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Taking Off The Mask


Taking off the mask….


This one isn't specifically for children… To be honest all of my posts apply to adults and children. This one is specifically for the late identified autistic adults I either know or have the privilege of mentoring or anyone else that this might resonate with.


Unfortunately, It isn't as simple as getting a diagnosis, and then that's it; all of the internalised ableism and self gaslighting disappears…. Often follows another identity crisis.


I'm often asked "how do I act more autistic? How do I be authentic? What if the Dr got it wrong? What if I'm an imposter? What even IS masking? How do I know if I'm masking? How do I stop masking if I've been doing it all my life?"


I just wanted to say that masking is one of the most authentically autistic things a person can do. It's not something you can opt-out of or switch off; it's a trauma response.


Please don't pressure yourself to behave a certain way. That in itself is masking. You are perfectly, wonderfully, and authentically autistic just the way you are.


Even if you haven't got the words AUTISTIC written on a posh letter-headed piece of paper, from a person who probably doesn't know anything outside of the triad of impairments but has a shed load of letters after their name. I've yet to meet a person that has spent their time researching and investigating and immersing themselves in the community that isn't autistic. As a community, we know that formal identification is a privilege not afforded to everyone. Self-identification is 100% valid and accepted.


Having said that, here's some advice if you're feeling a bit like an imposter….


Give yourself time. You are the same person now as you were before you realised you were autistic.

This is both liberating and traumatic at the same time.


Your brain is going to run through every significant (and probably insignificant) experience you ever had and apply an ND lense. So don't beat yourself up about not being autistic enough while you're reframing… it's hard enough.


There is no way to BE autistic! We are all different…. I ADORE loud, live music, dancing…. People… It doesn't sound autistic right? (granted it takes me 3 days to recover).


GET IN YOUR SENSES – You now have permission to enjoy the feel of a specific material, or listen to a particular song on repeat, flap your arms to your heart's content…. Not that you ever needed permission… Amazon has some amazing stim toys… fill yer boots


Practice saying no… guard those spoons. They're precious


Let go of societal expectations. Those aren't made for autistic people …. We can't all be nt!


Immerse yourself in your interests…. Only wanna talk about your interests? Have you constantly been shamed for it before? Go for your life!!! Aucademy even has a group specifically for this purpose!


BE KIND TO YOURSELF! Stop gaslighting yourself. You're not lazy, too much, too quiet, too blunt…. YOU'RE AUTISTIC. If you wouldn't say it to an autistic child… don't say it to yourself.


If you haven't already, find your community…. I'll post some links in the comments for groups and pages to follow…


If the same kind of weird surrounds you, you aren't weird anymore.


https://youtu.be/UVfgr1evJiY


Hope that helps?


Much Love

Tanya

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