Throughout my life my ethnicity has masked my autism and ADHD. When I was young my inability to fit in was attributed to the fact that I grew up in a predominantly white area, my difficulties in sports were deemed to be due to me being of small Indian build (when in actuality I was hypermobile with low upper body strength and issues with co-ordination).
When I was struggling with my identity as a teenager this was attributed to the fact I had not grown up with my own culture. When the bullying started and continued from primary until I left compulsory education, this was again thought to be racially motivated. Even my spiky profile which led me to be both shy and extroverted, exuberant and insecure was thought to be due to my ethnic identity issues.
I am interested to know how often this is overlooked in classrooms. How many children are marked as being culturally different rather than neurologically different? If these stereotypes are still masking children’s true struggles then are we letting ethnic minority, neurodivergent children down?