Unmasking Autism: Discovering the New Faces of Neurodiversity

Harmony: Crown. Apr. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9780593235232. $26.99. PSYCH
The widespread understanding of autism is based on how it has presented historically in white, male, upper-class individuals. Social psychologist Price (Laziness Does Not Exist) explains how this has caused countless numbers of people to live with masked autism, a “camouflaged version” of autism which occurs in order to blend into a society based on neurotypical, ableist values. Price blends research and lived experiences, including their own, to help autists, with or without a professional diagnosis, to better understand themselves, find their community, and gain confidence. Price reviews the history of autism and how individuals from marginalized backgrounds have been ignored, maligned, or misdiagnosed. Price demonstrates how masking—that is, suppressing autistic behaviors to appear neurotypical—can be psychologically and physically harmful, and offers gentle guidance on navigating home, work, and interpersonal situations with greater ease. Numerous exercises for self-reflection are provided as well as resources for further information and self-advocacy.
VERDICT Price’s accessible and compassionate writing shines, and readers will feel encouraged to embrace a new understanding of themselves. Its potential to help masked autistic adults, especially those from systemically marginalized backgrounds, makes this book essential for most collections.
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