Understanding Autistic Adults’ Conceptualizations and Experiences of Masking Within the Neurodiversity Paradigm

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Date Posted

Research Study Description

Hello, my name is Jeremy Brown, and I am a licensed clinical social worker and a PhD candidate at the School of Social Work at Simmons University in Boston, Massachusetts.

I invite you to participate in the research study I am conducting for my dissertation to learn more about the experiences of adults who hide their autistic traits or change their behavior in social settings. Sometimes this is described as masking. The title of my study is called Understanding Autistic Adults’ Conceptualizations and Experiences of Masking Within the Neurodiversity Paradigm.

I hope the information I learn can help professionals who work with autistic individuals (including interventionists, clinicians, and support providers) to provide better care and support to their clients.

To qualify for this study, you must:
• Be a United States resident
• Be 18 years old or older
• Have received a clinical diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder or Asperger’s Syndrome
• Be able to write or speak in English without the help from someone else
• Have regularly masked or hidden your autistic traits from others within the past two years.

If you agree to participate in this study, I will interview you about your experiences masking in social settings. The interview will last about 60-90 minutes. You can answer interview questions over the telephone or by internet video call with Zoom. I will schedule the interview time with you based on your availability.

At the end of the interview, I will ask if you would like me to contact you once I have reviewed the interview in order to make sure that I accurately understand your comments. At that time, you will have the opportunity to correct any misunderstandings or misinterpretations.

Participants in this study are volunteers. There is no payment for participating. Your participation in this study will be confidential. Your name will not be revealed in any research documents or reports, including my dissertation. As a participant, you have the right to refuse to answer a question and can stop the interview at any time without experiencing any negative consequences from myself or Simmons University.

Contact and Study Link:  If you, or someone you may know, would like more information and/or are interested in participating, please email me at [email protected].

Organization:  Simmons University – This dissertation is chaired by Michelle Putnam, Ph.D. who may be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.

With gratitude,
Jeremy Brown, LCSW, Ph.D. Candidate
Simmons University, Boston, MA