World Autism Day: 4 Strategies to Help Improve the Health of Autistic Children in Black Communities and HomesApr 02, 2021 12:20PM ● By Nina Indigo
Figure 1: Dealing with Autism in the Black Community
Parents of the Black community often face many obstacles when raising their children with autism. Many find themselves constantly searching for ways to provide the best care for their autistic child, while navigating a world that does not always embrace them. Here are 4 resourceful strategies for Black families to use when caring for a child diagnosed with ASD.
1. Find a great Black therapist.
It is essential for a Black child diagnosed with ASD to find the proper care necessary for mental growth and development. Black children with ASD who grow without proper mental treatment or unmet mental health needs suffer greatly. To provide your child with the best care, it is a good idea to start searching for a Black therapists, one that thoroughly understands your case. Always remember, no one can guide without understanding the problem first. Find a therapist that understands the complex issues Black families face. Try going to your family doctor first, and ask them if they could recommend a Black therapist that they think is the best fit for your child. Look for someone who will guide your child in growing mentally stronger and who will pay attention to their needs.
Figure 2: Working with Black doctors and understanding from a cultural perspective.
2. Pay attention to the signs.
As a parent or caregiver, pay attention to your child and the status of their mental wellness. Take a look at these common symptoms a child with undiagnosed or misdiagnosed ASD might showcase. The earlier the diagnosis, the better.
- Repetitive behavior- repeating words, moving objects around, repetition of sound-making, or using words that do not have a purpose.
- Lack of focusing- has a hard time paying attention for a long period of time.
- Externalizing Behavior- meaning physical aggression, disobeying rules, destruction of property and objects, constantly interrupting.
- Less Impairment in social and emotional functioning- they do not interact well with others. Ultimately, experiencing difficulty experiences difficulty in communicating with others.
Be heard. Use your voice to advocate for the Black community. Join groups and foundations that contribute to this cause. You specifically work to educate, uplift and empower all the Black families with children who are diagnosed with ASD. Help to bring attention and awareness to the cause of helping Black children with ASD. Create a feeling of openness and acceptance within the community.
4. Be patient.
It can be difficult to properly communicate what it’s like having a child with ASD. It can be frustrating when your child is having a meltdown. Children with ASD do not respond well to physical punishment, so you must remember to be empathetic towards them during difficult behavioral and emotional moments. Be delicate with your voice when trying to get them to understand. This portrays a good example for them. Try taking your child to a park at least 3 times a week. Keeping them active will work wonders. Another potentially good strategy could be changing your child’s diet. This means no gluten, dairy, sugar, corn, and soy. All of these ingredients can be sensitive to children with autism.
If you find these 4 strategies useful, use them and share them with other parents within the Black community. It is vital for your child's mental health and overall wellness development that you use the best resources to help them. If you would like to find out more about ASD, search Camille Proctor, founder of The Color of Autism. Proctor devotes herself to helping Black children with autism, and she works hard to provide Black autistic children with the immediate care they are often unable to obtain. You can also visit https://www.thecolorofautism.org to learn more.
Peart, Tanvier. “Breaking Down The Color of Autism: Why Black Families Need Access to Resources Now.” Essence Magazine, 2 May 2016.
Nina Indigo is a Storyteller and Digital Journalist @ FunTimes Magazine. She is also a Contributor to InClub Magazine. She writes on topics for the health and wellness segments. She practices Vegetarianism, loves poetry, African/African American Literature, creative writing, research, yoga poses, and meditation.
In her articles, she provides her readers with organic content for people of all backgrounds and communities, she is truthful, writes to empower and inform. She helps readers make their best holistic decisions in their lives, communities, and societies. In 2021, she will obtain her BA in English Writing, with a minor in African and African American Literature Studies. To follow up on her latest articles google Nina Indigo @ FunTimes. You can also follow her @ linkedin.com/in/Nina-i-140973146. In her articles, her motive is to provide to her readers a how, and why holistic health is not just important, it's a necessity to our whole well-being. Her articles do not simply empower and inform, but present relevant ideas and solutions to the essential wellness topics discussed.