This week I talk with therapist, coach, speaker, advocate, and author Maria Davis-Pierre. Maria is the founder of Autism in Black, which provides educational and advocacy services to Black parents who have a child on the spectrum, as well as to bring awareness to and reduce the stigma associated with an autism diagnosis in the Black community. I first read about Maria in a Forbes Magazine article highlighting the additional fears and worries parents raising kids of color face when their kids also have special needs. Autism in Black was born out of Maria’s personal journey of having to tirelessly advocate to ensure her daughter got the diagnosis she knew she needed at an early age.
Maria delves into the stigmas Black parents face from within and outside the Black community, how and why she teaches parents to advocate not just for their children but also for themselves, the difficulties Black children face in getting support in schools, the importance of cultural responsiveness from health care and social workers, and much more.
About Maria: Meet Maria Davis-Pierre, Founder and CEO of Autism in Black Inc., located in West Palm Beach, Florida. This organization aims to bring awareness to Autism Spectrum Disorder and reduce the stigma associated with the diagnosis in the Black community. As a licensed mental health therapist, Maria primarily works with parents to provide support through education and advocacy training. Her passion for working in the field stems from her personal journey with ASD when her daughter received the diagnosis at a very early age. In addition to therapy, Maria dons many other titles including coach, speaker, advocate, and author. Her first published work, The Self-Care Affirmation Journal, is currently available for purchase on Amazon. Maria’s unique approach to coaching and counseling exemplifies her drive and motivation toward greater acceptance and overcoming the barriers and personal struggles associated with raising a child on the spectrum.
THINGS YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:
- Maria’s personal story and what led her to create Autism in Black
- The unique concerns and considerations of raising a Black child with autism
- Why one of Maria’s goals is to help Black parents not only advocate for their children, but to better advocate for themselves
- The importance of being culturally responsive when working with the Black disability community and what that means
- What changes need to happen our school systems to better support Black kids on the spectrum and differently wired Black kids in general
- Autism in Black: Include the Excluded by Maria Davis-Pierre (coming in late 2020)
- Self-Care Affirmation Journal by Maria Davis-Pierre
- Freebies for Tilt Parenting listeners: text “TILT” to 33777
- For Mothers of Black Children with Disabilities, Living with Twice the Fear (article in Forbes Magazine)
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