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Hind’s Hands: A “Not Mad. Motivated.” Book Sharing

My collection of children’s books about Autism continues to grow! I am happy to share my latest addition, Hind’s Hands: A Story About Autism.

Hind's Hands: A Story About Autism by Umm Juwayriyah and Juwayriyah Ayed

When I saw that Author Umm Juwayriyah was planning to visit my hometown with “books in tow”, I could not pass up the opportunity to meet – and purchase a book directly from – an author that I follow on social media. I performed an online search to explore Umm Juwayriyah’s catalog of work and to get a better idea of which book I wanted to buy. To my great satisfaction, I found that she, along with her daughter, Juwayriyah, wrote a book about Autism!

Meet the Author

I have loved reading for fun since I was a child, and once aspired to have my own bookstore. Even now, I look forward to owning a home with a dedicated library room.

Of all the years of me enjoying books, I have only met a handful of the authors who are responsible for providing me with their unique gifts of reading. Umm Juwayriyah is the latest of authors that I had the pleasure of meeting!

We arranged to meet at a local Masjid on a bright Saturday afternoon. As a parent of three school-aged children, and as someone who works full-time from home, having a face-to-face conversation with another adult was a welcomed departure from my typical day. We spent a good amount of time chatting before the North Carolina heat became sweltering. Despite the heat, it was great to meet a sister in both Faith and in parenting an Autistic child.

Faith Helps Sibling Practice Patience

Hind’s Hands: A Story About Autism is a lovely book from the perspective of nine year old Juwayriyah. Juwayriyah is the big sister of Hind, who is Autistic.

She’s kinda rough on the outside, but once you get to know her and her ways, then you’ll see how sweet she is.

Hind’s Hands: A Story About Autism

Having an Autistic sibling can be challenging. But Juwayriyah learns that patience is an important characteristic of any big sister (or brother). When Juwayriyah was younger, she would sometimes yell at Hind, allowing her frustrations to get the best of her. This would result in both her and Hind crying. Their Ummi (Mommy) used these difficult situations to teach Juwayriyah to help Hind learn by showing her good examples.

After receiving Ummi’s words of advice, Juwayriyah tries hard to be a better big sister and she asks Allah (God) for more patience. Now, Juwayriyah reacts differently when Hind messes up a clean room or has an outburst. Instead of yelling, Juwayriyah says Bismillah (In the name of Allah) and softly rub Hind’s hands together for her. Juwayriyah knows that Hind’s hands are special and important. She uses this knowledge to help Hind feel calm. She even shows Hind some hand games!

A “Not Mad. Motivated.” Point of View

I love that this book is full of lessons and teachable moments! This Story About Autism is a true reflection of what “Not Mad. Motivated.” means – using moments of difficulty and growing from them! As the mother of three boys, the youngest being Autistic, I have witnessed many incidences leading to great frustrations. From messing up rooms, to taking food and drinks, to being loud all night, my oldest two sons can truly relate to Juwayriyah’s difficulties. However, reading Hind’s Hands is a reminder to them to practice patience and to seek Help from their Creator. It also reminds them of how important they are to the family and to their younger siblings.

This book is special to me because it depicts a Black Muslim family who loves and grows with someone with Autism. This is the first occasion that I have personally witness this depicted in a children’s book. I am happy to share it with my family because it reflect us in so many ways. I am happy to share it with others because it may also reflect them in many ways. Whether you are Muslim or not, and no matter your race, many of us are connected through our relationship with Autism. We are connected through our need for support and understanding. We are connected through our dreams, our hopes, our pain, our strengths, and our struggles.

Speaking of dreams. . .

Bonus Book Sharing: YASEEN’S BIG DREAM

Author Umm Juwayriyah has a book that came out earlier this year! Yaseen’s Big Dream is an exciting children’s book about a very ambitious young boy. This book is not specifically about Autism. But a story about dreaming big is really a story about most of us.

Yaseen's BIG Dream by Umm Juwayriyah

What I appreciate most about this book, is that Yaseen’s dream are never selfish. He is not dreaming to be rich or famous. He is dreaming to be helpful to others! Even though he is an important person in his biggest dream, he doing things like feeding the homeless (and feeding them well, may I add) and teaching communities how to start their own gardens. Yaseen is a true leader in his desire to make a difference in the lives of others.

Support “Not Mad. Motivated.”

Thank you for visiting Not Mad. Motivated. We appreciate your support! If you believe that difficulties are best utilized as opportunities of motivation, consider purchasing a Not Mad. Motivated. tee shirt from our online shop. Use our contact form to order specific sizes or colors.

