Channel: Mohammed Faqih
This talk was delivered at the Islamic Institute of Orange County (IIOC).
Jan 6, 2017.
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Salem Loma Linda Farnham. Finally Valentina was in January living in a city called Santa
Clara de lado
de lado de la vida. But first of all, I would like to welcome all of you to this
discussion that we have tonight. Tonight, our discussion is on the need to talk about special needs.
And the idea of this, this is not meant to be a workshop or
a lecture, it's meant to be a discussion on a very important subject. And I think it's,
it's past due, I had always wanted to talk about this for a while.
first of all we are the followers have a religion, that is very proactive. And we are the followers of a prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam who actually paid special attention to this
to this particular issue, or to people with special needs. Early on in Revelation, you find the presence of people the special need, our in our history, we have
a lot of people who had great contributions, which gives you the impression that in an Islamic in an ideal Muslim community in society,
people with a special need not only are they cared for and taken care of, and welcomed and accommodated, but they're also empowered, celebrated, and they are,
they would contribute as much as anyone else.
And it gives you the impression that in an ideal Muslim community, such as that of the prophets of Allah, Allah, lollies, him and his companions,
they had the right attitude about this whole subject.
And I'll just share a few few points regarding that. But it's something that we needed to talk about. I'm joined here in this discussion with a dear brother, someone that I have known from the early days of my arrival here to California, my dear brother of mine, israr, who
has his bachelor's in political science and history from UCI, master's in national security studies
from Cal State San Bernardino, and currently he's working on his PhD, his doctorate from Claremont School of Theology, in
theology, religious studies.
And of man, Mashallah has been a very active member of the larger Southern California community. And in particular, in the San Gabriel Valley. community, he has extensive
experience in working with youth with families, he's he's a community servant, public servant, may Allah Subhana, Allah bless him, and he's going to shed some light also on this issue from a different perspective.
let's just jump into the subject itself. Or actually, you know what, I'm going to leave the definition of special need and what the various categories if you want to look that up with Manish Sharma, but what I wanted to talk to do is talk about it from an Islamic point of view.
From early on,
we find that in Islam,
I personally am not a big fan even of the of the term itself special needs, because in a way, we all have special needs, every single one of us is unique and every single one of us has a set of needs. I mean, we all of course have, you know, General needs, but we also have specific, specific needs.
But nonetheless, it's a terminology that is used. You know, there are different forms of of disabilities or, or I don't even like the word disability,
but people who have a condition
some of their, you know, function in life, or might, you know,
cause that to be
Something somewhat challenging more than others. And there are all kinds of conditions, different conditions. Some of them are physical sort of environmental. Islam paid special attention to every member of the community and the society, and especially people that have special needs, or special conditions.
Rama is promoted in Islam as as a general theme, that the community and Islamic community and Islam society is a community that is founded upon the concept of Rama, and that is compassion,
compassion, loving compassion. Because we all we're all we're all deficient, we all have needs, we all have weaknesses, we all have shortcomings.
we have to be there for one another, the promise of lies lm, the example that he gives of a community is closer to what a family is meant to be. Right? So the community is supposed to be a larger family, the process of law services is a little more menial, if you talk to him with our human capital, you've just said that the example of the believers, the community of believers,
is like the example of a body. And it's very interesting that the process, it uses the body as an analogy. And he says, if any part of that body aches,
if any part of that body suffers, the rest of the body responds to it,
empathizes with it, the rest of the body tries to cut comes to aid or compensate for whatever is missing anywhere, anywhere else. Right.
So it's a community founded upon this concept, the concept of Rama in the last panel without Of course, says that the believers are will hammer obeying the home, they care for one another, they're compassionate towards towards one another.
And they maintain, of course, great level of respect for one another.
Some of the things that many people don't know is that many of great names that we have in our history, a lot of people may not realize that they have some kind of,
you know, some some kind of challenge, you know, physical or they have some, some conditions, some some great names.
In our history, for instance, I didn't know until I did some research that rather than the job, a lot of the law and,
you know, had had, you know, physical physical challenges one of the one of the big name, the one that prophesize lm says he was one of the greatest scholars of the Sahaba a young, you know, handsome man, probably a lot more than it was reported that he was, he was
crippled, or he had a
hard time, you know, like, you know, walking he had,
he was physically physically challenging that sense of the law and a lot of law, but that that did not stop me in any way of fashion from becoming
a great companion, the great scholar, the great leader, and he, you know, join the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, in every event. And then we have names that we see popping in the in our history, names of great scholars, that some of them had the title, their title was the very physical challenge or issue that they had. And
I would write out the, you know, the the approval of what hasn't been ours, and many other and some, you know, he had a hearing problem.
An amateur had, you know, vision, you know, eyesight problem. And of course, we have
a beloved MK two, or the alohar, the companion, the one that used to call the event, home the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam in the days in his days of Mecca. When
Maktoum came in approach the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam being a blind man, it was said that he was born blind. Or he became blind shortly after his birth of the Allahu Allah. He was one of the early one of the people in Mecca to accept the message of Islam and become Muslim.
