Does it help to tell people you have ASD?

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Gentleman Argentum
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23 Jul 2023, 2:42 pm

bee33 wrote:
Do you think it helps or makes things harder to tell people that you are autistic? For instance, if you are in a conversation and you realize that you are not understanding the vibe or what the other person is expecting you to say, or how to react, does it help to mention something like, "I'm sorry, I'm not good at detecting vibes or nuances, because I'm on the spectrum?" Or something like that.

Or does it not help because people don't know enough about autism to understand what you mean? Does it just add to the miscommunication? Or does it make it worse because they think you're making excuses, or even lying?


I forgot the name of a black man I work with but only see once every four months or so. I was afraid he would attribute my lapse to racism, which is such a trendy thing to do these days, so I told him I'm not good at remembering names. I remember faces, not names. I also said I'm better with computers than I am with people. All of that is true. I think that is enough information, no need to go into the whole spectrum business.

The main thing is to disarm people who will otherwise take things personally and assume you are racist or one of the other -ists on the list of Boogeymen in society. You tell these people things to inform them that it is not personal. You are the same way with everybody.


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23 Jul 2023, 8:03 pm

bee33 wrote:
Do you think it helps or makes things harder to tell people that you are autistic? For instance, if you are in a conversation and you realize that you are not understanding the vibe or what the other person is expecting you to say, or how to react, does it help to mention something like, "I'm sorry, I'm not good at detecting vibes or nuances, because I'm on the spectrum?" Or something like that.

Or does it not help because people don't know enough about autism to understand what you mean? Does it just add to the miscommunication? Or does it make it worse because they think you're making excuses, or even lying?
It completely depends on the circumstance. Each situation is unique. But I disclose all the time. I find that it's better for me if I disclose.


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23 Jul 2023, 8:05 pm

theboogieman wrote:
I suppose it depends who you're talking to and how informed of autism they are.

In the last few months, I've been saying something along the lines of "I often have a harder time understanding non-verbal cues because I am likely on the autism spectrum [just got the confirmation today!], so if you need something from me and I'm not picking it up, feel free to tell me to my face. It won't hurt my feelings and will make both of our lives easier."

In dating, this has especially been helpful. I recently got a girlfriend and I've found this allows our communication to work in a manner that allows us both to understand what the other wants and needs. I suppose time will tell if this strategy really works, but so far, this is the most connected I have ever felt in a relationship.
Congratulations on your diagnosis. :heart:


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bee33
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23 Jul 2023, 9:01 pm

KitLily wrote:
bee33 wrote:
Part of my reason for wondering about this is that I have ME/CFS (chronic fatigue) and I learned that it makes some people very angry when I mention that I can't do something or have to curtail it in some way because I'm too tired or not feeling well enough. They think it's an excuse and they scoff at it. This particular type of people are actually nicer if they think I am lazy or unreliable!


Oh I get that too! People can't see that I have chronic fatigue so they think I'm just being lazy. Lots of my work colleagues thought that when I was at work. Then when I got pregnant I just couldn't function so I think they realised then how weak my body was.

CFS *and* autism is serious isn't it. Not only do our bodies not work 'normally', our minds don't work 'normally' either. A double whammy.
It's really tough to deal with both. With chronic fatigue, I had become pretty good about how I thought about it: I just accepted it as a normal part of myself and didn't try to fight it. I knew what I could and couldn't do and stayed within those parameters and even kind of enjoyed having a simple, contemplative life that involved little activity and not much going out, even. But that was before my boyfriend of 15 years died in 2015. After that it became much harder to stay home and not do much of anything, because I had to do it alone. And then recently (two 1/2 years ago) I was getting back together with my first boyfriend and I thought my life would be idyllic, and he suddenly threw me overboard, as I have talked about in other threads. Now it's become a real problem to not be able to go out and try to be around a few people sometimes, or be able to do activities that would serve as distractions.

I also have had other problems on and off, with strong emotions, anger, sadness, not getting along, feeling scared and lonely, and they really flared when my first ex dumped me 15 months ago, and it's been a harrowing time. Though my therapist and psychiatrist missed it, my sister suspected that I could have Borderline Personality, and I think she's right. So now that it's reared its head because of this stressor, it's by far the worst of my problems.



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23 Jul 2023, 9:03 pm

skibum wrote:
bee33 wrote:
Do you think it helps or makes things harder to tell people that you are autistic? For instance, if you are in a conversation and you realize that you are not understanding the vibe or what the other person is expecting you to say, or how to react, does it help to mention something like, "I'm sorry, I'm not good at detecting vibes or nuances, because I'm on the spectrum?" Or something like that.

