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Yearly Archives: 2020

New paper on camouflaging, autistic identity and disclosure published

Eilidh Cage, along with collaborator Zoe Troxell-Whitman, has just published a new paper looking at the relationships between camouflaging, autistic identity and disclosure. In the study, published as a brief report in Autism in Adulthood, they found that higher autistic identity linked to more disclosure of being autistic, which in turn linked to fewer camouflaging behaviors. This study suggests that strong autistic identity and being openly autistic could reduce camouflaging, which we know has negative effects on mental health. However, to enable disclosure, these findings demonstrate the need for safe spaces where autistic people can explore their identity and be openly autistic, without fear of discrimination.

You should be able to access the paper through the University of Stirling website and clicking ‘request a copy’ or by emailing Eilidh Cage (eilidh.cage@stir.ac.uk).

ESRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship award

We are delighted to announce that Dr Monique Botha has been awarded a Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the ESRC, via a competition led by the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science. Monique will be mentored by Dr Eilidh Cage, and the Fellowship gives Monique the opportunity to write up PhD publications, examine new research ideas and develop Monique’s career. Monique’s PhD, at the University of Surrey, looked at autistic community connectedness as a buffer against the effects of minority stress, and you can read some of this excellent research here.

We look forward to welcoming Monique to Stirling in October!

Image of Monique Botha
Dr Monique Botha

New research on autistic people’s university experiences published

Dr Eilidh Cage, along with Jack Howes, has recently published a new paper looking at  the experiences of autistic people who have dropped out of university. This research involved interviews with 14 autistic people, and Eilidh and Jack identified common themes from the participants’ experiences. These themes are shown in the picture below – encompassing a range of systemic, structural issues, as well as challenges within university life, and then life after dropping out.    

Thematic diagram from the study

This research has important implications for universities – who clearly could do more to support autistic students. Eilidh and Jack discuss some of their recommendations for universities in this video:

This research follows on from a larger scale survey looking at the factors that affect university completion for autistic people.

You can read the paper, published in the journal Autism, here: Dropping out and moving on: A qualitative study of autistic people’s experiences of university. If you have trouble accessing the paper, please contact Dr Eilidh Cage via email (eilidh.cage[at]stir.ac.uk). 


Dr Eilidh Cage, Lecturer in Psychology

Eilidh’s research looks broadly at the experiences of autistic adults and adolescents, and the challenges related to navigating a predominantly non-autistic world. She is particularly interested in autism acceptance (from both self and others), mental health and wellbeing, autistic identity and diagnosis, camouflaging (or masking) and supporting autistic students at university. She is also passionate about improving practices within autism research itself.

Read more about Eilidh’s research and publications here.

New STAR team members

From left to right: Dr Eilidh Cage, Dr Amanda Roestorf and Dr Catherine Grainger

At the start of the new year, we look forward to an exciting 2020!

We welcome two autism researchers as new members of the Stirling Autism Research group.

Dr Eilidh Cage joins as Lecturer in Autism. Eilidh’s research interests include mental health and the experiences of autistic people.

Dr Amanda Roestorf joins as Post-Doctoral Research Assistant. Amanda’s research explores the ways in which remembering to do things in the future (Prospective Memory) affect everyday functioning and well-being across the lifespan.

Find out more about Eilidh and Amanda on our Meet The Team page.