The Price and Utility of the Mask: The Plight of the Neuroqueer within Treatment Services

This keynote explores the dilemmas experienced by neuro- and gender- divergent individuals as they struggle with both removing and maintaining masks of gender conformity and neuro-conformity simultaneously.  We will examine the complexities of neuroqueer experiences with masking including: the toll masking takes on individuals, the double-bind of being invited to come out but also compelled to conform, and ways treatment professionals can support those in their care to navigate these complexities. Through understanding the relationship between masking and autistic meltdowns and burnouts, we will reconsider behavioral assessments and treatment for trans/non-binary autistic youth and young adults and their families.