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#TakeTheMaskOff – The Autistic Advocate.

On the 23rd July 2018, an international campaign will be launched. A whole summer dedicated to Masking… but not as we know it.

Myself [The Autistic Advocate], Hannah Quinton from from Do I look Autistic Yet?, Christa Holmans, who is the Neurodivergent Rebel and Sara-Jane Harvey, the Agony Autie are joining forces because we want to encourage Autistic and non-Autistic people to learn about Masking. What is is, why we do it and what the impact of it is, so that not only can Autistic people feel more confident not to Mask, but so that non-Autistic people can help create environments where it is safe for us to do so.
Research is starting to show that Masking is a direct lead-in to the very early Autistic average age of death, something Autistic people (inc. yours truly) have been shouting about for a very long time. You can read about this research in my article an Autistic Burnout.

In light of this we have planned six weeks of six subjects all around Masking. With a seventh week where we’d like everyone who has been inspired to throw their Mask away, or who has learnt something about Masking to share their stories.

We would like as many people as possible, to not only read, watch and share what we’re offering, but to take part too. Everything we post under these subjects, be it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram will have the hashtag #TakeTheMaskOff. If you want to join in, please make sure that you attach that hashtag too, so that other people can find your work.

If you want to look for everything associated with the campaign, in the search bars of each each Social Media platform, just put #TakeTheMaskOff

It is so, so important that as much information as possible gets put out there and this takes us one step closer to Autism Acceptance.

Week 1 23-29 July What is masking? What it’s like to wear the mask.
Week 2 30-5 Aug What is Stimming? How is it related to Masking?
Week 3 6-12 Aug How does Masking affect Mental Health?
Week 4 13-19 Aug What is burnout? How is it connected to Masking?
Week 5 20-26 Aug Diagnosis/self-awareness. How does that impact Masking?
Week 6 27-2 Sep Coping Strategies. What can help you not to Mask. Using it purposefully?
The Finale 3-10 Sep #TakeOffTheMask How people have been affected by the week.

Note: All images and text are quoted from The Autistic Advocate.


Published by Adriana Lebrón White

Autistic school librarian and former special education teacher. MA Ed in Special Education and MLIS with a focus on Youth Services and Storytelling.

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