Letters

Jane,

I was recently interviewed. I dislike almost everything about it from the picture selected to the obvious lack of care and attention to detail a subject of this nature warrants. The interviewer didn't even care enough to get another woman's child's name right. She used my son's name instead and gave a half hearted apology for doing so.

I really want the impact of what we'd gone through during those early stages of seeking a diagnosis to stand out. I wanted people to understand the gravity of the disparity that many black mothers are going through when seeking a diagnosis and services for their child who may have autism. It's not just about getting the wrong diagnosis or being passed from place to place. It's the blatant disregard for what the mother is trying to accomplish. It's about experts who see a child that is clearly autistic and are so willingly to deny the proper diagnosis so he can get much needed services that are unavailable to him otherwise. And last, but not least, the determination to leave a black mother's cry for help unanswered. 

Too much is being left on the cutting room floor. People need to see the ugliness of the REAL fight to get a proper autism diagnosis for a black child. They need to know about the screaming matches between mother and service coordinator when the service coordinator screams that her child will "NEVER" get CAP (a highly coveted Medicaid Waiver Program).

I am tired of white reporters pretending to want to tell our stories, only to flick out a few benign flakes of something slightly interesting so they can claim their place in the mainstream as real pioneers of truth to an audience who could never understand the magnitude of the effects of not being counted among the masses. We are not counted in this land, not even on the disability level. We are nothing to white disability agencies and we will never be anything until we validate ourselves. We are the only ones who can make our stories real.

Please forgive me, but I had to get that out. I would like very much to share my story and have it told by NBDC which is the only entity I know that has the integrity to tell the story right.

Jackie Pilgrim