This Autism Awareness Month, Don’t Forget About Black Autistic Women

By Ayanna Phenomenallyautistic: For Complete Post, Click Here…

When you think of autism, a Black face probably does not pop into your head. A grown Black woman’s face almost definitely does not pop into your head. White people are the unofficial face of autism, white boys in particular. Black women are the forgotten community within the autism community. People either don’t know we are here, or they know but choose not to acknowledge us. Why? Because it’s easier to continue to push the narrative that Black women are just angry than to admit that we live with neurodivergent conditions just like other races. It’s easier to say we have “attitude” than to admit we may be struggling. It’s easier to say we are problematic than give us some grace. Black women do not receive the grace that little white boys often get when it comes to autism.

Black children, on average, are diagnosed three years later than their white peers — that is, if they are given a diagnosis at all.  Systemic racism plays a big role in that. A Black child and white child can be showcasing the same traits and they will call the Black child bad, ghetto, difficult, and combative while their white peer will be given sympathy. Sympathy will lead to testing which will then lead to answers, then resources to live more comfortably with autism. When I was diagnosed, I wasn’t given any resources. It was like, “OK, yeah, you’re on the spectrum. Here’s some medication. Goodbye.” Any therapies I went to were found through research done by my dad. When white people are diagnosed as children, they are often given direction and resources. I was not given any of those things, again because they do not want to acknowledge that we are here.

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