How often do you divulge to people that you are disabled?

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seahawksfan46
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20 Nov 2017, 12:36 am

I try to camouflage my disabilities due to the fact that there are a ton of people who either would choose to perpetually disassociate with me since they 'don't want to get tangled up with a disabled individual', or they'll like me out of pity (since very few people seem to understand that one should like a disabled person for who they are, and not for their disability). Being a customer service representative has assisted me with learning how to hide my social awkwardness, and it has also helped me build some verbal and non-verbal communication skills anyhow. I don't want to be viewed differently, so I'll probably never disclose to other's that I'm disabled in the real world.



SplendidSnail
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20 Nov 2017, 12:58 am

The only person I've disclosed my Asperger's to outside of family is the person who suggested to me that I might be on the spectrum in the first place.

In general, people seem to like my quirks, but I'm kind of worried that if they thought of them as symptoms of a neurological condition and not just as quirks of my personality, they'd either feel sorry for me or just plain awkward around me, kind of like you said.


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Parterak
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20 Nov 2017, 1:03 am

seahawksfan46 wrote:
I try to camouflage my disabilities due to the fact that there are a ton of people who either would choose to perpetually disassociate with me since they 'don't want to get tangled up with a disabled individual', or they'll like me out of pity (since very few people seem to understand that one should like a disabled person for who they are, and not for their disability). Being a customer service representative has assisted me with learning how to hide my social awkwardness, and it has also helped me build some verbal and non-verbal communication skills anyhow. I don't want to be viewed differently, so I'll probably never disclose to other's that I'm disabled in the real world.


What if you were in this scenario though.

You become acquainted with a co-worker, over a year you spend time with them off and on, occasionally carpooling, otherwise a working relationship. Over time this relationship is reinforced with "Off the cuff" conversations on break or while on the drive to or from work that allow you both to share experiences, thoughts, opinions and surprisingly build a truly honest friendship. But one of the things you noticed over time about this friend is that they are very likely an yet to be diagnosed aspie. For if there is one thing you are good at and its camouflage, this also makes you an expert at noticing others attempts at camouflage.

Would you then feel comfortable telling this friend about your diagnoses?

Would you feel capable of broaching the subject about their possibility of also being the same?



Canadian Penguin
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20 Nov 2017, 1:09 am

Only if it's relevant to whatever is happening.

It's rarely relevant.


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SplendidSnail
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20 Nov 2017, 1:17 am

Parterak wrote:
What if you were in this scenario though.

You become acquainted with a co-worker, over a year you spend time with them off and on, occasionally carpooling, otherwise a working relationship. Over time this relationship is reinforced with "Off the cuff" conversations on break or while on the drive to or from work that allow you both to share experiences, thoughts, opinions and surprisingly build a truly honest friendship. But one of the things you noticed over time about this friend is that they are very likely an yet to be diagnosed aspie. For if there is one thing you are good at and its camouflage, this also makes you an expert at noticing others attempts at camouflage.

Would you then feel comfortable telling this friend about your diagnoses?

Would you feel capable of broaching the subject about their possibility of also being the same?

Comfortable? No way. I hope I would though.

If I were telling this friend about my diagnosis, it would be completely with the intention of broaching the subject about their possibility of also being the same.

Looking back years after the fact, I think there probably was at least one person who was quite confident that I had Asperger's more than five years before it was suggested to me, but probably assumed I already knew. This person is definitely NT, but works with people with Autism. I'm sure it would have been quite a shock to have that possibility suggested to me, but it would probably have been better if I'd known five years ago rather than just this year.


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Embla
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20 Nov 2017, 4:47 am

I tell people that I'm autistic quite often. Where I work I interact with a lot of children and their parents, and it's a subject that sometimes comes up. Especially after a TV-show about autism aired in my country, it seems to come up a lot more often.
I seem pretty "normal" to most people, and especially in my workplace where I try hard to blend in. So when I tell people about it, it drastically changes their views about what autism is. I think that's a good thing. I'm often met with disbelief, but a tiny lecture later and they'll walk away more educated. And probably a bit less judgemental.
A couple of times, just getting a little more knowledge about it, has led to parents discovering that their kids might be on the spectrum, which is really great.



HistoryGal
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20 Nov 2017, 6:23 am

If you're that mild and pass for normal, don't rock the boat. Slightly quirky people are just that. Enjoy it.



EzraS
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20 Nov 2017, 8:03 am

I would say don't disclose unless an explanation is needed. In my case someone will immediately ask wtf is wrong with that dude? So they might as well be told. But if no one is asking what's wrong with you in a substantial way, don't point it out.


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whatamievendoing
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20 Nov 2017, 8:23 am

I willingly disclose my AS to only a select few people. My family knows about it, granted, but outside of family, there aren't many people that know I have AS - basically just whatever close friends I have or had in the past. And my teachers in school and employers, but they're a different matter, since I feel that they have every reason to know about it. Casual acquaintances, not so much.

