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Digital Recordings

Racial Disparities and Neurodivergence in Autism: Strategies for Systemic Change and Equitable Care

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Robert Naseef, PhD |  Michael Hannon, PhD, LAC (NJ), NCC
1 Hour 33 Minutes
Apr 22, 2022
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Digital Recordings


Drawing on both clinical as well as lived experience as fathers of autistic children, Drs. Robert Naseef and Michael Hannon highlight the realities of inequitable care of minority autistic individuals rendered by healthcare systems. You can expect to be oriented to the consequences of structural and systemic racism in the provision of autism-related therapeutic services for autistic people, with a particular emphasis on members of their family systems.

From racial disparities in access to timely and quality care to the influences of those disparities, you will walk away empowered to design strategies for more equitable and just engagement with autistic clients and their families.



This online program is worth 1.75 hours CPD.



Robert Naseef, PhD's Profile

Robert Naseef, PhD Related seminars and products

Robert Naseef, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who became a typical father in 1979. It was a dream come true – those magical first smiles, first steps, first words. Then in 1981, his son stopped talking, stopped playing normally, and began flapping his arms. From those first red flags of autism until now, he has not stopped living and learning about autism and the family – the central theme of his life and work – counseling, speaking, teaching, and writing about the impact of autism on families.

Dr. Naseef practices at Alternative Choices, which was founded in 1990 with Cindy N. Ariel, PhD. They have a general practice with a specialty in helping families of children with autism and other special needs, including autism spectrum evaluations for all ages. Alternative Choices provides monthly support groups for fathers and families. Dr. Naseef serves as a consultant to school districts, special education parent organizations, attorneys, Pennsylvania Bureau of Disability determination, and other groups.

Dr. Naseef’s speaking and writing utilizes a singular voice as a psychologist and father of an adult son with autism. His latest book, Autism in the Family: Caring and Coping Together (2013, Brookes Publishing), includes praise from autism experts, parents, and people with autism such as Temple Grandin and Stephen Shore. His writing combines and integrates professional and personal perspectives focusing on helping families navigate the emotional landscape and the controversial issues of raising a child with an autism spectrum disorder through the lifespan. One of his special interests is the psychology of men and fatherhood. Dr. Naseef enjoys speaking at conferences national and internationally on the vital issues facing families.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Robert Naseef maintains a private practice and receives royalties as a published author. He receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-Financial: Robert Naseef is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Autism Society of America. He is the father of an adult biracial Black son with autism.

Michael Hannon, PhD, LAC (NJ), NCC's Profile

Michael Hannon, PhD, LAC (NJ), NCC Related seminars and products

Michael Hannon, PhD, LAC (NJ), NCC, is an Associate Professor of Counseling at Montclair State University. An award-winning counselor, educator and scholar, Dr. Hannon is a highly sought-after lecturer, consultant, and collaborator. He takes great pride in leveraging his lived experiences and his professional counseling experience in K-12, student affairs, and clinical settings to the classroom and to his research.

Dr. Hannon’s research primarily focuses on Black men’s wellness, with a focus on the value they derive from their roles as fathers, community leaders, clients, and counselor educators. His dissertation was the first study about the mental health of Black fathers of autistic people. He also actively conducts studies and publishes about anti-Black racism in professional counseling and school counselors’ professional development needs. To this end, Dr. Hannon has authored 30 publications and made over 90 presentations at professional counseling and allied health conferences and his work has been cited over 200 times since 2017. He has been a featured contributor to media outlets and organizations such as Autism Speaks, Thrive Global, Fusion, Neurodiversity Experts, and Huffington Post. His forthcoming book, Black Fathering and Mental Health will be published by Peter Lang in spring 2022.

Drs. Michael and LaChan Hannon are the co-founders of the Greater expectations Teaching & Advocacy Center (GETAC), a non-profit organization based in Burlington County, New Jersey, dedicated to supporting families supporting and institutions serving neurodivergent and other marginalized children and families.



Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Michael Hannon has employment relationships with Montclair State University, Center for MARCUS, and AJ Drexel Autism Institute. He receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Michael Hannon is a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA).


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Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

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  1. Analyze disparate trends in autism diagnosis rates and quality of care by racial groups in the United States and its relevance in service providers current scope of work.
  2. Assess current level of equitable engagement with families whose identities are identified as being in the American racial, ethnic, and/or spiritual/religious minority.
  3. Design potential strategies for more equitable engagement with families whose identities are in the American racial, ethnic, and/or spiritual/religious minority.


  • Operationalizing the relationship of bias, prejudice, and stereotyping to individual and systemic racism
  • Illuminating disparate trends in autism diagnosis and quality of care by racial groups in the United States
  • Assessing current level and quality of engagement with families of autistic people in the racial, ethnic, and/or spiritual/religious minority
  • Development and design of strategies for equitable engagement with families of autistic people in the racial, ethnic, and/or spiritual/religious minority
  • Limitations of research and potential risks

Target Audience

  • Addiction Counselors
  • Counselors
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Physicians
  • Psychologists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Social Workers
  • Teachers/School-Based Personnel
  • Other Mental Health Professionals


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