And neurotypical people can also learn. They can learn what the differences are between their own social communication and autistic social communication and do their part to help bridge the gap.
And when that gap is bridged, beautiful partnerships can occur. We can learn so much from each other. We can each bring unique strengths to the table. Autistic people can open their non-autistic partner’s eyes to ways of thinking and being in the world that they would not have considered otherwise, and vice versa.
Here’s where the problem comes in – the more you mask, the less energy you have to mask. But the more you mask, the more you are expected to mask. Drop the mask, and you potentially lose vital and important relationships and your survival capacity is diminished in direct ratio to that.
Since masking long term isn’t sustainable, and since expending more energy than you can recuperate on a regular basis will lead to exhaustion and burnout, autistic people who have to mask in order to obtain the basic needs for survival will inevitably crash and burn.