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Ayanna Davis is phenomenally autistic

A woman posing confidently, wearing a vibrant blue and yellow patterned outfit with golden accents. She has voluminous black curly hair, large hoop earrings, and multiple necklaces. Her attire includes a gold arm cuff on her left arm and she's adorned with a matching gold waist belt. The background is a plain purple, which complements her attire.
vibrant cartoon image of a young girl with dark skin and black hair styled in two puffs with yellow spiral hair accessories. She is wearing a bright yellow long-sleeve shirt adorned with pink hearts and blue cuffs, a blue skirt with a yellow hem, and is striking a playful pose with her hands outstretched and a beaming smile. The background is a radiant pink with light effects that give the appearance of sparkles around her. Bold text above reads 'Ayanna Phenomenally Autistic Davis' and below her is the uplifting message 'I'm Autistic & I'm Phenomenal' in a mix of bold pink and white font, celebrating autistic identity with a sense of joy and pride



I’m Autistic and I’m Phenomenal is a story that displays the challenges, but more importantly, the joys of autism through the eyes of a little autistic black girl. Readers will experience her journey as she navigates both the beauty of her unique perspective and her difficulties while shedding light on the power of acceptance and embracing differences. 

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Author, Ayanna Davis: “I’m hoping readers will gain a better understanding of autism and dispense with the typical stereotypes society feds them. Like everything in life, it has a good and bad side.”

Ayanna wears many hats:

Ayanna the Artist – As an artist I create characters that represent positive images of black and brown characters. I support inclusion and diversity and create characters with vitiligo, albinism, persons in wheelchairs and characters with limb differences. Every child deserves to see positive images of themselves and others in their community.

Ayanna the Fashion Designer – My fashion is an extension of my art. My handmade and hand painted pieces are full of fun, vibrant colours, mixed with images of my original characters you will see in my books and original art pieces. I also make one of kind pieces by request to resemble the child it is being made for. The theme is the same as my art, which is the belief  that every child has the right to see positive images of themselves. 

Ayanna the Illustrator – To date, I have illustrated 29 books. Most can found on my Amazon author page. I have also illustrated four colouring books, all meant to inspire and uplift.

Ayanna the Author – as an author, my goal is to include as many communities as possible. One of my latest books teaches the alphabet in sign language and another through natural hair illustrations.

Ayanna the Autism Advocate – All of my work is done with the aim of generating more autism acceptance. I believe enough attention is placed on awareness that is why on my journey I concentrate on acceptance and I do that through my art and also by using my voice to speak and attempt to educate people about our neurodivergent minds. I participate in panel discussions and summits—anything I can do to get my message out while using my voice in a positive way. I see things that need to be changed and I’m currently working behind the scenes to get some of those changes implemented. 

Common misconceptions: 
A common misconception I encounter from my own personal experience is that black girls can’t  be autistic. I am a late diagnosed autistic and when I started to share my diagnosis with people they all said they didn’t know black girls or women could be autistic. I now address this misconception by sharing my story and experience.
 
Routine is important:
I thrive on routine. It is my safe space and comfort zone so being in an unfamiliar place—a hotel or even visiting family, that throws me off my routine which makes it challenging for me to focus and enjoy my day/s.

Self care:
I do guided meditation with  videos on YouTube so if I can focus for 5-15 minutes I will try a guided meditation to ground myself and stay mindful. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. 

A tolerable experience:
I find being in a book store to be a very relaxing and tolerable experience. I believe even if an experience might be challenging, it’s always a good idea to try it especially if it is at least tolerable. You never know what new experiences may bring you joy.

Community support:
Listen to us, open your hearts, know that we have feelings and while our brains were not wired to thrive in this world, we are here and trying our best to navigate it.  With kindness and understanding, just leave a little space for us. 
 
While we are different, we do still have a lot in common. Take the time and get to know people with autism. Never judge people by their diagnoses. Get to know the person then judge their character!
 
Read Ayanna’s story here.
 
Visit her Linktree to learn more about her and her work.
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