Social stigma around behaviours that aren’t considered “normal” is one reason that people mask, in the hope of fitting in or staying safe.

Or people might mask when they’re feeling distressed or overwhelmed in a situation that is meant to be enjoyable. It can be easier to pretend to be OK than to be asked to explain why they aren’t.

In this video, Kieran Rose, Dr Amy Pearson and Jodie Smitten talk about their own experiences and explain that autistic people are often unaware they are masking until they hear about others’ experiences.

That’s why it is vital we all talk about masking and understand why it happens. 

It is a lightbulb moment for the young people I work with.
Find out more from our Behind the Mask campaign
Do you need more help and advice? 

Our family development service provides support for autistic people and their families pre, during and post diagnosis. The team is committed to providing the right support, at the right time and in the right way to ensure the best outcomes.

The team can offer different levels of support including:

  • Being a listening ear for families seeking information, advice and guidance
  • Refer you to appropriate services (if applicable)
  • Attend 'team around the family' meetings and compile reports (for families we are supporting)
  • Conduct home visits (for families living in Newcastle, North Tyneside and South Tyneside)

The team also offer a wide range of free services for families including:

  • Toddler Groups
  • Family Workshops
  • Virtual workshops
  • Support Hubs
  • Family Resources
  • Family Networking

Visit our Family Resources website