This talk will focus on examining depressive symptoms among Black autistic youth and addressing issues in mental health help-seeking for Black autistic youth. There is very limited research on the mental health experiences of Black autistic youth specifically in the areas of depression and anxiety. The lack of research is surprising given that data shows that autistic youth in general tend to have greater rates of depression than their non-autistic peers. Given that Black youth are at increased risk of experiencing depression and depressive symptoms, and autistic youth similarly are more likely to experience depression, it can be assumed that Black autistic youth are uniquely vulnerable to depression or depressive symptoms.
In this talk, Dr. Ed-Dee Williams, PhD, LLMSW will present a recent study that examined racial disparities between autistic youth experiencing depressive symptoms. Results from this study found among a small sample of autistic transition-aged youth that Black autistic youth were more likely to report experiencing depressive symptoms than their White autistic counterparts. These findings have led to an important conversation in autism research about the mental health experiences of Black autistic youth as well as the importance of improving diversity and utilizing an intersectional approach in autism research.
Attendees will leave this talk with a deeper understanding of the experiences of Black autistic youth and the factors that make them uniquely vulnerable to experiencing depression. Additionally, attendees will gain an understanding of how intersectionality is being utilized in autism research as a means of understanding the unique social context of Black autistic youth.
1 CE Contact hour available
University of Michigan
School of Social Work
1080 South University Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106