46. Autism in the Black American Community, with Maria Davis-Pierre
Feb 4th, 2021 by Autism Knows No Borders
Discover what’s possible when you start to examine your own biases.
Maria Davis-Pierre is a mother to an 8-year-old girl on the autism spectrum, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and the Founder and CEO of Autism in Black Inc., an organization dedicated to raising autism awareness and reducing the stigma within the Black community. Maria is also a coach, speaker, advocate, and author. She has been featured in Forbes, the New York Times, and Counseling Today, and her book The Self-Care Affirmation Journal was published in 2018.
In today’s conversation, Maria talks about the challenges of receiving her daughter’s diagnosis and explains why she started Autism in Black. As a Parent-Child Interaction Therapy intern, she describes how PC-IT can benefit families who are dealing with behavioral challenges.
We discuss how religion, misunderstanding of autism, and distrust of the health care system contribute to misdiagnosis. We also address the lack of research on autism in the Black community and why this problem leads to culturally-insensitive assessments and treatment plans.
Maria shares some of her experiences as a Black parent, including dealing with stress and being judged according to stereotypes.
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