• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

Podcast by and for Native Americans shines light on disability, mental general well being | Wellness


Mar 18, 2023

LAWRENCE – Miranda Carman could not get a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder for her son till he was prior his fourth birthday. Appropriate soon after years of waiting, she hoped her son’s diagnosis would lastly open the door to intervention options.

But Carman, a Muscogee (Creek) Nation citizen and licensed clinical social worker, rapidly found that there was only a single applied behavioral options provider readily obtainable in her area of Oklahoma, and her insurance coverage coverage would not cover her son’s remedy. To access care, Carman left her job to function for the Indian Wellness Service, which offered insurance coverage coverage that would cover her son’s therapy.

It is sharing stories such as this a single that are the foundation of Black Feathers, a new podcast with ties to University of Kansas investigation that supplies a platform for discussions on disability inside tribal nations. The podcast is supplying a reside episode on March 21.

The show is hosted by Cherokee Nation citizen Crystal Hernandez, Psy.D., M.B.A., and Choctaw Nation citizen Shauna Humphreys, M.S., L.P.C., every single pros in mental general well being. Episodes concentrate on Native American experiences with intellectual disabilities, obtaining out disabilities, mental general well being, anxiousness troubles and healthcare access, amongst other subjects. It is the only podcast by and for Native Americans focused on intellectual and developmental disabilities, Hernandez stated.

“A lot of situations, we are stripped of our voices, and options and alternatives are created with out us,” added Hernandez, who is a mother of an autistic son. “It’s basically important that we’re heard or noticed for who we are, and that concerns are not constructed about us, for us—but are constructed with us, and by way of us.”

Hernandez is the executive director of the Oklahoma Forensic Center and is a board member of the Autism Foundation of Oklahoma. Humphreys is a licensed specialist counselor and an advocate for mental healthcare in tribal nations. She is the behavioral general well being director for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. She also brings her experiences as a mother of five children to the podcast.

Hernandez stated there are quite a few missed possibilities for significantly a lot more inclusive and significantly a lot more readily obtainable options for developmental disabilities in Native American communities.

“We have to do significantly superior as a people and as a approach,” she stated.

Looking for details

Black Feathers grew out of a want to have to collect details about tribal communities across the U.S. in a way that was also culturally sensitive. Information and facts is important to show policy makers and other people who could allocate sources what options are needed, and how supports want to have to be structured in a way to be culturally rooted and acceptable, Hernandez stated.

Shea Tanis, associate investigation professor, leads the State of the States in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities at the Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities. In 2018, an advisory group to the project requested that researchers companion with tribal communities to recognize the journey of Indigenous people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their households, Tanis stated.

“These are not communities that ordinarily get captured in our details,” she stated. “So, the genesis came from our group wanting to investigate significantly a lot more.”

For instance, only a single-quarter of autism intervention study supplied details on the race and ethnicity of participants, according to a study published in Autism in January 2022 that looked at details from significantly a lot more 1,013 study from 1990-2017. For these study in which race was identified, the assessment identified white participants created up 64.eight% of the total portion studied. This was distantly followed by Hispanic/Latino participants at 9.4%, Black participants at 7.7% and Asian participants at six.4%. There was only a single Native American participant identified across all study surveyed.

As plans for the investigation by way of the State of the States in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities project had been beneath way, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the group to think differently about how they could companion with tribal nations.

“What we did alternatively is started possessing a pivot conversation about alternatives,” Hernandez stated. “And so, from that, I stated, ‘Well, what about a podcast?’”

To gather details, the podcast has a two-prong tactic. Really very first, Hernandez and Humphreys stated the podcast serves as a platform for people from any federally recognized tribal nation and from non-federally recognized tribes to speak about their experiences, to seriously really feel drastically much less alone and be empowered to share their voices.

Second, Tanis stated, a type on the Black Feathers website offers a space for tribal citizens to contribute about their experiences connected to disabilities.

“It will help us create important mass to drive innovation toward culturally-rooted options and supports by way of details,” Tanis stated.

Storytelling concentrate

Hernandez stated that she and Tanis have had quite a few conversations about meaningful procedures to attain in, align and generate stories out of details and out of stories themselves. Private stories, they agreed, would be central to the function.

“In the native culture, storytelling is massive,” Humphreys added. “And a podcast is possibly a modern way of storytelling.”

As a guest of the third episode of the podcast, Carman spoke about how her son, like quite a few children with autism, loved the water. Also, common of autistic children, he loved to wander.

“It was the scariest point as a parent,” stated Carman.

Carman’s story illustrated the day-to-day stresses of parenting an autistic youngster in a way that raw numbers do not usually reveal.

“I imply, the magnitude of that tension, and that anxiousness, is difficult to describe,” Hernandez stated. “It’s just a level of be concerned that unless you have skilled it, you will in no way recognize it.” 

Humphreys hopes the podcast assists lead to significantly superior options for people who want to have them. 

“And not just our loved ones members, but our full tribe, our communities, the state, the United States. Let’s just hold it going. Let’s hope it has a ripple effect,” she stated. 

Listeners also can register to participate in a reside webinar version of the podcast that will be held on Tuesday, March 21. Visit https://calendar.ku.edu/occasion/black_feathers_podcast_live to participate. To subscribe and listen to Black Feathers episodes, visit https://blackfeathers.buzzsprout.com/share.

Leave a Reply