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Investigating how masking impacts fatigue in autistic young adults

Project end date: August 30, 2024

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Many autistic people describe masking (or social camouflaging), where people can use strategies, like making eye contact or preparing talking topics in advance, to try to ‘fit in’ or try to ‘hide’ their autistic traits. Autistic people have said that masking can be very effortful and can lead to increased stress and feelings of low mood. Despite this, there is not much research on masking and how this can impact fatigue and wellbeing. This study aims to address this research gap by inviting autistic young adults to complete some questionnaires to help us to better understand their experiences and to find out how masking affects fatigue and wellbeing. The study is inviting young people (aged 16 to 25 years) who are diagnosed with autism, or self-identify as autistic, to take part. The study also welcomes autistic people with co-occurring conditions, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The study consists of completing a survey using Microsoft Forms. The survey will ask about experiences of masking, autistic traits, sleep, fatigue, symptoms of low mood, symptoms of social anxiety,  symptoms of anxiety, and well-being. Additionally, there will be an open text box where additional thoughts can be expressed about experiences with masking and fatigue. We estimate that completing this survey will take around 15 to 30 minutes.