• Unmasking Autism

  • Discovering the New Faces of Neurodiversity
  • By: Devon Price
  • Narrated by: Devon Price
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (703 ratings)

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Unmasking Autism

By: Devon Price
Narrated by: Devon Price
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Publisher's Summary

A deep dive into the spectrum of Autistic experience and the phenomenon of masked Autism, giving individuals the tools to safely uncover their true selves while broadening society’s narrow understanding of neurodiversity

“A remarkable work that will stand at the forefront of the neurodiversity movement.”—Barry M. Prizant, PhD, CCC-SLP, author of Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism

For every visibly Autistic person you meet, there are countless “masked” Autistic people who pass as neurotypical. Masking is a common coping mechanism in which Autistic people hide their identifiably Autistic traits in order to fit in with societal norms, adopting a superficial personality at the expense of their mental health. This can include suppressing harmless stims, papering over communication challenges by presenting as unassuming and mild-mannered, and forcing themselves into situations that cause severe anxiety, all so they aren’t seen as needy or “odd.”

In Unmasking Autism, Dr. Devon Price shares his personal experience with masking and blends history, social science research, prescriptions, and personal profiles to tell a story of neurodivergence that has thus far been dominated by those on the outside looking in. For Dr. Price and many others, Autism is a deep source of uniqueness and beauty. Unfortunately, living in a neurotypical world means it can also be a source of incredible alienation and pain. Most masked Autistic individuals struggle for decades before discovering who they truly are. They are also more likely to be marginalized in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, and other factors, which contributes to their suffering and invisibility. Dr. Price lays the groundwork for unmasking and offers exercises that encourage self-expression, including:

• Celebrating special interests
• Cultivating Autistic relationships
• Reframing Autistic stereotypes
• And rediscovering your values

It’s time to honor the needs, diversity, and unique strengths of Autistic people so that they no longer have to mask—and it’s time for greater public acceptance and accommodation of difference. In embracing neurodiversity, we can all reap the rewards of nonconformity and learn to live authentically, Autistic and neurotypical people alike.

*Includes a downloadable PDF of exercises, tables, lists, and a graph from the book

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.  

©2022 Devon Price (P)2022 Random House Audio

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  • Overall
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

While there are some interesting insights and some truly valuable advice on how an individual can provide themselves with an environment that suits their own personal needs this book does little to advance our understanding of the broad topic of neural processing.

The author is so focused on language, labels and victimization there is no room for actual exploration of brain function. Dividing and demonizing groups of people rather than including everyone in a call for understanding that we cannot know how any individual experiences the world around them based only upon the behavior we can observe.

As an analogy of what I mean I offer this mental exercise; Imagine that a beagle is trying to teach you how to track a rabbit using your sense of smell.

A patient canine mentor might find that it is easy to see and understand that your nose is odd and clearly too far from the ground and your two legged locomotion is not really designed for this task, but the fact that you can’t even seem to detect the scent of the rabbit when it is so obvious to the dog will frustrate and confuse leading to the belief that you are impossibly stupid and untrainable.

Ultimately individuals must figure out how to make the best experience possible using the body they are born with. Our knowledge of brain function has been steadily increasing and the complexity is astounding. This book is mostly a rant about perceived societal failures not about “unmasking autism “. I does not really advance our understanding of just how difficult it is to navigate life in a human body with such a complex brain.

Perhaps a book entitled “The Spectrum “ might be more useful. Acknowledging that while it might be easier to navigate life when you find yourself near the center of the bell curve, it is not a given that you will be happier than an outlier living an extraordinary life with unique talents.

If you would like to read a book that provides a better perspective on this subject, I recommend The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin.
Deb Givin

4 people found this helpful

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Autism book by an autistic writer

The author was very helpful in describing the battle masked autistics face in a predominantly neurotypical world.
Basically do you boo! Our brains work in a different way so don’t feel the need to pretend to be neurotypical. I just got diagnosed at 35.. Ugh!!!!!! It pisses me off that I was overlooked and ignored for my obvious autism, and due to society and an abusive father I learned to mask. I’m going to use all the techniques Devon suggested and try and be my true authentic self. Thanks for writing this book!
:: On another note, the author is very clearly liberal so lots of gender identity issues and what not. I just focused on what resonated with me all the autism info.

3 people found this helpful

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Necessary reading for everyone

If you are diagnosed autistic, think you could be autistic, or have autistic people in your life: Please read this. Dr. Price provides a concise summery of current knowledge and dialogue around autism and other forms of neurodivergence, before breaking down many of the ways that living as a autistic person interacts with our current society. Compassionate, honest, and very necessary.

3 people found this helpful

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Pointless propaganda

This book has nothing to do with unmasking, and is filled with pointless, unfactual information.

2 people found this helpful

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Interesting perspective

Parts of this book resonated with me. Other parts helped me understand autistic, transgender people better.

Maybe it’s my personality, but I tend to be fixated on the areas where I disagree. For example:

I think it would be a bad idea to end at will employment, at least before other cultural changes occur. Employers would be more hesitant to hire people who were different because they are perceived as riskier. The harder it is to get rid of someone, the less perceived risk the employer will be willing to take in the selection process.

1 person found this helpful

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Eye opener

As someone who’s recently started to suspect I’m on the spectrum, this book is a godsend. It helped me reflect on my own experiences as someone who has struggled my entire life to fit in a neurotypical world.

Even if it turns out I’m not on the spectrum, this book breaks down the harmful stereotypes of autists. It made me review my own knowledge of what autist really means.

If all else, I hope from now on I will be more compassionate to the difficulties of my peers.

1 person found this helpful

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Wow, amazing book

This book had me feeling so seen and validated. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve told to read/listen to this book. Whether you are autistic (or think you may be), or someone you know/love may be, this book is liberating, empowering and informative. Best books I’ve read/listened to all year.

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Amazing

This book is the holy grail of got your diagnosis or looking for one and now what. The much needed book on Autism and masking

1 person found this helpful

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Truly engaging

This text could serve for someone to self diagnose it is so rich In detail and practical anecdotes

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devon price is an amazing author

the book was so well written, complete and thorough. he is also a great narrator.

1 person found this helpful