Autism, Race and Culture

In this week's podcast I speak to Reena Anand about Autism, Race and Culture as well as her journey to being an autism advocate. Continue Reading Autism, Race and Culture

Welcome to the 187th episode of the award-winning Diverse Minds podcast. It’s World Autism Acceptance Week until 2 April. Thinking about Autism, race and culture, is a conversation which is only just emerging. So to talk about this more about this, I am joined by Reena Anand

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About my guest

A lawyer and former ombudsman specialising in consumer vulnerability and the Equality Act, Reena founded her consultancy after her son was diagnosed with autism and she realised how little representation and bespoke support there was for BAME parents in similar situations.

Her work focuses on recognising cultural biases and misconceptions which can impact BAME autistic children getting a diagnosis and accessing support. Reena writes about her parenting experience, lends her voice to discussions about the impact of health and social policy on BAME communities, delivers talks to organisations seeking to support their employees with autistic children, and workshops for parents and communities who want to support their members more inclusively.

Her recently launched a podcast called Unpacking Autism which addresses the impact of culture on the life of autistic individuals and their families.

She is on the co-production board at Aubilities which helps organisations use autistic neurodivergence to increase value; a Trustee at the Race Equality Foundation, a national charity which promotes race equality in social support and public services; and Inclusion Governor and Chair of the Governing Body at her local primary school.

In today’s show on Autism, Race and Culture

  • About Reena and what she’s working on at the moment [02:15]
  • The way she has conversations about culture and parenthood with parents. [04.00]
  • How she transitioned from being a full-time lawyer to what she does now [05.13]
  • The biggest challenges parents of children with autism face with trying to access primary care. [11:45]
  • Her top three tips for looking after her mental health [22:24]

Quotes on Autism, Race and Culture

  • The biggest challenges for autistic people are not because of Autism, but the fact that society is not built for neurodivergent people.
  • I don’t think autism itself is good or bad. It’s different.
  • There’s still a lot of stigma around mental health.
  • I began nurturing my own mental health very late in life.

Resources on Autism, Race and Culture

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Remember to tune in next week, where I’ll bring you more insights on mental health and inclusion.

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