Most everyone knows what it’s like to adapt to a social situation or change your behavior slightly to make a good first impression. Sometimes, this leads to what many in the autism community call “masking.” No matter if you’re neurodiverse or neurotypical, most of us have tweaked our personality in certain situations to “fit in,” especially if we feel vulnerable or self-conscious.
Kieran Rose, who runs the blog The Autistic Advocate, and Hannah Molesworth, who runs Do I Look Autistic Yet?, wanted to address “masking” as it relates to the autism community. They created the hashtag #TakeTheMaskOff to raise awareness about the impact of masking and to help autistics feel more confident. They also hope to raise awareness so non-autistic people can create an environment that allows people on the spectrum to be themselves.