AUTISTIC PEOPLE AREN’T REALLY ACCEPTED – AND IT’S IMPACTING THEIR MENTAL HEALTH
We found that the participants who said that they camouflaged also reported higher symptoms of depression.
One participant explained that “[camouflaging] is incredibly exhausting and stressful and has ultimately led to mental and physical health problems”.
Hopefully you can imagine how draining it must be to feel like you have to constantly hide a major part of yourself from others.
We are just starting to learn about camouflaging in autism,
and more research needs to be done to understand the impact it could have on autistic people’s lives.
We need to accept autistic people for being who they are, and to enable them to feel like they can disclose the fact that they are autistic to others and be accepted for this.
My past research with autistic adolescents found that many of these adolescents had a desire to fit in with their peers,
but they also wanted to be accepted for who they were. In our societies, we should be celebrating diversity and enabling autistic people to be themselves.