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How do you put an elephant inside a refrigerator in three times?

Do you know this joke? How do you put an elephant inside a refrigerator in three steps? Usually the most commonly heard answer is: 1) You open the door; 2) You put the elephant in; 3) You close the door.


And while you're at it, see if you can answer this one? How does an autistic person integrate socially in three times? Don't you know? Is it more difficult to answer? Just try to adapt to the rules of the Society, some will say!


Some of you, especially autistic people, are aware of the behaviour of social camouflage, and of the potential and scope it may have. But also of the costs and emotional difficulties it causes. And even the scientific literature itself has demonstrated that autistic people who more frequently and skilfully use the behaviour of social camouflage are those who have more symptoms of psychological distress, namely anxiety and depression.


But why should autistic people want to be what they are not? And why should they want to be something that represents the opposite of what they are? And is the neurotypical profile the only existing and successful one in society in general? Or do autistic people, be they young, but also adults, seek social camouflage and the neurotypical profile because they are not sufficiently aware of their own profile and identity? And in the case of autistic young people, are we talking about social camouflage as a normative aspect of adolescence and self-discovery itself?


It is known that many young people and adults only discover they are autistic later in their life path. And as such, for a good part of their lives they feel that they are the ones who are wrong or do not know how to do things. And as such, they are the ones who need to do things differently and to adapt to others. But for various reasons they end up distorting much of what their own identity is and get to the point of not knowing who they themselves are or want to be. This is a major cause of disorganisation and psychological distress.


Besides the early diagnosis and the multiple medical, psychological and other necessary interventions. It is fundamental to help the autistic person since childhood to understand, accept, represent and celebrate him/herself. Only then the autistic person will not feel the need to be someone other than him/herself.


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