What is it about?

This letter to the editor is a commentary on the Gerlach-Houck and DeThorne (2023) epilogue, specifically about the authors' suggestion that it's not ableist for speech-language pathologists to teach Autistic people to 'code-switch' (mask or camouflage their Autistic traits) in "high-stakes" social situations. The authors connect their advice to "debates" about encouraging Black AAVE (African American Vernacular English) speakers to use "standard" English to access "conventional forms of success."

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Why is it important?

The letter criticizes this approach. It argues that encouraging Autistic people to mask and camouflage autism for acceptance and success is ableist. This kind of therapy harms Autistic mental health, spreads stigma and discrimination about Autistic people, maintains ableist values in society, and does not address the real reasons for the social barriers and power imbalances that lead to the social exclusion of Autistic people.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Ableism, Code-Switching, and Camouflaging: A Letter to the Editor on Gerlach-Houck and DeThorne (2023), Language Speech and Hearing Services in Schools, December 2023, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA),
DOI: 10.1044/2023_lshss-23-00037.
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