Nika Arastoupour is aRealtor at Rogers Healy and
Associates and a co-ownerof The Helm ABA. She isalso the founder of Heartof Autism, which has raisedmore than $200,000 tohelp local families touched byautism. She and her husband,Amir, live in Frisco with theirsons, 7-year-old Mazy, who ison the autism spectrum, and
5:40AM I beat my alarm bya few minutes, so I browse
6AM Hit the elliptical for30 minutes and play a mix of Persianpop, hip-hop and Top 40 on Pandora.This is definitely my favorite part of theday—it sets the mood for everything else.
6:33AM Jump in the shower beforethe kids wake.
6:45AM The boys and I share somewake-up tickles, then it’s to the bathroomto brush teeth, wash faces andget dressed for school. Mazy finallyknows how to dress himself, so it’s acompetition for the boys to see whocan get ready the fastest.
7AM Amir preps breakfast so I canfinish getting ready. Cartoons keepthe boys subdued long enough to finish
breakfast. We have a schedule ofwhose day it is to have the remote—it’s a constant battle for control overthe television.
7:26AM We load up the car andare off to school drop-off. Mazy asksabout his schedule and confirms thesame daily routine.
7:29AM Carpool drop-off is always alittle hectic. Mazy can get very upsetif the car door is opened by the student
helpers who come out at 7:30,so we arrive a couple of minutes early.
7:35AM I make my way over to workin Lewisville. I call my mom and my BFFAnishta to talk about our lives while
applying makeup at every red light.
8:20AMPull up at The Helm ABAoffices. I dive into work on marketresearch, insurance verification callsand taking the overflow of intake calls.We provide in-home applied behavioranalysis to over 28 areas in NorthTexas, as well as in-center services, sothere is always plenty to do. Today,I’m working on the lease contract forour new Allen center.
12PM I work through lunchtime at mydesk. It’s Jimmy John’s to the rescue.
2PM I arrive for carpool at the boys’school with just enough time to checkemails and catch up on calls.
2:55PM My boys rush out of schooland jump into the car. They talk overeach other telling me about their day.We pull up to the house, where Mazy’sABA therapist awaits him. Mazy has lotsof questions about his session, as always.
3:10PM The boys drop their backpacksand grab a snack. Mazy startstherapy while Bijan does homework.
3:45PM Bijan and Amir head out formartial arts class, Mazy is upstairs andI catch up on more emails. Quiet time israre in this house so I make the most of it.
4:30PM Time to start prepping dinner:rice and beef kabobs. Our familyis Persian, and the kids love theirPersian food!
5:30PM I tidy up around the housebefore Bijan and Amir get home. Theyarrive shortly after, and we get ready
6PM Mazy is done with his therapy.Dinnertime—it is Mazy’s turn to saygrace, and of course Bijan jumps in to
add to it.
6:20PM We ask the boys about theirday. I begin to tear up because I’m sothankful for my boys and how far Mazy
has come. I recall our early days whenI didn’t know what today would looklike or if Mazy would have a voice. We
always count our blessings.
6:30PM The boys clean their plates andrush to the television. It’s a repeat of thismorning, and they fight over the remote.I remind them that it’s Bijan’s turn.
6:45PM Amir and I finish dinner. I reallydislike washing dishes so my amazinghusband does that chore for me.
7PM Bathtime. Tonight, I run an Epsomsalt and lavender bath for the boys.
7:20PM The kids choose their bedtimebooks. Mazy loves Elephant &Piggie books by Mo Willems whileBijan goes for a superhero book thathe got from his school library.
7:45PM Lights out! Bijan is out in fiveminutes. We hear Mazy stirring before hefinally falls asleep an hour later. We havecome a long way, and I am so thankfulthat he is able to put himself to sleep.
8PM Amir and I chat about our dayover some hot tea.
9PM I get the kids’ school bags cleanedout and sign their folders, and then I layout their clothes for the morning.
9:15PM Back to work, now on realestate. I catch up on emails and schedulea few lease showings for Friday
afternoon. A client is getting ready tolist their house for sale, so I run comparableanalyses of nearby properties.
11PM I catch up on work for mynonprofit, Heart of Autism, and workon agenda topics for our upcomingboard meeting.
11:30PM I review my to-do list andadd urgent things in my calendar fortomorrow morning. To be honest,everything seems urgent on most days.
12:40AM Finally in bed. I readthrough Facebook posts from parentsabout their kiddos who are on thespectrum. I shed some light where Ican and offer some words of encouragement.
1:15AM One last glance at the clockbefore I finally fall asleep.