cover image Parenting at the Intersections: Raising Neurodivergent Children of Color

Parenting at the Intersections: Raising Neurodivergent Children of Color

Jaya Ramesh and Priya Saaral. Parenting Press, $19.99 trade paper (344p) ISBN 978-1-64160-889-3

Therapists Ramesh and Saaral debut with an insightful guide on parenting kids of color with ADHD, autism, dyslexia, OCD, or other neurological conditions. The authors suggest that though neurodivergent children often play in ways that adults might not understand, parents should allow them to play how they want to, which “helps our children feel capable, confident, [and] powerful.” Noting the disproportionate arrest rates for kids with disabilities and young people of color, Ramesh and Saaral suggest parents ask their children to carry an identity card featuring their parents’ contact information and the child’s diagnosis in case they’re picked up by police suspicious of their divergent behavior. The social analysis is at times simplistic; for instance, the authors contend that “capitalism actively discourages play, every day, everywhere,” but they don’t address the fact that the toy industry spends hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing annually. Still, the tone is compassionate (“Your child may take some time in developing a skill and may need to revisit a phase—all of this is OK”) and parents’ stories offer insight into handling challenges, as when a mother describes how her autistic daughter’s refusal to wear sanitary napkins forced the mother to try out alternatives until discovering that period-proof underwear did the trick. It’s an empathetic look at how to meet kids where they’re at. (Jan.)