Critical and Radical Social Work
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Young, gifted and black: the intersectionality of race, intellectual disability and neurodivergence

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  • 1 University of Salford, UK
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This article critically examines the impact of health and social care provision on separated categories of race, disability and neurodivergence. It deconstructs the racist impacts of the neoliberal individual budgets agenda as experienced by a young Black African person with intellectual disabilities and autism, living as a second-generation migrant in the UK. This article highlights intersectional methodological and practice implications for health and social care provision within England and Wales. The erasure of intersectional race, intellectual disability and neurodivergent identities in UK health and social care policies and practice procedures results in the invisibility, misrecognition and consequential misdiagnosis of the intersectional complexities of the needs and entitlements of young black people. The convergence of racist, disablist and elitist neoliberal agendas is identified as leading to increased risks of incarceration for young black people with intellectual disabilities and autism. The specificity of the individual needs of young black people with intellectual disabilities and autism demand anti-racist approaches that confront the assumption that Black African families in the UK ‘look after their own’ and require minimal social care involvement.

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  • 1 University of Salford, UK

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