This week one of our members David Lee spoke at an All4Inlcusion event; Masking – Hiding in plain society.
“Having masked for 36 years I wouldn’t recommend it. At all. It can warp your sense of your own abilities in what neurotypicals call a ‘normal’ society. The ability to mask, some would say, is a skill, a gift, but I believe it’s the kind of gift you’d reluctantly open on Christmas Day – like socks for example. Useful, sure. Are they actually what you wanted? Probably not. If I reflect on my life and my masking abilities over the years – I am confident that I can mask, really really well. But why, why should I?“
This was an event to learn what is underneath the autist mask.
An event to help employers, friends, family members and colleagues to understand masking.
Autistic people are used to wearing a mask to fit it in to society, schools and workplaces. As they lead their day to day lives, they adapt and adjust to fit in – so why should we as a society ask them to meet us 50:50? They are already making the adjustment beyond half way.
Instead, we should be making life easier for autistic people. What does that look like?
You can read more about David’s story in his blog here, where he talks openly and honestly about what masking is and the impact it has on people living in our neurotypical society.