Do you tell other people you have AS (or an ASD)?

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ScrewyWabbit
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10 Oct 2008, 12:14 pm

Hi All...

I'd like to know from other folks on this board, do you tell other people that you have AS or an ASD? Friends? Family? Coworkers? If you do, under what circumstances? Like how well do you have to know the other person before you'll share that with them? What sort of reaction do you get? Does it ruin friendships, improve them, make them ackward? Do you find it helpful to do so, or is it best to keep it to yourself?

I guess a related question would be how mild or severe is your AS/ASD? Especially as it relates to how easily you think it is for a 'normal' (or is the proper term Neurotypical?) person to tell there's something 'different' about you, even if they might not be familiar with AS/ASD or might not know that its AS or an ASD? Like if you don't tell them, do they really not 'know? If they can figure it out for themselves, how long or how well do you think they have to know you before they can tell? Do you feel like its the world's worst kept secret?

For me, I'm 35 years old. Although I always felt something was different about me, and have for a very, very long time, it was only in the past few years I learned about AS and high functioning autistic disorders and pretty much realized that the descriptions of these disorders fit me to a tee.

And I'm VERY self conscious about it. I've never even discussed this with any of my family, even though I know as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow that my father is the same way I am. I've only told a grand total of two people. Both very close friends, the kind I'd trust with my life - in fact except for my family these two are the only two people in the world I'd say that about. The first person basically dragged it out of me - another mutual friend of ours had suggested to her that I had Autism, so one day she confronted me and it turned into a big, emotional, tearful confrontation during which I admitted it to her. And it was a very traumatizing experience. The second person I told in an email - I was basically talking abstractly to the second person about the confrontation with the first person, and basically said I had told someone a deep, dark secret about myself. When the second person told me that she suspected she knew what it was, I opened up and told her. Thankfully, both of these people are still my friends. But, I never really wanted to tell either of them. And its disconcerting that through these experiences I learned of two people that sort of knew about my condition without me telling them.

In any case, thanks in advance to everyone for reading this and to anyone who wants to share their own experiences or advice on this.



AngryReptileKeeper
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10 Oct 2008, 12:38 pm

I don't, not anymore. I know what happens when I do. I get treated like I'm "special" (as in retarded). Then come the patronizing and condescending remarks. Either that or they clearly don't believe me. A handful have gone so far as to accuse me of making excuses and telling me that I could "help it if I really tried". Or I'd get accused of "doing it for attention".

But if I don't tell them, they assume that I'm just an arrogant a$$hole. My fiance gets the same treatment.

But I don't really think they're interested in an explanation, anyway. When I try to explain, their eyes glaze over and they are clearly not interested. :roll:



SoulDriven
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10 Oct 2008, 12:44 pm

I've told my boss and parents, that is all. My mother will probably tell everyone for me even though I don't want anyone else to know.



NocturnalQuilter
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10 Oct 2008, 12:48 pm

AngryReptileKeeper wrote:
I don't, not anymore. I know what happens when I do. I get treated like I'm "special" (as in retarded). Then come the patronizing and condescending remarks. Either that or they clearly don't believe me. A handful have gone so far as to accuse me of making excuses and telling me that I could "help it if I really tried". Or I'd get accused of "doing it for attention".
But if I don't tell them, they assume that I'm just an arrogant a$$hole. My fiance gets the same treatment.
But I don't really think they're interested in an explanation, anyway. When I try to explain, their eyes glaze over and they are clearly not interested. :roll:


I couldn't have put it better myself.



ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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10 Oct 2008, 12:51 pm

I think people around here read my posts because since I started posting on here people have been even more fake friendlier than ever. (in other words, talking to me like I am the most specialest person in the world)
It's probably just some weird coincidence.



nicky
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10 Oct 2008, 12:52 pm

i often have something in view that has something to do with autism pride.. for example, i made an anti-cure tie tack that i sometimes wear, and also, at school, my computer usually has an autism pride saying/symbol/picture/etc. for the desktop wallpaper, so i get asked sometimes what it means, and use it as an opportunity to reeducate people about autism. i'm very open that i'm an aspie.. not that i go shouting it out to random strangers, mind you. :lol: i only tell people if they ask about it.


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RubieRoze
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10 Oct 2008, 1:06 pm

I've told only two people about my suspicions: my oldest sister (I have 4 siblings, all older) and my best friend.

My best friend found it appropriate to suddenly announce to a tableful of HER friends in a crowded restaurant for no apparent reason whatsoever, "RUBIEROZE HAS ASPERGER'S SYNDROME!" I hardly knew these people. I felt like diving under the table, but I managed to blurt out, "I'm not officially diagnosed or anything. I scored rather high on an online test." I don't know if she thought I was behaving inappropriately in any way and she felt that she "owed" her friends an explanation. She never could quite explain to me exactly WHY she did that. :? :?: :? :?:

There are certain close family members that I would NEVER want them to know my suspicions. This is part of why I don't pursue an "official" diagnosis. The "it's-someone-else's-fault" personality disorder runs strong in my family. Basic symptoms are that they can act like jerks, and when I get upset about it, it's MY fault because of [insert lame excuse here]. This would just be another arrow in their quiver. (Example: "Why are you upset that I told you that the Devil's got you? It must be your Aspeger's Syndrome talking again!")

