There’s often this sense of deflation when I read studies on mental health and actually-autistic people, in that few of them seem overtly to descirbe or define what all the parties think should be the goal of mental health activities and therapies for actually-autistic people, but between the lines they frequently read as if the unstated — and, for the practitioners involved, common sense — goal is to make actually-autistic people more effective at behaving like “normal” people when they are out in the world.
As in, even if they acknolwedge masking as masking and not merely a stop on the road to being, the unspoken goals of treatment sound like, “Be better at masking without fewer deleterious mental health effects.”
Rather than, you know, “Suffer fewer deleterious mental health effects from being actually-autistic and behaving actually-autistically in a world made for and by neurotypicals.
What I’m saying it that I really need researchers who study autistic people, mental health, and psychotherapy to state plainly what the parties to their studies — including the researchers — think is the goal of psychotherapy for actually-autistic people. That seems like a pretty necessary disclosure statement for research to include.