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Trey, the Chef: A “Not Mad. Motivated.” Book Sharing

Trey, the Chef
Written by Kira Parris-Moore
Illustrations by Federica Fabbian
Newman Springs Publishing 2019

For over a year, I have been collecting children’s books about Autism. Some books have been added to our family library. Other books were donated to my son’s classroom. All of them have been wonderfully unique – similar to the Autistic children that each book represents.

I am incredibly excited to share with you all one of the latest books added to our home collection. Author Kira Parris-Moore was inspired by her son’s passion for cooking when she wrote Trey, the Chef. As the Creator of Books2Inspire, LLC., Kira Parris-Moore aims to “increase awareness of various developmental disabilities and mental health disorders” by showcasing children’s books “that recognize resiliency in children and their ability to overcome life’s challenges”. Indeed, Trey, the Chef, the first book featured on Books2Inspire.com, will help inspire many to widen their views about Autism.

Trey, the Chef is a fictional story that depicts the real possibilities for all children who have proper support and motivation. Kira Parris-Moore imagines her son as a renowned chef who uses his creativity and attention to details to communicate to the world. When the story introduces common tasks that are difficult for Trey, Kira Parris-Moore announces that Trey has AUTISM with a visual style that depicts a true celebration for EVERYTHING that he is! Although the story makes mention of them, Trey, the Chef is definitely not defined by his challenges. Kira Parris-Moore sends to me a clear message about allowing our children to pave their own beautiful path to success while utilizing their strengths versus dwelling on adversity.

Cooking Like Chef Trey

I was ecstatic to purchase Trey, the Chef for many reasons. However, a bonus to owning this book are the included recipes. Both recipes, salmon croquettes and elephant ears, were easy to follow and delicious. We enjoyed the versatility of the salmon croquettes; we ate them plain and with ketchup and/or bread. I do not eat much fish but I was happy to have these, and look forward to my sons making them regularly! I think our croquettes (pictured below) turned out pretty good for our first try!

Our tasty salmon croquettes!

We had our elephant ears with cinnamon-sugar, and the first few moments of eating were composed of many satisfying mmms. Needless to say, I have some new food items to add to the “keep in-stock” list!

Our delicious elephant ears!

Trey, the Chef is a delightful book that I believe has a place in all children’s lives. It can help inspire Autistic children to express themselves in what ever language works for them. It can also teach other children that being different should be celebrated, and that everyone has special gifts. The benefits of this book goes beyond its cover to connect people through better understanding and good food.

You can buy your copy of Trey, the Chef on Amazon.com or at Books2Inspire.com.

Support “Not Mad. Motivated.”

Thank you for visiting Not Mad. Motivated. We appreciate your support! If you believe that difficulties are best utilized as opportunities of motivation, consider purchasing a Not Mad. Motivated. tee shirt from our online shop. Use our contact form to order specific sizes or colors.

If you are not a current subscriber, please subscribe to have future blog posts delivered directly to you!

Do you have thoughts to share about this blog? Your comments are welcomed!

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Visiting Falls Lake (NC) Brings New Awareness – A “Not Mad. Motivated.” Point of View

Last week, my family and I took an impromptu visit to a local lake. We first grabbed some lunch and then headed to the water. There are many lake access points and our adventure led us to one that we have visited many times in the past. We walked through some trees, with cups from lunch in hand, to have some family fun.

My oldest son followed their father’s lead and removed his shoes. After a short delay, I removed the shoes and socks of our youngest [and Autistic] son. My middle son was not immediately sold on getting into the water and instead requested to take a walk. So off him and I went.

We did not go very far before stopping to observe the environment – the smell, the tall grass growing in the water, the butterflies. When I looked over at the rest of the family, I panicked at the sight of my youngest son about knee deep in the lake. He started moving back toward the bank, likely in reaction to my outburst.

I realized that I was probably overreacting. I didn’t want to rob my middle son of his time, so I began to refocus on my interaction with him. But instead, he cut the walk short since I was, as he stated, ‘scared’. As we were walking to rejoin the others, I noticed our youngest son was now about chest deep in the lake. My panic returned and multiplied. Although his dad was calling for him to return, we could slowly see more and more of him disappearing into the water as he ignored the calls.

I did not want to rush toward him and risk him moving faster into deeper water, as he seemed to be moving in slow motion. He is usually very good at following instructions to ‘come here’. However, on this occasion and for reasons unknown, he was not interested in following directions.

I do not imagine that he understood how his act of defiance was actually placing his life in danger. His dad moved in to get him after a short time, although it felt like several minutes! He was safely returned to the bank of the lake with his clothes wet up to his shoulders and cup still in hand.