And he had great weight in the eyes of the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam. Abdullah Al Maktoum was a young man who was very eager to learn he came across a profitable life and then when he was very busy discussing or debating or negotiating with the chief says, of course, the process is trying to win them over. So even McDowell comes to ask the process of a lot instead of a question.
The professor said, I'm delighted that he did. But now he doesn't see where the profit is doing. Right? And the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam frowned and turned away from him
in saying that this is not the time.
And Allah subhanaw taala reveals episode Euler, he found that he turned away, meaning the province of Omaha Davidson, by the way, this is this whole incident is one of these proofs that the process of realizing there was nothing but a messenger from a loss of habitat.
You know, and that he could have not been the author of the of the crew, he could have not made all of this up.
If there was any part any who would want to share these kind of words, and they're going to be reciting there is a whole page, sort of Amazon homepage. Right, but a lot reveal it to him. He had to share it. He had to the processor, send them Welcome to Salalah Hollywood, and he was excited. And he used to, according to many historians, he used to be so cheerful and excited whenever he saw our beloved look to him ever since that after this, and sometimes he would welcome him and say to him, welcome to the man for whose sake my lord reprimanded me.
Yeah, and in he had.
And there was more than one time where Abdullah, the processor left him in charge of Medina, he was pretty much ruling.
So what was the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam approach to this whole issue, the Prophet salallahu alaihe salam, and if there is anything I want you to get out of this is three, three letters,
we need to come out of this inspired and more aware, so that we could one organize, or advocate,
right organize or advocate
for this particular on this particular subject, and we need to,
to become more sensitive in order for that to happen. So organize or advocate. That's number one. Number two, we need to empower,
we need to empower individuals who are,
who are in you know, may may be in these kind of conditions or have family members who have difficulties, whether it be mental, emotional or physical challenge, right. So we need to empower them, empower the families, empowered individuals.
There's nothing wrong with it. And the person is not cursed or anything, we all have our tests. Some of us may be tested with harder tests than others, but we need to come together and help one another. And the third thing that we
ought to do is assist.
You know lendahand, right.
And be be helpful. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam was such a person, he himself, even on the individual level.
And I suppose the long run reported, he said there was a woman in Medina, there was a woman kind of he actually had shade. She had some mental challenge, mental condition,
you know, and the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam used to
she used to come to the Prophet, and she would say things like, azula, I want to talk to you about something.
I need to talk to you about something. And the Prophet sallallahu wasallam does not dismiss it or anything, but he was actually very respectful of this woman. And he said, Yeah, I'm a felon, or mother of seven. So this is a respectful way of addressing somebody. He said, Listen.
Choose any of the streets of Medina, pull me aside, choose me choose any place of your choice, right? And let me know, whenever you need me, I'll be there for you.
Whenever you need, I'll be there for you. And the problem was I stood with her and one of the streets of Medina she talked to me she addressed him about what she needed. And he privately listened to her issue or complaint or whatever it was, and he took care of it for her sallallahu alayhi wa sallam.
The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam
used to have private sessions or what would you would we would consider private sessions or one on one, you know sessions with with anyone that needed to speak to him like economic to him or anyone else.
He was very empowering in very encouraging sallallahu alayhi wa sallam and did not allow
Anyone to look down upon anyone or look at them differently? Some Allahu Allahu wa sallam
The Prophet, peace and blessings upon him. Does he want to come here?
He won't he wanted to come here.
And when when they came to him, some Allahu Allah, He will send them when they came to him that the Prophet peace be upon him, gave him full attention.
What I'm trying to get to is that not only the deployment was the process of insensitive, I mean, because some of us, okay, we feel sorry, but the Prophet was proactive as well.
He was proactive. Do you need to go check them, okay? He was proactive, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam that would prompt them to come to him
and seek his advice or ask them for assistance or ask them to pray for them. A man came to the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam who was who was blind. And he asked the Prophet sallallahu he was blind for a long time. He has a prophet, he said, Prophet, pray for me so that I would get my eyesight back. The prophets of Allah Sam gave him a couple of options.
And this in a way, and again, I'm not an expert on this whole issue of counseling, you know, people with special needs or families with special needs, and inshallah we're going to continue to talk about this as a matter of fact that Sharla the plan is in the month of April, which is Autism Awareness Month, we're going to have a series of programs in Charlotte to address this.
But so the province of Aloha, listen, it says to him, you have I'll give you two options. One, I can pray for you, and that Allah subhanaw taala, cure you curious? Or if you want to be patient, then that might be better for you.
And promise him agenda.
for that. Someone might say up here, why didn't you just pray for a miracle to happen? Because the process I could have prayed amongst them, how to add more, you may have answered some data may have given him right, or the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam empowered him and told him to accept his condition, let everyone else except this condition because there is nothing wrong with it, and
and live with it. And lots of panels to Allah will give him something better in the hereafter.
