Masquerade Macabre: The Horrifying & Deadly Effects of Masking on Neurodivergent Populations
By Brian Middleton, M.Ed., IBA, BCBA, LBA, the Bearded Behaviorist
Nov 21, 2022 07:00 PM Eastern Time
1.5 Ethics CEUs
What is it like to live in a horror story? Autistics can tell you. It is living beneath a mask so tight, so suffocating, that you don’t know where the mask ends and you begin. It is a matter of survival. Of making it to the next day. But at what cost, and why does this happen? Join us for the Masquerade Macabre, where we unmask the roots of autistic & neurodivergent masking through behavior analytic language, identify why this matters to behavior analysis and society as a whole, and discuss ways to address the factors that lead to this horrifying dance.
Event Learning Objectives
- Use behavior analytic language to identify what neurodivergent or autistic masking is and how the environment impacts it.
- Identify a phylogenetic characteristic of autistic neurology that impacts how autistics experience stimuli and engage with their environment.
- Identify how understanding neurodivergent masking can improve their practice through cultural competence towards more ethical outcomes.
- Identify the two major models of disability as well as which is more closely aligned with radical behaviorism.
- Engage in self-reflection about their power, privilege, and biases in relation to how this impacts their practice and perceptions of neurodivergent populations.
About Brian Middleton, M.Ed., IBA, BCBA, LBA, the Bearded Behaviorist
Brian is an autistic and ADHD adult. He is also a working behavior analyst who is certified as an International Behavior Analyst (IBA) and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. In addition to his work in behavior analysis, including his reporting of events in behavior analysis, education efforts, and commentary on the field, Brian worked as a special education teacher for 7 years, 5 of which was as a behavior specialist for a middle school. Brian is also the president elect for the Open Education Resources Special Interest Group and the recipient of the 2022 Diversity Award from ACBS. Brian is passionate about advocating for disability rights, and believes that behavior analysis can and should be a champion for these rights because of the evidence that radical behaviorism and functional contextualism continues to reveal about the impact of the environment on behavior. Brian’s social media page, Bearded Behaviorist, uses humor, thoughtful consideration, and hard conversations to facilitate learning and growth for the field and himself. His core values are curiosity, authenticity, and thriving. His favorite saying is, “We learn and grow together.”