What is Autism Masking?
Masking refers to the act of hiding autistic traits in order to fit in with neurotypical peers.
While this may help autistic individuals socially and professionally in the short term, it can also be detrimental to their mental health and sense of self worth.
Masking in women and girls with autism can lead to serious health consequences. People who mask their autism are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. They may also have difficulty forming lasting relationships.
It is important to be aware of the unique challenges faced by autistic females and therefore important to understand masking behaviour and its effects on those who mask their autism regularly.
Do You Think You Are Masking Your Autism?
Why are Women More Likely to Mask Their Autism?
Autism is four times more common in males than in females and so research into autism has largely focused on males.
As a result, our understanding of autism in females is relatively limited. However, females with ASD are more likely to mask autism than males. This could be for a number of reasons.
First, males are often diagnosed at an earlier age than girls due to showing more obvious symptoms. For example, males with ASD are more likely to have problems with communication whereas females with ASD are more likely to have sensory processing problems. So girls may not be diagnosed with ASD until they're older, when symptoms become harder to mask.
Second, females with ASD may be better at reading social cues and may learn to mask their symptoms by watching other people and copying their behaviour. Women with ASD may also feel more pressure than boys and men with ASD to conform to society's expectations of how females should behave. All this can make it hard to diagnose autism in females.
For more information about Private Autism Assessments or to book a consultation, click here
GET IN TOUCH
A Step-by-step guide to the process
Step 1 - Contact made via website
Step 2 - Completion of an Early Developmental Questionnaire
This can be a self report or completed by someone who knew you well as a child.
Step 3 - Evaluation of the questionnaire
This questionnaire, when reviewed by an experienced clinician, is highly reliable in indicating if there is childhood information that will support the diagnostic process.
I would be reticent in completing a private diagnostic assessment, where I would think it highly improbable that the person would reach diagnostic caseness. In reviewing the questionnaire, the fact that behaviours consistent with ASD are often not noticeable until later in life, is taken into account.
Masking and camouflaging difficulties can begin very early and home circumstances can influence the parental reporting.
Step 4 - Arrangement is made for a telephone consultation to give feedback on the evaluation of the early developmental questionnaire and discuss if there is sufficient information to support the diagnostic process.
Appointment letter sent with invoice, to be paid 7 days prior to assessment date.
Step 5 - Arrangement is made for the full diagnostic assessment, which will take place over zoom.
The full assessment is completed within 4-6 hours. However the Zoom call part of the assessment is typically 2 - 2.5 hours.
The initial clinical assessment and evaluation of the developmental questionnaire, can be undertaken for £300. All assessments are completed using Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc.
Fees can be paid by bank transfer, UK or international.
- PART ONE: Steps 1-4 of the diagnostic process - £300
This is the initial clinical assessment, the outcome of which will be to say that its highly likely or unlikely that the person will get a positve ASD diagnosis.
- PART TWO: Full assessment including report - £1200
- TOTAL COST: £1500