Did you know a lot of autistic people engage in masking?
Masking is hiding or suppressing your true self to try to fit in or meet someone’s standards. This can occur for anyone, and it’s been used a lot for autistic people due to trying to fit in with society. Masking can be intentional or may be an unconscious practice. Also, Masking can apply to different things: emotions, personality, interests, etc. For autistic people, this can be seen by forced eye contact, suppressing stimming, practicing facial expressions, and scripting conversations based from their observations in situations. Now how we can help autistic people release their mask?
- Help autistic people rekindle an old passion or find a new interest and experience complete joy around it. Find a community to experience that joy with them.
- Communicate as clearly as possible and avoid turns of phrase. Metaphors or indirect expressions can be hard to understand for people with autism.
- Help advocate for their own needs and individuality, as well as teaching them to advocate themselves! No one should have to change who they are to please another person or group.
How can you help decrease masking in which anyone engages in? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section!