What is masking with respect to Autism Spectrum Disorder? Masking is when autistic people take on personas throughout the day in order to appear as neurotypical people. A neurotypical person probably wouldn’t notice the masking, because when autistic people mask, we are often meeting neurotypical society’s expectations. However, while the autistic person is working so hard to be “perfect” on the outside, underneath that surface, we are expending tons of energy. Even more, we may be suffering from an identity crisis, unsure of who we really are and if who we are is really loveable. Masking allows us to navigate the workplace, the grocery store, family affairs, and happy hours. But we often deal with meltdowns, shutdowns, and burnouts afterward.

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