So the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam,
the man asked for what?
Yes, he asked for the job.
Right. So that is
another case was of a woman who used to have seizures or epilepsy, epilepsy.
And epilepsy, by the way, I mean, this is one of these evidence that, you know, sometimes people associate epilepsy with being possessed by demons or evil forces. Just people didn't know what it was. But that's not what we find in our
in our tradition.
Right? Maybe I don't know how it is in zoo in Judeo Christian
traditions. You know, there are even some Muslims that are under the impression that somehow, you know, seizures or these neurological problems that may cause somebody to have seizures or epilepsy, for instance,
is somehow related to that? No, it has nothing to it's a condition.
A woman came to the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam was a black lady that came to the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. And way after the time of the Prophet, one of the companions said to one of his of his students a tablet, would you like me to show you some a person from the people have agenda?
I can point to a person from the people of gender, person from the people of gender yet someone who's from the people of gender, but they're still living amongst us. He's like, he said, you see that black lady over there? He said, he said, he said, she came to the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam. And she told him, that she had this, this issue,
this this condition,
and that were that she would even have seizures.
So the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam,
and she told him that honestly of Allah, when that happens, I lose my, you know, my body is exposed as well. Because, you know, I don't know if you have ever seen anyone.
So, so make that for me. So the Prophet said to her, same thing. If you want, I can pray for you. Or if you want to be patient, I promise you agenda. So she said, Okay, I will be patient. I rather I want
I can live with this condition. However, I pray that at least I would not
I would not get exposed, that it would not be as severe that it would make me expose myself. So the promise of the law Hollywood self made do out for her and ever since she, whatever she has, she had the seizures, she would not be exposed. You know.
I'm gonna Gemma was another companion who was who had very severe, he was crippled, he had severe.
He was he used to live on the lawn. I think he, he had a leg that is shorter than the other or something of that nature.
He accepted Islam, the story of him accepting Islam is very interesting. You know, you should go look it up and read it. And the Prophet salallahu alaihe salam he used to,
he told him one day.
He said, he said to him, that
see that you will be walking in gender upright, like you will not have this issue. So he gave him glad tidings, he told him that he will be from the people of gender. And he may Allah be pleased with him was amongst those who were killed in the Battle of amongst the 17 hours of
the Prophet sallallahu Sallam ordered, whoever saw
ordered Abdullah Al Maktoum to be taught the then so that he would call the event because he was more capable of doing that he had beautiful voice, or the Allahu Allah and he had great level of knowledge that the Prophet sallallahu Sallam would put him in charge. And he was the Imam in the absence of the Prophet slicin when the Prophet went outside Medina, have you ever wondered, by the way, when the processing of left Medina went to, to book for a month, went to different places in these expeditions or travel? What happened to the people of Medina, what happened in the machine and dubawi? They still would pray five times a day, right? Have you ever wondered who used to lead the
it was up to 11 o clock.
And it was pretty much
unwritten rule that whoever is in charge of leading the Salah is in charge of the community.
and, and this inspired, and I will just conclude with this, for now, this inspired
the whole affair, after the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and made them pay special attention and made them come up with policies to assist in helping accommodate people with special needs. So Omar of the lavon
he, as this as this the territory of Islamic State expanded, or more with the right to his governors, and he will tell them, make sure that you sign up anyone that had any that was physically, you know, challenged any any person who was blind, or any person that was crippled, couldn't walk
and find out what are their needs. And list. So he had, he had a whole system set up for them to be taken care of. And they used to qualify to get financial assistance as well as have
someone to serve them and look after them.
fully paid and and sponsored by the state or by the by the
This was also a policy during the time of life man, this was also a policy during the time of Mr. Abdulaziz about the Aloha.
And he used to and their criteria was whoever cannot stand up and pray whoever cannot walk to the message and the stand up and pray was, would qualify to get assistance and would qualify to get a servant somebody, you know, to be to be with them. And it was fully taken care of, by by the state or by
even during the omegas time and what the medic, the Caliph.
He actually went he did something even more, he set up institutions
to provide care and education for people with special special needs. And this is this is dated back two years 707
or 888 of you know from the history of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam and he hired a team, you know, teams are off of, you know, health care providers, and you know, people to serve them and he set up a special fund
For for this particular need, and his model, or his,
his slogan for this was, you will not
people, he said, I will not allow you, I will not let you beg anyone.
So he wanted to honor them so that you don't have to go and beg people for, for money or for help. So you don't need to do that
you will be taken care of, by by the state and by the general public. And, and of course, had people buy into all of this.
And some, of course, kept these kind of policies throughout our history.
this shows, you know, the great status that every community member has.
And one thing that we need to do
is, we need to get comfortable
talking about this, this topic, and having this conversation, it's it's a very difficult thing, to to deal to deal with somebody or or be somebody with, with any challenge that other people don't have.
And, and, and if we don't, if this doesn't become normal, to does not become what it's supposed to be,
then then we're making it difficult for many people.