On a different note, I don't think of my AS as a disability. I feel that it doesn't affect my everyday life so much as to be classifiable as one. Of course I'm only one Aspie out of millions, so I can only speak for myself. Either way, to talk about AS as a disability in general really puts me down somehow.


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emmasma
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20 Nov 2017, 8:40 am

Parterak wrote:
seahawksfan46 wrote:
I try to camouflage my disabilities due to the fact that there are a ton of people who either would choose to perpetually disassociate with me since they 'don't want to get tangled up with a disabled individual', or they'll like me out of pity (since very few people seem to understand that one should like a disabled person for who they are, and not for their disability). Being a customer service representative has assisted me with learning how to hide my social awkwardness, and it has also helped me build some verbal and non-verbal communication skills anyhow. I don't want to be viewed differently, so I'll probably never disclose to other's that I'm disabled in the real world.


What if you were in this scenario though.

You become acquainted with a co-worker, over a year you spend time with them off and on, occasionally carpooling, otherwise a working relationship. Over time this relationship is reinforced with "Off the cuff" conversations on break or while on the drive to or from work that allow you both to share experiences, thoughts, opinions and surprisingly build a truly honest friendship. But one of the things you noticed over time about this friend is that they are very likely an yet to be diagnosed aspie. For if there is one thing you are good at and its camouflage, this also makes you an expert at noticing others attempts at camouflage.

Would you then feel comfortable telling this friend about your diagnoses?

Would you feel capable of broaching the subject about their possibility of also being the same?


I might bring it up in this type of situation, but only about me. I would say the reasons why I am and what makes me an Aspie. If they are diagnosed or suspect that they have the same types of issues they might then follow with that. I wouldn't tell them that you think they are unless they bring it up. Someone who is not educated on the spectrum might be offended by someone telling them they think they might be autistic. It just seems like it could make things strange and change the relationship you have.



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20 Nov 2017, 9:57 am

"Trait-by-trait" is my general rule for people I'm not close to. If there's some kind of conflict with another person, I analyse whether any specific autism traits might be involved, and try to deal with it by explaining only those that are relevant. What it is that causes the traits is usually not relevant, and it avoids dragging any misconceptions about autism that the other person might have into the conversation. If people who I'm not comfortable disclosing to push for more of an explanation than that, I just remind them that it is considered impolite to pry about other people's medical conditions.


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kraftiekortie
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20 Nov 2017, 10:41 am

Yep....Trogluddite is eloquent. "Trait-by-trait" is perfect. People can come up with their own conclusions...



Edna3362
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20 Nov 2017, 11:02 am

My main principle is that no one needed to know.
Because I want to be the one who accommodates, and it's no one else's business but my responsibility if there are such incidents or faults by my part -- autism or not.
If someone picks up something, I could care less of what they think if it doesn't affect them in any way. If it does, I'd consider it as a sign on the list I wanna improve. Improve, compensate, work around, or an alternative, not hide or deny.


Only and only to those I seriously trust... And to certain people who I really want to understand me better... They're the only ones I'd ever tell that I'm in the spectrum, that I'd admit my whole case to them.

I don't trust anyone who knew I'm in the spectrum and I never explicitly told them about it. The only thing I like so far is that no one ever talks to me about it.
With very few exceptions, several relatives, family friends, and some number of professionals are those people who I don't trust well to begin with nor bother telling them anything because they'd choose to be lenient or prone to confirmation bias without knowing the reality of my case. :x However they'll take it as, they are not my caretakers and it's none of their business unless I seriously trust them.


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TheSilentOne
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20 Nov 2017, 11:05 am

I think it is obvious to a lot of people when they first meet me that I am disabled, but I don't come right out and tell them unless I feel like they absolutely need to know. I have been telling more people lately and I feel a little more confident doing that. I used to never tell anybody because I was ashamed but I have accepted it now.


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elbowgrease
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21 Nov 2017, 12:22 am

For the last ten years or so, I've had to tell pretty much everyone that I meet that I have a really hard time with people. Pretty shortly after meeting them, if it seems like I actually want to get to know them. Or if they make it that far with me.
Most people don't usually get past their first impression of me. And if I don't make some statement about how difficult it can be, I usually won't get another chance to talk to them.
So I've basically replaced the phrase "I have a really hard time with people" with "I have Asperger's syndrome". I give it about the same amount of caution. And I don't have all that much opportunity to say either one, anyway.
If they're going to look down on me or treat me differently because of it, it's not any different than it was before. It's just that now I have the right name for it.
When I first figured it out, I told everyone I know on Facebook, which is everyone I know. They're my surrogate family and some of them have seen me going through hard times for most of my life. Some of them have been there even when my family wasn't.