Black and Autistic or Neurodivergent with Suzy Rowland, Keisha Swaby and Lauren Fernandez

Did you know that children from ethnic minority groups are excluded at a rate that’s 4 times greater than their white peers? Adding neurodivergence into the equation further increases the chance of being excluded.

“When you know you’re already different, and then you’re different within different, that’s something that I feel acutely aware of.

Suzy Rowland

Today Suzy Rowland, Lauren Fernandez and Keisha Swaby join Dale for this podcast ‘Black and Autistic or Neurodivergent’. Listen to hear the first-hand experiences of 3 black women and how neurodiversity affects different ethnicities and cultures in unique ways. 

Useful Links

Books written by Suzy:

I can’t go to school published by JKP in December 2022.

S.E.N.D in the Clowns published by Hashtag Press.  



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About Suzy Rowland

Suzy Rowland is the author of S.E.N.D. in the Clowns, a poetry collection and  “I can’t go to school!”  – a children’s workbook for school non-attenders, an ADHD & Autism Spectrum Condition Specialist, Mindful Cognitive Behaviour Therapist & Speaker.

She founded the #happyinschool project to provide interactive, bespoke training and consultancy, rooted in lived experience.  In this capacity, she works as an agent of change with families and young people, mental health professionals, educators, local authorities, charitable and corporate organisations, to build knowledge, connections and positive narratives about educating and employing neurodivergent thinkers.  Suzy is also a presenter for Women’s LIK UltravisionTV.  

About Lauren Fernandez

Lauren is a Neurodivergent Consultant and Trainer with a focus on Autism amongst marginalised communities. Late diagnosed, she found a lack of services, support, and representation available. Lauren’s experience highlighted changes that desperately needed to be made, after spending brief time as an inpatient and struggling to navigate access to appropriate services, she founded Mask Off C.I.C.  

Through her organisation, she advocates as an ambassador for Neurodiversity, providing her own training and hosting discussions across several mainstream services and organisations.  

Lauren endeavours to be the representation that is often missed, and to provide experience informed solutions. 

About Keisha Swaby

Keisha is a wife and mother to four beautiful children. She is an International Inspirational Speaker and a Presenter on Radio Diamond. Keisha gave up her job of 12 years in 2016 to continue her education and pursue her dreams.  

Keisha completed a 3-year degree and achieved a First-Class BSc (Hons) Degree in Applied Sport and Exercise Science. During the last few weeks of her studies, she was diagnosed with severe Dyslexia and Dyspraxia at the age of 41. Keisha went on to achieve  Merit in her master’s degree in health psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University.  

Keisha is passionate about helping others and creating more awareness of Dyslexia and Dyspraxia. Her eldest daughter was also diagnosed with Dyspraxia making her mission even closer to her heart. As part of her awareness work, she has given several people with Dyslexia and Dyspraxia the opportunity to share their own stories on her radio show.  

Keisha is a Goodwill Ambassador for the Jamaica Dyslexia Association. Her lived experience of these conditions has given her several opportunities to share her story on various platforms and events. She is a regular speaker at events for international women’s day and was a speaker at the recent Dyslexia Show 2022. Keisha has been chosen as one of the top 50 Influential Neurodivergent Women in 2022.  

Keisha launched Empowering Dyslexics to inspire and be an example to others that they too can achieve anything her motto is “If I CAN do it so CAN you”.


Contact Suzy

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