And we're letting many people suffer unnecessarily and suffer, but we're adding to the the the test or the or the the trial. We're adding it.
We're adding more, you know, to further elaborate on this.
Shall I will turn off turn on the microphone to turn it over to my dear brother, I want to talk about this from from totally different perspective. And then I would like to see each other if we can have a lively, more dynamic discussion over this issue. Shall
I sit down lolicon after long?
Just a quick question, any individuals here that have someone in their family who has special needs, so to speak?
Yeah. Okay. And you know, the reason I asked that just to give
some sort of introduction to this, this issue. Several few months ago, I gave a hotel at San Gabriel Masjid. And I don't know the exact topic exactly now. But I remember mentioning that, you know, my kids, I have two children, three children, two of the three have autism. And, as you know, ASD, the autism spectrum disorder. So
after I gave the hot plan, it wasn't the topic of the hookah. I mentioned in passing, I forget what main point it was connected to. But I had a couple of brothers come up to me afterwards. Number one, you know, one who said, you know, that was a very courageous of you to say that. And I thought for a second that it didn't, it never occurred to me that I was being courageous or anything by simply disclosing, you know, that that point.
But I sort of wanted to hear his perspective. What do you mean by being courageous? And then he mentioned so, you know, in our communities, we don't like talking and mentioning these sorts of issues that might be used against us, or as a medium by which someone would would look to you in some negative way. Because something you have this issue with, with your children. And so, you know, we still like to sweep things under the rug, I said, Yeah, we we tend to do that a lot of people do tend to do that. So but you know, you reach a point where I think we become mature enough to know that this is life, you're gonna be beset by all types of problems, all types of challenges, some
that affect your health, some that affect your well. And if you can't talk about it in a very normal sense, then it's only going to add to the burden that you know, Schaefer was talking about. So that is the first challenge is to be able to talk about it without appearing courageous. You know, there's, in my mind, there's nothing courageous about talking about something like that. It is obviously a challenge. Some parents deal with it. Some individuals have to deal with it, and others may not. So the question becomes, what's our communal obligation? Just today I read an article which is really interesting. There is a family. There are two doctors, husband and wife
Have a child with autism as well on the severe side of the spectrum. And so they have in Texas bought 2729 acres of land 29 acres of land where they want to create a community for special needs.
Children and adults as well, something that's geared just to their needs. And it's really a laudable no non Muslim, non Muslim, really laudable act, right, it's really praiseworthy for someone to see that, here's this need. And let me put, they put 2 million down, they purchased the land already, they're looking at hiring anywhere between 204 100 employees, it's gonna have somewhere I think 17 houses will be built on their point is they're they're developing a community based on this issue of, you know, developmental disorders, for the most part. And, you know, I'm only here not because I'm an expert, by any means whatsoever. In fact, my wife is standing outside with my two kids, and
she's much more of an expert on this because she deals with it. Day in and day out. She's the one who arranges for my kids appointments every single day, we have a therapist that comes to our house.
She goes to the the near, you know, the nurse and neurologists, the at the very beginning, you know, you go to your, your, your doctor,
was a baby doctor called again,
a pediatrician, your pediatrician, you go to your pediatrician, and that's, you know, you probably explained the pediatrician said, Look, I'm seeing the signs, this is what's happening, but she's taking care of all of that. And there's so much paperwork, so many institutions to work with, you have the school district you have in our case, if you live live in San Bernardino County, we go to IRC and then regional center where that shooting happened about a over a year ago or so.
The and, you know, then not to mention whatever services your insurance will, will provide for you. There's a lot to manage. I mean, it is an absolute This is it's beyond a full time job.
And again, today, I was reading an article of a family who also have a child with severe autism. And this mother has gone to the extent of looking into marijuana as a way to medicate the child because of the fits the child is having with a child, some children, right will beat themselves hurt themselves and just, you know, be really, really aggressive. And again, this is nothing within their control. So sometimes certain medication doesn't work, she's had to experiment on her own, with different types of marijuana, right to figure out what can help, it doesn't cure anything, but it does help alleviate some of the anks the pain that that these children will, you know, unfortunately
endure. But my point of bringing that up is simply that you see the extent that the parent will go to, right you'll do anything and everything to alleviate, you know, you know, you're not going to cure them. We don't have the tools yet the science isn't that advanced at all. But even to take away some of their pain, have some sense of normalcy, you'll go to all types of lengths to do that. And so I really think, and this is just, I think, you know, shake fucky just told us about this session, a couple nights ago, a friend of ours,
Shay Hoffman from goes to UCI, is a used to be the Imam of Corona Masjid.
