Adaptive morphing and coping with social threat in autism: an autistic perspective

Wenn B. Lawson*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    31 Citations (Scopus)
    1211 Downloads (Pure)


    This paper highlights the role of terminology, such as camouflage and masking, commonly used in autism research. The author suggests researchers question assumptions around language commonly used to check it is fully representative of the autistic position. Being autistic often means being very literal. This literality means it is very important for researchers - particularly non-autistic researchers - to design research questions in a way that will gather accurate information often underlying autistic understanding. Words are powerful tools and lead to beliefs and positions held. Adaptive morphing in autism (currently referred to as camouflage or masking) infers a response, not of deceit, but one that is biological and not necessarily chosen. The author of this paper suggests masking, as a choice to deceive, is quite different from adaptive morphing for safety.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)519-526
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability - Diagnosis and Treatment
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • Adaptive morphing
    • Autism
    • Camouflage
    • Language
    • Masking


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