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Autistic, Jewish, and Mother to a Mixed Child: A Woman's Search for Community and Understanding

A white, Jewish, autistic mother of a mixed child is navigating the challenges of finding belonging and confronting racism.

Hey MJ,

I'm reaching out in search of advice on finding community and better understanding my role as a parent to my mixed son. I'm white (Jewish, though often mistaken for Swedish) and have an autistic background, which makes social interactions and cues challenging for me. Growing up in a predominantly white area and moving to Alaska meant I had little contact with black people until adulthood.

Since my son's birth, I've had to cut ties with friends and family due to their refusal to stop exhibiting racist behaviors. It's been a lonely journey, particularly since my son's father left before he was born, and I've lost contact with our families.

I'm struggling with how to talk to my son about racism and when to start these conversations.

Additionally, I'm finding it hard to make new friends and build a supportive network for both of us. The autism adds an extra layer of complexity in meeting new people, especially from cultures I'm not familiar with.

I'm feeling overwhelmed and scared, and I'm in dire need of resources – be they books, websites, or other means – to help navigate where we belong, how to fit in, and how to communicate effectively. I just want to be the best parent I can be for my son.

Thank you for any guidance you can offer.



Dear Anonymous,

Finding a sense of community and navigating the intricacies of parenting as a white, Jewish, autistic mother of a mixed child is a multifaceted challenge, but there are practical steps you can take to build a supportive network and effectively discuss important topics like racism with your son.

For starting conversations about race with your son, it's beneficial to begin early, tailoring the discussions to be age-appropriate. Children's literature is a fantastic tool for this. Look for books that celebrate diversity and provide gentle introductions to the concept of race and racism. These can serve as conversation starters, helping you address these topics in a way that's understandable for him.

Building a supportive community can start in online spaces. There are numerous forums and groups for Jewish parents, single mothers, parents of mixed-race children, and individuals on the autism spectrum. These communities can offer you a sense of belonging and understanding. They can also be a great resource for advice and, in some cases, may lead to real-life connections and meetups.

To better understand and navigate cultural differences, seek out books and websites focusing on cross-cultural communication. Educational resources on parenting mixed-race children can also provide you with valuable insights and strategies. These resources can help you in educating your son about his heritage and in understanding the dynamics of varied cultural backgrounds.

Your autism may add a layer of complexity to social interactions, but know that many communities, especially those built around parenting and personal experiences, are welcoming and understanding. Start by engaging in online conversations, and as you grow more comfortable, you can explore in-person community events or groups.

Be patient with yourself in this journey to build a new community. It's a process that takes time and persistence. Your commitment to providing a nurturing and understanding environment for your son is already a significant step towards fostering his growth and self-esteem. Celebrate the small victories and connections you make along the way.

It’s clear that your son has a loving and dedicated mother, and that’s the most crucial element in his upbringing.

Kenbe la,



In 2020, the "Badass Black Girl" book series author M.J. Fievre began receiving correspondence from a varied audience, including parents, young adults, and teens. Fievre, an established author and speaker, is known for her insightful engagement with themes relevant to these demographics. The communication, primarily through Facebook or the Badass Black Girl inbox, revolves around topics covered in her books and public talks. These interactions display a rich tapestry of experiences and viewpoints, highlighting the author's impact on her readers.

“Hey, MJ” is a platform created to foster a meaningful connection between M.J. Fievre and her readers. It offers a forum for open dialogue, personalized advice, and the sharing of collective experiences. The platform's effectiveness is rooted in Fievre's expertise as an author and speaker. Her work, particularly in the "Badass Black Girl" series, showcases her deep understanding of the challenges and triumphs faced by her audience. Her background as an educator and her commitment to empowering young voices further enhance her ability to offer relevant and empathetic responses.

Readers wishing to engage with “Hey, MJ” can send their messages to All queries are treated with confidentiality, ensuring a safe space for honest and open communication.

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