We've been discussing these issues and trying to network as well. And what we're noticing is that this generation
is also not impervious to to having this issue arise in their family. We're not somehow exceptional or anything, that these things wouldn't occur to us. It can happen anywhere and everywhere. And the fact of the matter is, I think is we have to realize that these that this challenge is something that they're for a family, there's all there's layers of difficulties involved. There's layers of frustration from the spiritual perspective, from the educational perspective, from the medical perspective. And also man, our friend, you know, he's done a really good job in sort of giving a broad overview that you need four types of guidance. One is educational guidance, right when you
have a child, whether his child doesn't have autism, my child my children, do
But even on the spectrum there between mild and moderate, so to speak, but it's very difficult. You know, if you ask me, well, how did you know your child had had an issue? Because if you look at them today, you'll think they're normal looking kids, right? It's not like they have Down syndrome, where you can physically see the traits of the disorder. So my children will look normal. And sometimes that becomes interesting in the sense that people will then expect them to behave normally. But when they don't, they think they're just bratty kids, right? When they're kids going on, he's walking around, he's doing like, those are my two kids in the back sort of screaming little while ago,
right? You think, man, these sort of bratty kids, and we've had that experience in real life, we go to certain places. In fact, my wife's been told I control your kids, you know, like, people come up to her and say these things. And then she sort of just like, those are hands up in the air, what do you do? You can explain to everyone look, my kid has autism. Right? A few weeks ago, I was at the matches, and some kid wanted to play with my kid, my, my son loves holding a football and just, I guess, very, you know, comforting to him. And so another kid was like, you know, kind of play with that kind of play with it. And I wanted the other kid to play with it, too. So I said, you know, why
don't you share? Give? He didn't want to? And then the other kids like, he's me. He didn't want to share? I said, Yeah, he's still learning how to share, you know, he's not taking a little while. And then he's saying certain things. I just let the kid know. I was like, you know, he has autism. So it's a little difficult for him. And then he's like, Oh, nice thing I guess about autism is that almost everyone knows about it. But that what it is? They don't know. Yeah, we don't know what it is. But you know, when someone says my kid has autism, or someone who has autism, you know, immediately that it's some medical condition, right? I don't know. It's a developmental disorder and
autism, like it's a spectrum. So there is no one set of behavior that you can use to define that person. By to be I mean, there are all types of different behaviors that are under this umbrella called ASD, right? Autism Spectrum Disorder. That's why people don't even use autism anymore, they'll say is the
But yeah, I mean, as a parent, I think I today, I just wanted to send that message that, you know, again, you have these challenges, where we need educational guidance, medical guidance, spiritual guidance, and supportive, you know, got guidance. so supportive guidance, I'll give you an example of that. It's IRC. And then regional center, they give parents what they call respite care, a certain amount of hours every month, that you can use to hire an individual, they'll pay, right the county will pay or sorry, this nonprofit organization will pay this individual to provide
like, sort of like babysitting services, they don't really know too much might be like a young girl who's going to college. But for four or five hours, you can book them in any given day, you work out the schedule, just so you can have some time away, right to do other things in life.
So that's really nice, right? But many of us who are probably seen these things probably don't know what what's the first step? What do you do, and it's very complicated, because there's so many things, so many services are out there, so many things that we still don't know. And that's why we think that it's important for Muslims to network locally, there are other organizations nationally, and it's good, but because the rules and laws and these institutions differ so much, and they work on a local basis, not on a federal on a
national basis, it's better to work locally, so that we're aware of the type of services that exist. So something like respite care is out there. There's also sibling support a child with with, you know, a developmental disorder, we'll probably have some challenges dealing with their siblings, who might not have these disorders, my eldest son doesn't have a disorder. And I see the relationship he has with his younger two brothers, it's very different than the relationship I had with my siblings, your your sort of distance, right, you're disconnected from them, because they have their own way of doing things. And you can't really relate to that you can't really function sometimes with them. So
you have to be very careful about that child. Now, you know, what are how are you going to address that child's needs as well, because you can, parents can end up neglecting the kid shoving the kid to the side or making that kid the focus of their life and then, you know, not not
paying their due attention to to the other other children. So there are services around all of these things. And we just think it's high time that we can discuss this in an open way, in a way that will be constructive.
and helpful, where we can net where we can share the type of resources, the type of guidance.
islamically? I'll tell you right now, you know, when it comes to Islamic education, what do you expect a child with even mild autism
to gain of Islamic knowledge?
My child is now one is five years old, the other is three years old. I teach them zero Islam zero, because I know they're just not, they're not capable of receiving it. Right.
Whereas my eldest son, I mean, he has his Holocaust almost every day that my wife, you know, teaches, and you know, he'll go to the corridor with me, and we have a program for him that we have at home. But the other two are just, you know, while we're doing this thing, they're climbing on our back or doing other stuff.