Or does it not help because people don't know enough about autism to understand what you mean? Does it just add to the miscommunication? Or does it make it worse because they think you're making excuses, or even lying?
It completely depends on the circumstance. Each situation is unique. But I disclose all the time. I find that it's better for me if I disclose.

Have you had mostly good reactions? Or do you just accept that sometimes people won't understand and are able to let it go?



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23 Jul 2023, 9:04 pm

Gentleman Argentum wrote:
bee33 wrote:
Do you think it helps or makes things harder to tell people that you are autistic? For instance, if you are in a conversation and you realize that you are not understanding the vibe or what the other person is expecting you to say, or how to react, does it help to mention something like, "I'm sorry, I'm not good at detecting vibes or nuances, because I'm on the spectrum?" Or something like that.

Or does it not help because people don't know enough about autism to understand what you mean? Does it just add to the miscommunication? Or does it make it worse because they think you're making excuses, or even lying?


I forgot the name of a black man I work with but only see once every four months or so. I was afraid he would attribute my lapse to racism, which is such a trendy thing to do these days, so I told him I'm not good at remembering names. I remember faces, not names. I also said I'm better with computers than I am with people. All of that is true. I think that is enough information, no need to go into the whole spectrum business.

The main thing is to disarm people who will otherwise take things personally and assume you are racist or one of the other -ists on the list of Boogeymen in society. You tell these people things to inform them that it is not personal. You are the same way with everybody.
I agree that it's always good to err on the side of apologizing and making sure people understand we don't mean offense. But it can still be a challenge to get it right.



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23 Jul 2023, 11:12 pm

bee33 wrote:
skibum wrote:
bee33 wrote:
Do you think it helps or makes things harder to tell people that you are autistic? For instance, if you are in a conversation and you realize that you are not understanding the vibe or what the other person is expecting you to say, or how to react, does it help to mention something like, "I'm sorry, I'm not good at detecting vibes or nuances, because I'm on the spectrum?" Or something like that.

Or does it not help because people don't know enough about autism to understand what you mean? Does it just add to the miscommunication? Or does it make it worse because they think you're making excuses, or even lying?
It completely depends on the circumstance. Each situation is unique. But I disclose all the time. I find that it's better for me if I disclose.

Have you had mostly good reactions? Or do you just accept that sometimes people won't understand and are able to let it go?
I get mixed responses. I don't have the ability to let anything go so I can't actually do that. I accept that people don't always understand. Some people have very supportive reactions which I really appreciate. Some people just respond like frickin idiots and that is really overwhelming and draining. When people challenge me about it, if they are really good hearted and just ignorant and humble, I don't mind that. If they are doing it from a place of arrogance and superiority, I am not able to tolerate that. That kind of response damages me and that damage is permanent and irreversible.


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24 Jul 2023, 7:34 am

Caz72 wrote:
i dont have much tactful skills so i tend to let people know im autistic if i feel i should

usually the response is..you cant be autistic you drive a bus!"

You're autistic, not a pigeon!


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24 Jul 2023, 7:45 am

Caz72 wrote:
i dont have much tactful skills so i tend to let people know im autistic if i feel i should

usually the response is..you cant be autistic you drive a bus!"
WOW! I have a few snarky comebacks in my mind but unfortunately, you bosses might not appreciate you saying them.


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24 Jul 2023, 7:48 am

bee33 wrote:
It's really tough to deal with both. With chronic fatigue, I had become pretty good about how I thought about it: I just accepted it as a normal part of myself and didn't try to fight it. I knew what I could and couldn't do and stayed within those parameters and even kind of enjoyed having a simple, contemplative life that involved little activity and not much going out, even. But that was before my boyfriend of 15 years died in 2015. After that it became much harder to stay home and not do much of anything, because I had to do it alone. And then recently (two 1/2 years ago) I was getting back together with my first boyfriend and I thought my life would be idyllic, and he suddenly threw me overboard, as I have talked about in other threads. Now it's become a real problem to not be able to go out and try to be around a few people sometimes, or be able to do activities that would serve as distractions.

I also have had other problems on and off, with strong emotions, anger, sadness, not getting along, feeling scared and lonely, and they really flared when my first ex dumped me 15 months ago, and it's been a harrowing time. Though my therapist and psychiatrist missed it, my sister suspected that I could have Borderline Personality, and I think she's right. So now that it's reared its head because of this stressor, it's by far the worst of my problems.


Oh!! ! I didn't know your long term boyfriend died in 2015 and the first boyfriend was a boyfriend! I thought the man you were upset about was just a good friend.

That explains it all! Massive shocks like that either cause or exacerbate ME/CFS. For sure. The emotional shock throws the physical body out of balance.

