Here’s a working definition of autistic burnout from an autism researcher studying burnout and suicidal behavior:
“A state of pervasive exhaustion, loss of function, increase in autistic traits, and withdrawal from life that results from continuously expending more resources than one has coping with activities and environments ill-suited to one’s abilities and needs.” In other words, autistic burnout is the result of being asked to continuously do more than one is capable of without sufficient means for recovery.
Source: THINKING PERSON’S GUIDE TO AUTISM: Autistic Burnout: An Interview With Researcher Dora Raymaker
AASPIRE is currently running a pilot study on autistic burnout and suicidal behavior. Autistic people have often talked about burnout, and it emerged as a major theme in their previous study on autism and skilled employment, but up to now, it has received limited attention from researchers.
So glad AASPIRE is heeding autistic communities and doing this much needed research.
The piece links to a couple resources on avoiding and recovering from burnout:
- What is autistic burnout? – Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network
- AUTISTIC BURNOUT: “MY PHYSICAL BODY AND MIND STARTED SHUTTING DOWN”