But there's nothing out there. There's no one who's really put in the time and effort to look at, you know, what does Islamic education look like for a child with autism with ADHD? with some other developmental disorder? You know, what does it look like for them, and it's very, it's not easy to do, especially when Autism is not one single type, yet, so many different types of manifestations of this problem. And, you know, it's, it's, you have to have a very differentiated response. And that's why even your conventional courses in school that they'll go to, teachers are required to provide differentiated instruction Common Core, the new school standard requires that they realize that kids
learn differently. So you have the teacher has to be adept enough to be able to adapt these lesson plans and the curriculum to the needs of these kids. But now again, when it comes to autistic kids, they hand that over to a different department, two different types of teachers who are skilled in that, when it comes to Sonic education, we have zero squat nothing. Right? So there's these challenges. And I think the first step is for us to recognize these issues, think about it systematically, and give emotional and spiritual support. A lot of times parents families will think, you know, what did I do wrong? is Allah punishing me? You know, why they had that why me type
of attitude? Sometimes you'll think, well, what did I eat? You know, what, what was I consuming? Where did I go was I, you know, led in the walls of my house is it California is a California as best as you know, if you look at different chemicals, how these things impact,
you know, the fetus, and its development, and thereafter. So there's a lot of issues that are all rolled up into one, what we think is for those who are interested from the brother side, and the sister side today, at the end of the day, it would be a huge accomplishment for myself, if for those who are seriously interested in networking, and creating this organization, and group from a very grassroots level, very local level,
you know, I would like to get your contact information, we'll have you on our list. And then we'll figure out how to meet to address these issues and begin sharing the type of resources and knowledge that we've come across individually and now help each other collectively. So that's essentially, I think, for myself, personally, I think it's a good place to to start, john. Second, Harrison, thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. I guess,
one of the points of all of this is just for us to realize that this is more common than we think it is. It's normal, it's nobody's fault.
Nobody is being punished or curse or anything. It's not your fault, or your spouse's fault, or because sometimes we think, you know, did I
end with a loss of data tests, each and every single one of us in different ways, you know, some of us are tested with fortune, some of us are tested with, with, you know, misfortune.
And there are all kinds of
challenges or disabilities or
special needs, all kinds, some of them are physical, some of them are emotional, or mental. Some of them are even social.
As a matter of fact, with the advancement of technology and, you know, medicine and research and all of that, you know, they're discovering more and more things. Some of these things are temporary, some of them are more chronic and in you know, long term have long term effects. Some of them have, some of them are genetic, some of them are not some of them, people are born with them, but they does not surface or does not manifest itself except later in time. Some of them you know, you see it from from birth. Some of them happen suddenly you could have somebody who's totally
Fully healthy, nothing is wrong with them. You know, all it takes is a car accident, or sometimes violent infection, or exposure to something to some chemical in this person's life and the life of his loved ones or her loved ones, or is altered. Sometimes it's a traumatic, you know, trauma that they're exposed to like a, you know, traumatic incident
or an accident, something you never know. So it's nothing, nothing to be ashamed of. And nothing to,
to hide, you know, one of these painful realities is that you find sometimes, you know, families or individuals, they would they would hide themselves or hide someone or, you know, imagine, you know, having a family member that you are you see once in a blue moon, you see them like, once,
you know, maybe on special occasions,
and then they're hidden.
Right? Why? Just because they have, why why does the family have to hide somebody? Why does that person have to be deprived? I mean, if that person has, you know, some sort of challenge, why add more to it?
You know, why can't that be, you know, what, what's, where's, you know, why do we have to be afraid of the stigma.
So, so it's not their fault, it's not their parents fault. However, it's a collective failure, if we, if we start behaving or doing the wrong thing, about about these, these type of issues, some of these conditions can be overcome. And they, you know, can be dealt with, especially if they're caught the earlier you catch them, the better chance you have to, you know, help that person
overcome this challenge. Sometimes parents because because of the social or the societal pressure, you know, they don't like to confront it, or they don't like they're in denial, they don't like to, to, to accept it, which may delay the process of them getting help,
or early prevention.
Just because they're afraid or worried about how people are going to perceive them or look at them, by the way, they're very well could be, you know, some of us or many of us maybe had something in our early childhood, or maybe in our teenage years, we may have had some emotional circle that we were able to cope with or overcome, or, you know, get over or somehow we're maybe good at masking it or hiding it. Yes, I will try to say that we could have had conditions that went undiagnosed or a notice. You never know.
Right? So so it's important that we we mature as a community in that we, we start, you know,
doing, you know, the right thing and having the right attitude, but these these, some of these issues, and this is one of these areas that that needs a lot of attention on our part. You know, I don't know why we haven't been discussing this, you know, for the past 10 years. I mean, we did have some, some some events here and there. But I think it should be it should be something that that we bring to the table discussing, as
we should we should be there for each other, help one another and be supportive.
I'll leave it at you know, I'll just close with one thing. One of the one of my objectives from having this discussing this here, is that we need to become as a community as a community and as a message, we need to become a place a safe and open place for everybody. And we need to become a place that accommodates everyone and everyone's needs. And we need to be sensitive. And be careful. And I remember one time there was somebody that came to me said, oh, by the way, you know that Brother, you know, tell him not to bring his kids why Oh, they disrupt lessons and they read. I'm like, do you know what that person might be dealing with?
perhaps maybe this brother is trying to give his wife a break. And he's trying to show his children, you know, connect his children to Islam. And the
last thing you want to do is scold or, you know, get on somebody's face, you know, for something that you you're not fully aware of. Right. So before we jump to
any conclusion before we judge people before, we are harder than we need to become, we need to develop this. this.