A “Not Mad. Motivated.” Point of View

It truly is a Blessing that we left the lake with all three of our sons being alive and well. Even though I had my eyes on him, the thought of him moving into deeper water and losing his ability to stand before someone got to him was frightening. In one moment, he was walking behind his dad. In the next moment, he forged his own path into deeper waters.

Ironically, an incident that I worried could have ended tragically actually now has revealed itself as a symbolism of life. Our children follow us to learn by our actions and our words. Eventually most of them will pave their own paths in this world. Some of them with stay on ‘bank’. Some of them will ‘get their feet wet’. While others will ‘dive right in’. What we must do as parents, caregivers, and supportive communities, is prepare them to the best of our ability, and keep our eyes open for them in case they need help.

There are many bumps in the road for someone that is responsible for the well being of a child. Try not to focus on the bumps. Instead, focus on letting every child know that they are worth the journey. And teach them skills that just might smooth out their road in the future. Time for swim lessons!

Support “Not Mad. Motivated.”

Thank you for visiting Not Mad. Motivated. We appreciate your support! If you believe that difficulties are best utilized as opportunities of motivation, consider purchasing a Not Mad. Motivated. tee shirt from our online shop.

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A Not Mad. Motivated. Store/Story : : : End – of – Inventory Alert

It has been a busy week at Not Mad. Motivated. (NMM) as we recently invested in a WordPress Business Plan. Since the start of NMM in 2018, all of our sells have been made in person. We are now expanding our business to accommodate future customers in more distant regions! As we continue building our online store, we question whether to include one of our three styles of tee shirts, since the style has only seven adult shirts currently available. Instead of excluding these seven shirts from our store, we decided to highlight them in a blog post!

In August of 2017, our son was diagnosed with Autism. Although we had expected the diagnosed, the new certainty had a huge impact. When you think about it, nothing had really changed from one day to the other. However, simultaneously, everything changed! What do we need to know? How do we build our son’s team? What must we do differently to increase our son’s ability to learn and thrive? Will he ever be able to speak? Was his Autism caused by something we did? How do we figure all this out, and more, while balancing a full-time career and two other children? To say the least, there were lots of anxiety that came after his diagnosis. We did not have many answers about the future, but a pause became necessary. And our Not Mad. Motivated. mindset was ignite.

The phrase “Not Mad. Motivated.” was initially inspired by the need to grow from a negative situation. This is not to say that Autism is a negative; instead the negatives were the anxieties and worries that came along with the diagnosis. Thinking forward, we knew that it would be ideal to reduce the need of full-time employment in order to be more flexible for our family’s needs. Before September 2017 was over, the Trademark process to protect the phrase “Not Mad. Motivated.” had been started with the idea of creating a family business that would eventually help supplement us financially.

After our trademark application was submitted, we began to worked on a design to incorporated on our first tee shirts. With a few disappointing attempts for the perfect design, we decided to keep our first shirts simple. Just the words “Not Mad. Motivated.”! We had a few shirts made for the family in 2017, and purchased a larger order in 2018 that were made available to the public. We have seven adults tees left to sell and they are now available at our online store. Although our store is not yet complete, we would like to invite you to view and shop during our soft-opening. We also invite your comments and request for additional sizes and colors.

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Size Small in Maroon (1) ; Size X-Large in Brown (1) and Light Blue (2); Size 3X-Large in Maroon (1), Brown (1), and Royal Blue (1)
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Celebrate Often! A “Not Mad. Motivated.” Point of View

As a parent of an Autistic child with learning disabilities, adopting the habit of celebrating – even the smallest of victories – is not unusual. Something as small as my son handing me a plate with a bag of chips, or a container of hummus, is enough for me to celebrate! Not only is he communicating his desires, but he is also displaying significant growth.

In the past, instead of handing me items, he would go ‘shopping’ in the kitchen on his own. He is very observant and incredibly fast. The exact moment that there was not at least one eye on him, he would stealthily invade the pantry or refrigerator, opening whatever he had a taste for, by any means necessary. The devastation left behind was often a test of my patience.

Witnessing his growth does wonders for my ability to support him. It is his growth, big or small, that reminds me to not get in the way of his progress! His growth reminds me that he is only volunteering to show me a snapshot of his abilities; and that I must discover how to motivate him to share more of his hidden skills and talents.

A “Not Mad. Motivated.” Point of View

No matter your situation, strive to find your reason(s) to celebrate today and everyday. It is not always easy but I assure you that there is at least one reason to be grateful. If you did not wake up in pain, celebrate – be thankful. If you woke up in less pain then you were in the night before, be thankful. If you had a safe place to sleep last night, be thankful. You could never count all of the many Blessings that you experience in a day or a life, so decide to celebrate often!