career’s choice. So inshallah, if she wants, she could alternatively become a surgeon, a dentist, a lawyer, an accountant, an engineer or a successful business woman.DSCF0471                                                                                                                                                                           To be honest, it still looks like there is a long way to go before we manage to reach that goal.But inshAllah, it will happen! InshAllah, she will achieve the Top of the Tops and go as far as her abilities allow her. I believe that Allah is omnipotent so I believe in my daughter’s potential.

 Alhamdulillah, things have evolved and Autistics are no more exclusively meant to be sent to Mental institutions.  Just imagine five seconds if Temple Grandin’s mother had not defied her paediatrician’s recommendations? We would never have benefited from such an awesome advocate who holds a PHD! By the way, not every “neurotypical” is a postgraduate.       

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Once again, I am urging you to watch Temple Grandin’s conferences. In of them, she advised parents on their children’s career’s option depending on their way of reasoning and thinking.*

Like all parents, I would like my daughter to be as independent as possible and this, before I die. inshAllah I pray that the day the Angel of death will come for me, I could die in peace without worrying about her. Although I know I have to accept my fate, I just hope that I won’t die anytime soon because she’s still got so much to learn. If this shall happen, my greatest concerns are: > Who will be looking after her? > Who will be carrying on the work I am doing with her?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     But, SubhanAllah, I need to pull myself together…Right now! I am a Muslim and whatever the outcome might be, I put my trust in Allah who is the best of planners.

*Temple Grandin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wt1IY3ffoU

Sensory Processing Disorder

What is Sensory processing disorder?

“Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a neurological disorder that causes difficulties with processing information from the five senses: vision, auditory, touch, olfaction, and taste, as well as from the sense of movement (vestibular system), and/or the positional sense (proprioception). For those with SPD, sensory information is sensed, but perceived abnormally. Unlike blindness or deafness, sensory information is received by people with SPD; the difference is that information is processed by the brain in an unusual way that causes distress, discomfort, and confusion.” (by Chantal Sicile-Kira in the Autism Advocate, Psychology today published 02/03/2010 *)

Many  individuals with Autism are affected by SPD. Sometimes, it is all of their senses that are affected. Sometimes, it is just one, two or three of them. But, it is not only Autistics who are concerned, I am myself affected by this disorder and as far as I know I am not Autistic.

My nightmare is an addition of my youngest daughter whinging +  my eldest one playing loudly + my husband watching some crazy boxing fights on Youtube  + my Washing machine on spinning mode   + very bright lighting in the house.

My O My! These are a couple of adjectives that I found to describe as accurately as possible my state of mind in such circumstances: boiling, tense, flustered, distressed, upset. When things go really bad, I can almost hear my heart beats and this is when I would also probably turn aggressive and argue with my husband for no apparent reason. Alhamdulillah, I can voice my discomfort but it is not the case for my  daughter.                                                                                                                                                                                                                Below is a list of the tricks I am using with my daughter to help her coping with it.

                                                                  Tricks
Bright lights Sunglasses
Loud noises Hear plugs   or a MP3 player (with some relaxation tunes like bird, ocean or rain sounds)
Teeth   brushing `Colgate Kids Motion Toothbrush ,£3 only at Asda!

I am also curious to know about the tricks you are using with you own children. Don’t be shy and leave a comment please!

*http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-autism-advocate/201003/what-is-sensory-processing-disorder-and-how-is-it-related-autism

My blog, my experience!

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I write on this blog from a parent perspective. I don’t see myself as an Autism Master, Guru whatsoever. I am just here to share my experience on how Autism is affecting me and my family in our everyday life.  I would love stigmas and stereotypes on this condition to be eradicated and these from the Muslim community in particular. This blog is the way I chose to fight it.

There are thousands of Facebook pages and blogs run by Non-Muslims parents.  MashAllah, it is amazing to witness how complete strangers living miles away from each other bond so easily “thanks to “Autism. Although at times, I do find myself overwhelmed by my daughter’s condition, little things such as these pages fill me with a lot of joy and strength. InshAllah, I would like to share similar feelings with my fellow Muslim brothers and Sisters. Indeed, is it not what our Deen is all about? Brotherhood. So basically, this blog is to say a big “You are not alone!”  

Alhamdulillah, there are other interesting English -speaking blogs and Facebook pages run by Muslim parents. These are the ones I know about:                                                

 > Muslim Autism Society Facebook group page

> Stranded Mom, Autism, Parenting, Islam Facebook page

> My autistic Muslim Child (http://myautisticmuslimchild.wordpress.com)

> Through the Puzzle (http://throughthepuzzle.com)

> Abez Sez  (http://www.abezsez.com)

> Muslimah next door (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/muslimahnextdoor/)

InshAllah, I hope we will see more  emerging but more importantly, I would like to invite  Autistic  Adults, teenagers and children to write and talk because you, guys, are the best advocates. I did benefit so much from reading and listening to Carly Fleishmann and Temple Grandin (Both of them are mentioned on my post Resources, services and therapies, Part 1)  InshAllah I pray that my daughter will one day be an advocate too as well as Doctor and Hafitha. O you who are reading this sentence, please say “Ameen” and make a Duaa for my daughter please.  JazakAllah Khairan for that, you are awesome!

My dear Brothers and Sisters, I share tips, advices, strategies and ideas with you that are working for my daughter but I can’t guarantee that they will all be 100% effective with your child. Is every Human being not beautifully unique?  About my opinions and point of views: I am not a dictator so I do allow anyone to voice constructive critics with all due respect.

Ultimately, a huge JazakAllah Khairan to all the Muslim FB pages that shared or liked my blog such as:

Cornwall Muslim Sisters

Muslim Parenting: It Takes a Village To Raise A Child

Resources For Muslim Sisters with Special Needs Children

The South Asian Autism Group-UK,Ireland

Stranded Mom – Autism, Parenting, Islam.

Ihsan(Islamic Holistic School For Alternative Needs)- Beyond Barriers

Disabled Muslims Network

Blue Hijab Day

Ingredients of a happy Muslim marriage

Exceptional Child Educational Services (ECES) Dr.Amani Mahmoud Doughlas

A big JazakAllah Khairan to muslimparentsnetwork.org  for featuring some of my posts 

A big Thank you to my non-Muslims friends on FB for their support and to all those I forgot to name…