We need to have reima we need to have understanding what sort of loss of allies Elam did not finish the salon and say, Oh, those mothers were bringing their children, their children are crying. You should never come to the mercy again. He didn't do that. He said that I would start the Salah with the intention of making it long and then I hear the cry of a baby. God knows what that baby is going through.
And for the sake of His, of his mother, I shortened the prayer, I finished quickly so the mother can,
can go and attend to that child, and the mother does not have to have go through the psychological basically,
struggle during her Salah, the processing will shorten the salon for everybody.
Everybody's a winner. In this in this kind of case, a man walks into the machine of the profit center takes a corner and starts urinating.
You don't know what this person's mental capacity is. You don't know what this who this person is, you know, bad one that came you don't know what where this person is coming from the Sahaba were very upset the Prophet calm down hope leave them alone.
That was removed. Don't Don't, don't rush him. Let him finish. We'll deal with it later.
Can you imagine something like this happening now? What would be the reaction
of her community?
Right. So so we need to learn from the example of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam. And we need to broaden our our, you know, horizon and and
be less be more compassionate less, less judging of other people?
Shall if you have any question or comments or you know, feel free to address Yes.
Oh, I didn't know that.
And it should be okay. Even if they don't discover or investor thing. Yeah, yeah, I know. We want our children to be exceptional, right? We all want, by the way, we all think of our children to be exceptional, right? And they are exceptional. You just don't choose, you know, how exceptional or what kind of exceptional child they're going to have. But we just have to acknowledge this and, and, and, and be be supportive. Zach laughter for your words.
always make sure you have an appropriate
price for that. So this is the original article.
That's very interesting.
Not only that, even prenatal prenatal pills supplements have extra added folic acid in them. Yeah.
I think we have to be careful of when people the research is continuing yesterday there got another article, they said, Oh, you know, they found links. And remember, there is a difference between causation and correspondence. So you could have just if someone has high level of arsenic of lead, they said there's links suggesting, you know, some link to autism, but they still don't know, right? how it would work, even with folic acid and, you know, breast milk of what gets captured how it gets disseminated radiation. I remember, you know, my wife still says we were in Jordan for some time, when my when she was pregnant with our second child. And she's like, was it something I drink over
there? Was it something I ate over there? Was it the plane trip? You know, back? Was it something I was like, Look, forget about it doesn't matter. Right? You got to, if you begin to question what was it exactly, you'll not come to an end on it. Point is now you just got to look at it and say here's an opportunity for me to raise these children. Right. Right, and do what I can. And that's it, you know, but it from a medical perspective. The jury's out. And I would imagine it's going to be out for quite some time because they keep switching. And you keep finding new research that's suggesting this suggesting that everyone knows though the huge debate between, you know,
your immunization shots and autism or other developmental disorders, and it's a huge, huge debate. Still, right?
The medical community is adamant about no causal link whatsoever. Others parents, some of my professors are saying, I don't know about that, right there might be. And so parents are a little bit more skeptical of the science there, so to speak, science keeps changing, the methodologies keep changing. Then now again, another piece of research that came out this week based on fMRI
they found that certain parts of the brain are more active in pee in people without autism as opposed to others. So now they're focusing on that part of the brain and the functions and the qualities of that aspect. That may suggest right, certain types of chemicals in our body, neuro
tides. And just you know, the human being in the body is very complex. We don't know how it works. We're far from it.
And that's why I think, you know, President Obama for some time, he wanted to pour in a lot of money to research the human mind. And so neuroscience is big in every major school, they pour in tons and tons of money into education departments in autism research. When I was in undergrad. I mean, back in 96, my sister was a student as well. And she on the side had a job doing this type of respite care, right for kids with autism. And I had a professor whose son had autism. And that was the first time I ever heard of it, right. But there was so much money going in, and a lot more has gone in to help fund and research, you know, this problem, because one out of 10 right now, from 2014, one out
of every 68 people succeed people born with would develop or have ASD, right, and the numbers keep going up. It used to be one out of 110, back in 2000. So it keeps going up more and more people are having it all. Sometimes every sometimes I think about and I look at my friends and their families that are growing, it's almost as if I see at least one kid in a bigger family, right, has some sort of developmental disorder. And I told that to to one of my friends as a pediatrician. And he, you know, in his mom was a pediatrician. She said, yeah, that's that that's probably just because of your sample size. Not that doesn't. That doesn't represent the population, because the population is
about 1% of the American population has autism. But it just happened. But I see it a lot, right. I see. And sometimes I've seen among some of my friends who I can tell there's this child need some some help. But sometimes parents think that they'll snap out of it. Right? We'll get out of this. So it's very complicated and to think of causation. It's, it's, it's, it's important, but it can be a very, yeah, it can be a very,
you can start feeling guilty about things very easily, I think. And that's there's a huge spiritual danger of thinking, what did I do? My
emotional and mental energy and capacity that you have. These are resources, take it away from the one that needs it the most. So instead of preoccupying ourselves with what caused it, and why did it happen and all of that, why did it happen to me? Is it a punishment? Is it a test is it you know,
the sooner the person and the quicker the person copes with it, and realizes that there is nothing they can do about what happened but there's plenty they can do right now and provide for that person, the sooner they do that, the better off they are, and the better off that individual is. They're going to start feeling better about themselves and they're going to find out maybe you know, what the wisdom behind all of this might be? And different people have different ways to cope with these types of challenges.