I trust my oldest sister with my suspicions because she has no reason to reveal it and wouldn't use it to hurt me (I don't think, but you never know).

So, no, I wouldn't tell a whole lotta people about it. I just smile and try to act "normal" - whatever that is.


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KiyokosOnlyOnigiri
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10 Oct 2008, 2:27 pm

I tell people.

But in the situation I'm in (kiddie jail), it may be my only way out. I know it's selfish, using my diagnosis to talk my way out, but it's terrible here.

The other residents used to pick on me tons until I moved to the mental-health unit, which is slightly more understanding, and one of the other girls was all "That's not a funny joke" when I told her about the OMRDD referral that may happen for me.


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irishaspie
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10 Oct 2008, 2:32 pm

i have only told one of my teachers.
i dont think my friends would understand what it is



Kelsi
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10 Oct 2008, 4:42 pm

KiyokosOnlyOnigiri wrote:
I tell people.

But in the situation I'm in (kiddie jail), it may be my only way out. I know it's selfish, using my diagnosis to talk my way out, but it's terrible here.


Doesn't sound selfish to me - it sounds like a survival strategey. Can you tell us why you are in 'kiddie jail'?


I haven't told anyone except for close family members, and many of them are AS people too.

I would NEVER tell my co-workers. I know that if I did, then I would get blamed whenever someone treats me badly - they would claim that I was misunderstanding them or misinterpreting their actions.



HD3H
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10 Oct 2008, 5:44 pm

I usally tell people that i have it. mostly if they ask about my behavior. or if i get a chance. like a couple of weeks ago i should go infront of my class and speak of some random thing. so i choose AS and spoke of that.



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10 Oct 2008, 6:25 pm

for am,it works in reverse,am do not tell other people am have autism-its others who notice and make comments about it,am have 'severe autism' which easily gets notice from family to strangers to the local police,it also gets offers of help to home staff from strangers or police-sometimes needed,othertimes its forced and just want them to go away as their presense is making things worse.
family have always been used to it even with going through different labels-some of which are still there.
they are mostly supportive over it,dads side is less supportive of am and have always thought was a burden to the family,though mums side were always more accepting,and are always telling mum to bring am to their house-they do not like sister [she is hf aspie,undiagnosed and gifted],but dads side likes her a lot.

if are going to mention having a ASD to someone,make it be for a good reason because it might end up making things worse if are telling it for the sake of telling it,especially as not everyone knows what autism,as or the spectrum is [many still do not know what autism/classic is beyond thinking all auties are at the profound low functioning end with severe mental retardation] so would have a hard time of getting accepted with anything else.


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Flismflop
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10 Oct 2008, 9:35 pm

I never tell anyone. The only exception was one of my college professors, who just happened to be a retired psychologist. I don't trust anyone else to not start using my diagnosis as convenient justification for discrediting anything I say.


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McCann_Can_Triple
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10 Oct 2008, 10:09 pm

My family knows.. only because my mom told them.

It isn't something I tell people.


.. Oh, and my entire school knows. Or they did, likely most have forgoten by now though. That was not something I wanted. -_-.

See... I had written a poem/story thingy about how I was feeling (which was.. depressed) and it ended up getting put in the school magazine that comes out at the end of each year. I was told it would be in the book, but guess what I see just after my piece. "This is how <insert my name> feels after being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.

And yes, I spelled it wrong for a reason. That was how it was printed

I don't know who added that part, as while it does relate to Aspergers, I never said anything about it at the time. Luckily it was my senior year and only a few days to school went out. People did come up and ask me about the article, but thakfully most where cool... one girl even said it made her cry.

It just wasn't something I wanted the world to know.


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LucidDreamGod
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10 Oct 2008, 10:28 pm

I tell them if I get the chance, I don't care if they treat me like a retard, I have never got that though. Usually I have trouble explaining to them exactly what it is, and how it effects me. Usually I just say it makes me an introvert, and be attached to certain hobbies and such.

I don't quite understand why some of you guys don't want people to know, don't you want to be one step closer to being understood, so that people have a reason to look at you as just acting "normal" in your own way then being weird.



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10 Oct 2008, 10:53 pm

I have brought up that I have "issues"...but I couldn't really say I was an aspie because I wasn't diagnosed. Now that I am more-or-less diagnosed....despite my deisre to tell some people...I realise more and more that I just shouldn't....
People just don't understand.
I get the funny looks ...and responses like...well everybody has something