About Us

Springtide seeks to reimagine the way individuals receive autism therapy and support. Learn what makes us different and how are results stack up against the competition.

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Springtide provides 1:1, personalized therapies, including ABA, speech, occupational and physical therapies. In addition, we offer social skills classes, functional living skills training, school readiness training, language acquisition and family coaching.

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We believe in a world where autism care isn't so complicated. We make it easy to get started with Springtide. After our initial call and intake, we carry the torch and do the heavy lifting for you.

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Our mission is to be the partner for families on their journey. We offer a wealth of resources to our current parents, as well as free resources for the community.

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Speak to a member of our team today and get started with Springtide services.

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Reach out today to speak to a member of our team. Whether you're a parent, partner, doctor, or a new friend, we're happy to speak with you.

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Speak to a member of our team today and get started with Springtide services.

Why Some Children with Autism Mask and Its Effects

As a parent, your greatest hope for your child with autism is acceptance of all they have to offer the world, no questions asked. With more autism diagnoses being made than ever, and a continuously growing understanding of autism in our world, your child will enter an adult world that is far more accepting than yours was. 

Some children, however, do feel the need to hide some of their traits linked to their autism diagnosis. They might do this to fit in more with neurotypical peers, to work against their own social anxiety in a new situation, or to mimic what they see others doing in social situations.

This hiding of traits is called “masking”, and though it can be helpful in certain circumstances, like a job interview, it can have negative mental health consequences if it becomes a frequent habit.

What Does Masking Look Like?

Masking can be difficult to detect if you are not looking for it, but since you know your child better than anyone in the world, any masking will be most obvious to you.

If you are wondering if your child is masking, look for these behaviors:

  • Preparing conversation responses ahead of time
  • Mimicking the gestures or facial expressions of others
  • Hiding ways they typically stim
  • Hesitating to join into conversations with peers
  • Pretending the sensory discomfort they are experiencing doesn’t exist, or downplaying it
  • Forcing themselves to make eye contact
  • Researching or intentionally practicing social norms (i.e. watching a TV show interaction for clues)

After a certain amount of social interaction and feeling the need to mask, you will notice emotional dysregulation, meltdowns, or the child shutting down in order to become regulated again.

Why Children Decide to Mask

Masking usually occurs when a child begins to feel that they need to hide certain behaviors to gain acceptance among neurotypical peers. Maybe the child has experience with being bullied or rejected and is trying to avoid that mistreatment in the future. The child might be feeling lonely or isolated and is finding a way to belong. As a child approaches the middle school years, the last thing they want to do is stick out in any way, so they hide behaviors that attract attention. 

Some children simply tend to feel a little more self-conscious or place more importance than others on social acceptance. Girls tend to mask more than boys do, often because they often prioritize blending in socially. Those diagnosed with autism who need minimal support are more prone to masking as well.

The Long-Term Effects of Masking

Sustained and routine masking over time has been shown to lead to difficult mental health outcomes. Those who masked when they were younger claim to have dealt with anxiety and depression as a result. 

Overall emotional dysregulation is common when regularly putting so much effort into the person you want to appear to be. This is why autistic burnout and exhaustion are also prevalent.

Finally, masking can lead to the feeling of a loss of identity. If a person is pretending they are someone they are not for so long, they do not spend as much time figuring out who they truly are.

What Parents Can Do

If you notice your child is intentionally masking autistic traits, there are a few things you can do to mitigate any mental health consequences.

  1. Give your child a “safe space” when possible. Try to find the right school placement in which they feel comfortable and can thrive without putting the added energy into hiding behaviors. Allow them to engage in these behaviors, if not harmful to themselves or others, while at home.
  2. Talk about potential solutions. If they are feeling embarrassed by a need to stim, talk about either disclosing their neurodivergence with some friends or ways to comfortably meet their needs.
  3. Discuss ideas with your child’s RBT or BCBA, who have experience with children who mask.

If you are looking to receive an autism diagnosis for a child you feel has been masking, or to work on behaviors that help your child gain independence while learning to be their authentic selves, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Reach out today and speak with one of our enrollment specialists to get started with Springtide


Springtide Child Development was awarded an Award of Distinction with The Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE) and is a member of The Council of Autism Service Providers (CASP). These awards celebrate exceptional special needs providers that are leading the way in the areas of clinical quality, staff satisfaction, qualifications, and consumer satisfaction.
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