When People Ask Me to “Prove” I’m Autistic, What Do I Say?

Autism advice from a neurodiverse psychologist

Devon Price
Autistic Advice

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Photo by Marten Newhall on Unsplash

Welcome to Autistic Advice #2, a semi-regular column where I respond to questions about neurodiversity, Autism acceptance, and disability rights from Autistic people and their allies. You can anonymously send me questions via my Curious Cat askbox.

Before we dive in, a bit about me: I am a 32-year-old Autistic psychologist who didn’t realize they were on the spectrum until their mid-20’s. My whole family is full of people with Autism-spectrum traits, and I have been active in the Autism self-advocacy community for about six years. On Medium, I’ve written extensively about my experiences, and the experiences of other adult Autistics whom I’ve interviewed for various projects. Though I am a research psychologist, I am not a therapist, and this column should not be treated as therapy.

My letter today is from someone whose Autistic identity is often doubted by other people. In particular, they are concerned that friends and family won’t believe they are Autistic because they heavily engage in masking, the act of hiding and inhibiting obvious Autistic traits. They write:

I’ve seen you post about masking and am curious- do you correct people when they assume you are neurotypical? Do you ever feel…

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Devon Price
Autistic Advice

He/Him or It/Its. Social Psychologist & Author of LAZINESS DOES NOT EXIST and UNMASKING AUTISM. Links to buy: https://linktr.ee/drdevonprice