My Husband just Diagnosed with Asperger's

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PJango
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13 Sep 2011, 9:25 am

My husband was just Dx with Asperger's the end of August...since mid July he's been on notice to possibly be fired, and I've been checking around to see if there are any Accomodations that can be made for him.

His work situation: he has been with the same company for almost 37 years! auto industry.

FIVE years ago he was promoted to department manager, with five employees reporting to him....this has been very difficult, at best case for him. He doesn't see the social stuff, nor does he communicate much, he has horrible time management, does not EVER initiate anything. Who knows why they have kept him for five years....

Q:
I'd like some feedback as to Husband disclosing that he has AS.
OR
Just say disability.

voluntarily taking demotion is not an accomodation, but more of a request, so it sounds complicated.

one last comment: I contacted the Autism Society for our State, and they are all for disclosing...but they are biased towards awareness, yes? it's confusing!



Panic
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13 Sep 2011, 9:52 am

wht do you mean biased to awareness?



the_wife
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13 Sep 2011, 10:08 am

How was he before being promoted to management? It probably depends a lot on the company as far as their reaction to his diagnosis. My husband was diagnosed about 5 years ago and his counselor offered to disclose to his employer, but my husband didn't want that, however, he's had no problems or threats of being fired.

If the company and/or your husband's supervisor is open and sensitive to issues of Asperger's, maybe he could just talk frankly about possible other positions that he is better suited for.

My husband's an engineer and was promoted to manager for a short time. He HATED being a manager! (This was before his diagnosis). He went back to being a happy engineer, knowing to stay out of management.



Willard
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13 Sep 2011, 11:58 am

Personally, I haven't found that disclosure makes any difference whatsoever. People have no clue what you're talking about and AS is particularly difficult to explain in a nutshell, since it involves a cluster of handicaps, not just one.

Most people think Autism means 'retardation', so they're clueless when someone who is clearly not intellectually impaired says 'I have a form of autism'. They frankly never really believe that you actually have a disability (there is an extremely hateful school of thought in the world today that claims loudly and intolerantly that Asperger Syndrome is not real and is just an excuse for losers), and remain convinced that your oddness is just because you're an oddball.

The last employer to whom I disclosed my disability - and I explained it to him carefully and repeatedly - continually assured me that I was not aggressive with customers because I was 'just shy' and he could cure me of that (I'm 52 BTW and got over 'shy' in High School). He ultimately fired me because I wasn't the hardsell salesman he wanted, who could 'work them customers'. That was in a state run, federally funded career training program for the disabled and you know how much help I've gotten from bureaucrats after 3 years of begging for some redress for this obvious discrimination? None.

If you're not in a wheelchair or drooling on yourself, you can't possibly have a genuine disability. That's the attitude you will encounter repeatedly when you disclose. They may never say it to your face, but if its not obvious, it isn't really there and doesn't warrant consideration, much less accommodation, even from organizations and individuals who claim to represent the rights of the disabled.



PJango
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13 Sep 2011, 12:04 pm

Panic wrote:
wht do you mean biased to awareness?


hi Panic,
I guess what I mean by that is that when I talked to the gal at Autism Society yesterday, there was the immediate help/conversation of how to present AS and to whom...I agreed to find out behind the scenes who the HR person is, and she agreed to send an email stating the kind of data she wants Husband to gather.

I thought about it later, last evening, that there wasn't the discussion about IF he wanted to disclose AS, or use a generic term like 'disability' etc. for him.

and then I got to thinking about Autism Society advocacy's MISSION is to raise awareness, and perhaps this whole issue is clouded by my cynicism.

does that help?



PJango
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13 Sep 2011, 12:15 pm

Willard,
love the signature quote, by the way, I can relate!

so like with almost everything in life, there are those who get it, and most don't...

Right now, his General Manager is the kind of guy who is able to Coach, however, he is extreemly busy.
The other peer managers have changed quite a bit, some were helpful, the others left. Not so much.

Now let's take the GM's boss, who is a Bully. He will not ever, no matter what, be understanding towards a disability, he's mind blind to them.

Husband mentioned that TWICE there have been cases of people trying management and then voluntarily stepping back out. I hope this is possible



Willard
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13 Sep 2011, 5:19 pm

Yeah, I got caught several times in situations where somebody in management would leave and I'd be handed all their duties and responsibilities, but never the pay increase or the authority that went with it. Bully GMs who could sense my social dysfunction would hold the promotions over my head endlessly, because it was cheaper than hiring new management, and every quarter that they kept their payroll costs down, they got a big bonus.

In the end, I always decided I was better off staying at my own level, where I could function more or less alone without having to report to some clenched-sphincter superior all the time. I got on just fine with my peers, it was a creative field (Radio), so 'normal' was a relative term, but those stodgy, closed minded management types invariably hated me. I don't have the @$$-kiss gene, so I don't suck up to them, and I tell them what I really think instead of constantly agreeing that their way is the only way.

Needless to say, I got fired a lot. It was okay, after 15 months or so of their BS, I was usually ready for a recuperative vacation, so I'd draw unemployment for a while and calm my frazzled nerves before I went back out and did it again.