May Allah Allah help us or any any other question follow up or
suggestion or anyone wants to
again there are so I mean we're gonna be in Charlotte Allah talking about autism in the month of April, like whole full fledge, you know, because it's Autism is like a huge like wide spectrum right now. There are so many things. There are very specifics, you know, that that we're not
are aware of we're not qualified to speak, to speak on, you know, but some of some of some of them appear to be chemical, some of them appear to be some of it, you know, can be genetic, others can be, I mean, what they don't know, is much more than what they know. Right. So it's an ongoing,
but there's a lot of progress that was done. One thing, and I'll just close with this, this is also one area that we need to educate ourselves on. But also, it's something that we should encourage our children, our, you know, high schoolers and college,
you know, college age children to specialize in and go into right, occupational therapist to be to be, you know,
speech therapist, you know, just to go into this, this field where you can help.
One of these
painful challenges many, many parents have is that
is that when they when they're looking for somebody that is much more sensitive to their culture, and to their faith, to their faith tradition. And when you don't find Muslim therapists,
you know, it makes it very difficult. So this is an area where
they get paid well, right. So this is an area where you can do a lot of where you can help, it's a noble field, it's a novel, to me, it's,
it's, you know, it should be very fulfilling.
For how much have they got high
Sausage, she has to do with
it's very important that you stay in the batter's box.
to be able to help children with special needs.
So no, this is it's a normal field, it's an overview. You know, we need teachers we need we need therapists we need we need, you know, specialists in these in these areas, it makes a big difference. It makes a big difference. And we just like any other community have our own, you know, specific needs and challenges.
So again, the idea was to raise awareness. And to, I want what I wanted to call this session is the need to talk about special needs, you know, so we need we have the need and shall have one last question.
for professional health professional
You know, the community
can come together and support
each other. You know, I've had family members and my friends struggle with mental health issues. When I talked about
working on it.
That's exactly what happened. That's exactly what we want to happen that this becomes, you know, again, as I said, it's a sign of maturity and we need to get in
To get mature, and we need to be very careful, we need to be very careful. And by the way, I just want to say, we need to be careful as parents, as extended family members as cousins, aunts, uncles.
Last thing you want to do is put down or somebody or
school someone, or advise someone on how to take care of their children, or how they could have avoided this or that's not what they need, what they need is support meaningful support, and understanding, not lectures about how you know what they should have done, or what they should have not done. And we need to be extra careful, and we need to be it's, in my opinion, is irresponsible. Can I say criminally irresponsible, you know, for anyone to, to make, even if it's your sister, your sibling, or your cousin, or your niece or nephew, or somebody that you're very comfortable with, we need to be very careful. As we judge, you know, people or as we tell people what to do what not to
do, what they should be avoiding what they should not, you have no idea what you could be doing to that person. So so if you're not qualified, if you're not an expert, if you're not trained to handle to handle it, or to talk about it, you know, you should, you should avoid it. So this is also one thing that within within, especially those of us who come from large families, we need to be very careful, sometimes family members cause more damage, you know, you find more understanding from the, from just some random people in public, they're like, they are much more sensitive, and understanding and accommodating than your own family members. And this is really, you know, this is
this is this is bad, when your own family members or community members don't have the same level of maturity or understanding, or they're not as accommodating in helping you. So this is one of these things, and I think we need to spread this, this, this push for this change in our culture, at the community level and, and also at the level, familiar level, or the level of the family, we need to do that. So next time you hear your cousin called somebody else, let's say a word that means, you know, mentally challenged or something like that as an insult, you need to reprimand them, you need to tell them listen, you shouldn't be saying stuff like that.
Or next time somebody you know, cracks a joke. Or, you know, especially if that person is or if it's let's say, you know, somebody older in the family, we need to find a way to convey a message to them. Listen, you're not supposed to be calling people these names. You're not supposed to be saying stuff like that. You're not supposed to be saying you know, just leave him alone, you know, this whole idea that he has mental issues, and they just neglect that person. And that person could be a genius, that person could be just, you know, so so we need to be very careful. And inshallah I invite you to
there there shantala during the awareness, Autism Awareness Month in Shabazz region, we'll we'll share some some material with you. But until then, I think this is a discussion that needs to we need to have, these are conversations that we need to have. It should be. It should be something that our community
a level of is something that the community should take on. pretty quick.
For there are a lot of people that need that need help and need support.
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