Autism & Masking Behaviours | Dave Smallwood

Published On: 30 May 2024
Dave Smallwood, Principal Team Teach trainer and Director at SENse Training and Consultancy, talks to Clare about the relationship between autism and masking behaviours.

They discuss different interpretations of body language and facial expressions, and how these can influence our interactions. They also explore the reasons behind masking, and the impact on individuals’ well-being and behaviour.

Dave has worked in special schools, for both the local authority and the National Autistic Society, and has extensive experience of supporting young people with complex special educational needs and disabilities.

As a staff development co-ordinator for the National Autistic Society, he developed and delivered training in autism, and equality, diversity, and rights.

You can find Dave on LinkedIn.

He also shares three tips during the episode:

  • Look out for the subtle signs of masking, understanding that these can vary widely from
    person to person.
  • Promote an ethos of inclusivity, demonstrating that it is safe to be ‘different’, as this can alleviate the pressure to ‘fit in’ and enable individuals to express their true identity.
  • Tapping into parents’ and carers’ expertise and knowledge of their family member can help to uncover masking behaviours that we may not see in our settings.

The Team Teach podcast shares the latest thinking in behaviour, all in handy 15-minute (ish) bite-sized chunks. Each episode features a new guest chatting about a different aspect of behaviour and leaves you with three handy tips to use in your setting.