AANE December 2023 Newsletter: Autism & Masking

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AANE December 2023 Newsletter: Autism & Masking

Many Autistic individuals consciously or subconsciously hide their Autistic traits or mimick neurotypical behavior, which is often called masking. This month, we take a look at why masking occurs, the long term impact, and how to create environments where Autistic individuals feel they can be themselves.

Looking for upcoming events? Buttons in sections below link to listings for Autistic adults, families, and professionals in our community.

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Free WorkMAP Coaching!

Thanks to a Liberty Mutual grant, eligible Autistic adults ages 18-26 in Metro Boston and select surrounding areas can receive FREE practical, individualized employment support! Learn more.

AANE Events

See what’s happening this month and beyond on the AANE Events Page.

The Impact of Masking

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Autistic individuals are often given messages throughout their lives that make them feel they need to hide their Autistic traits. Executive Director Brenda Dater looks at some of the root causes and effects of masking for her own Autistic daughter.
Watch Brenda’s Message
Check out these helpful AANE resources!
“I am now unafraid to share who I am.”

Hear from Mark, an AANE community member. As the giving season kicks off, we want to share his incredible journey with you.

If AANE has made a difference in your life, or the lives of your loved ones, please join Mark in supporting AANE before the end of the year.

Click the button below to give now.

Donate Today 

The Cost and Privilege of Autistic Authenticity

Many Autistic individuals mask their autism in different ways for a variety of reasons, but others cannot. Read a thoughtful reflection on the consequences of both masking and not being able to mask.

Coming Up…

Click here for the current listing of events, support groups, and social activities for Autistic adults, including the workshop, Understanding Masking for Adults, the two-part workshop Hygiene + Wellbeing for Adults, and much more.
Here are some helpful links for adults in our community:
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Navigating Autism & Masking: Celebrating Individuality as a Parent

Read one parent’s journey of reconciling her expectations with her deep desire for her son to feel he could be his authentic self. 

Coming Up…

Learn more about upcoming events, workshops, and support groups for parents and families, including the FREE online LifeMAP Information Session, the workshop, Intro to Autism for Caregivers of Autistic Children/Teens, and much more.
Don’t miss these services AANE provides for parents and families:
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Understanding Autistic Masking in the Workplace

When employees feel they have to mask their Autistic traits at work, it is detrimental to their job preformance and their wellbeing. Learn how employers can promote an environment that can help everyone be themselves.
Learn more about AANE programs, support, and training for professionals.
AANE Programs


Individualized life coaching program for Autistic older teens & adults
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LifeMAP’s one-to-one coaching program can help Autistic adults and teens develop self-advocacy skills, move towards greater independence, or reach other life goals they choose. Learn more.


Team-based support to help Massachusetts Autistic adults optimize independence
The LifeNet program uses a strengths-based, adult-centered philosophy to empower Autistic adults in Massachusetts to pursue the lives they want, serving as both a support network and a safety net. Learn more about LifeNet.

Neurodiverse Couples Institute

Resources for couples and couples therapists/coaches
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Learn more about neurodiverse relationships through AANE online courses! Receive a 35% discount on AANE Training 101 and Certification 201 for therapists, and 101 for Couples for neurodiverse partners when you register during the month of December. Use promo code: NEUROLOGY35 
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