When my dad died, my mum was only 43 and her periods stopped forever. She reckoned it was the huge shock of his death. And similarly, my periods didn't start for many years after that, I was 16 when they finally did. That is very old for them to start, everyone else in my family started around 12 or 13. We always wondered if the huge shock of my dad's death reverberated in our physical bodies.

I wish the Western medical sector would realise that emotional and physical sides are connected and can't be separated. We seem to have conventional doctors treating physical conditions and alternative therapists treating mental conditions. They need to merge and work together!


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24 Jul 2023, 3:51 pm

In my own life telling people of autism as almost always lead to them reacting poorly for some while others just completely change how they treat me in a weird way that I can't explain. I don't tell people anymore- too many bad experiences. I have found most people are going to create a fictional version of you based on their own biases whether you tell them you are on the spectrum or not. Maybe I have the wrong approach I am not sure- I just know I will not meet or align with their expectations of what they expect regardless.

I can remember one specific series of events where I was working in the warehouse of goodwill where I did such and later ended up in the mental hospital because of the bullying and strange mind games they tried to play on me.

In my experience it can be dangerous and troublesome to explain yourself to others- better to let them think you're just an idiot or odd so far in life.



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24 Jul 2023, 9:05 pm

KitLily wrote:
When my dad died, my mum was only 43 and her periods stopped forever. She reckoned it was the huge shock of his death. And similarly, my periods didn't start for many years after that, I was 16 when they finally did. That is very old for them to start, everyone else in my family started around 12 or 13. We always wondered if the huge shock of my dad's death reverberated in our physical bodies.

I wish the Western medical sector would realise that emotional and physical sides are connected and can't be separated. We seem to have conventional doctors treating physical conditions and alternative therapists treating mental conditions. They need to merge and work together!
I'm sorry about losing your dad at such a young age. I'm sure it was a shock to both you and your mom, and your bodies reacted to it.

There's just so much that medical doctors and mental health practitioners just don't know. Everything is connected in some way but it's hard to know exactly how, or how to deal with it. I do think my ME/CFS did get noticeably worse over the past year. And for a good while I was losing my hair. Not so much that you could see the hair loss on my head (unless you really looked), but there was hair on the floor, all around the house.



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24 Jul 2023, 9:08 pm

skibum wrote:
I get mixed responses. I don't have the ability to let anything go so I can't actually do that. I accept that people don't always understand. Some people have very supportive reactions which I really appreciate. Some people just respond like frickin idiots and that is really overwhelming and draining. When people challenge me about it, if they are really good hearted and just ignorant and humble, I don't mind that. If they are doing it from a place of arrogance and superiority, I am not able to tolerate that. That kind of response damages me and that damage is permanent and irreversible.
I'm sorry for my insensitive remark. I know from other posts that you in fact can't get over the unkind and thoughtless things that people do and say and that it causes permanent damage. I'm similar in some respects but not nearly to the same degree.



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24 Jul 2023, 9:21 pm

bee33 wrote:
skibum wrote:
I get mixed responses. I don't have the ability to let anything go so I can't actually do that. I accept that people don't always understand. Some people have very supportive reactions which I really appreciate. Some people just respond like frickin idiots and that is really overwhelming and draining. When people challenge me about it, if they are really good hearted and just ignorant and humble, I don't mind that. If they are doing it from a place of arrogance and superiority, I am not able to tolerate that. That kind of response damages me and that damage is permanent and irreversible.
I'm sorry for my insensitive remark. I know from other posts that you in fact can't get over the unkind and thoughtless things that people do and say and that it causes permanent damage. I'm similar in some respects but not nearly to the same degree.
You were not insensitive at all. But thank you so much for being so kind. There are some other people who are a nightmare but I have always found you to be very kind and considerate. :heart:


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25 Jul 2023, 4:57 am

bee33 wrote:
I'm sorry about losing your dad at such a young age. I'm sure it was a shock to both you and your mom, and your bodies reacted to it.

There's just so much that medical doctors and mental health practitioners just don't know. Everything is connected in some way but it's hard to know exactly how, or how to deal with it. I do think my ME/CFS did get noticeably worse over the past year. And for a good while I was losing my hair. Not so much that you could see the hair loss on my head (unless you really looked), but there was hair on the floor, all around the house.


I think that must have been it: the shock. Even the doctor was shocked that my mum went through the menopause at 43 years old. That is extremely young.

That sounds like you were definitely in shock if your health got worse and your hair fell out.

The medical field needs to somehow unite and work together. I think Eastern practises are way ahead of the West because they have known for centuries how mental and physical health are linked and can't be separated.


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25 Jul 2023, 11:26 am

I'm pretty much an open book, but I don't generally tell people.


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