How should I tell people about AS Diagnosis?

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ASPartOfMe
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18 Oct 2015, 8:03 am

I am going to reveal it in the eulogy today at my dad's funeral. I am not going to go into any detail about autism but describe the acceptance I received from him (I highly suspect he was on the spectrum but won't say that) in the pre understanding of autism era and how it benifited me. As those of you who read the adult life section know in the last year I have had a stroke and tounge cancer that has left me at least temporally non verbal. In these unique circumstances I don't expect derision. If I do get it I will learn a valuble lesson about that person


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tall-p
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18 Oct 2015, 2:52 pm

Live330 wrote:
@Fnord, @DailyPoutine1, Some people actually think I hate them because I never smile. Even when I insist that we're friends they are convinced that I hate them because my outward emotions are incongruent with my words. Giving them some sort of explanation would help them believe me when I tell them that I actually like them and would help them from being offended when I break unwritten social rules. How could one ever expect to move forward in such relationships without telling them in some way and to some extent?
You can never explain yourself to people. Young people often try, but it doesn't work... it's just drama. If you want your "friends" to feel secure in their friendship with you, be nice. Think ahead. Make good plans of things to do that you know they will enjoy. But trying to explain that you have a "problem"...?? No. Don't do it.


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BirdInFlight
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18 Oct 2015, 6:34 pm

Some people find that things work out better for them if they don't disclose to anyone, but instead simply address specific traits or symptoms as and when (or if) they come up.

Tony Attwood a specialist in Asperger's, recommends sentences that begin with "I'm the type of person who...." -- gets a bit more anxious than most people/ doesn't cope well with crowds or noisy places/ doesn't smile much even though I'm feeling fine inside -- etc etc.

Explain the trait at hand rather than the whole autism spectrum. It's my opinion, personally, that autism and Asperger's STILL is not understood at all by most people in the general public, and to tell them the label just makes their minds bring to the fore a whole bunch of strange ideas and mistaken stereotypes that you will have even more trouble arguing about or trying to educate them about.

I've told two people and had bad experiences with both. One of them has blabbed her freakin' mouth to everyone she knows, so that now there's a bunch of people I run into on a casual basis who know this about me when it would ever have been my intention to tell it to those specific people. My friend has treated it like it's her information to hand out as public knowledge, and I never permitted that -- she just assumed it, like it's no big deal.

It's a big deal to me because I've decided it's private and only a "need to know" basis will be operated - by me. She's blown that for me.

The other friend I told literally, physically laughed in my face. I've had to "educate" him about the spectrum and it's an uphill climb. It's hard work. It's something that now keeps cropping up. So instead of just socializing, which is already hard work for me, I now have this "educator" role too -- I'm exhausted.

I would tell "just go read this book" but he's not much of a reader.

I can't be freaking bothered with this BS. So I'm just not bothering to tell anyone anymore.

EDIT -- just remembered -- there was a third person I told. I used to work for her (she's a client). One day I had acute anxiety trying to leave when her kids were blocking the door and acting up. I didn't have an outright meltdown or anything at all horrible, I just became anxious, slightly shutdown, and left in a huge hurry.

I later apologized to her and actually explained I have been diagnosed with Asperger's. She's a child psychologist, so I figured she would have an understanding that it's no big thing. She replied "Oh I totally understand."

Interestingly, after a week or so I found a nice note and gift from her, "letting me go" /no longer requiring my services. I had been working for her for about three years prior to this.

No way of knowing (and she would deny it anyway) if it was my anxiety attack and my disclosure that prompted the letting me go. But file it under "things that make ya go hmmm..."


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If you have a problem with something I post, something I believe, something I do or say, something in my sig, or something I am stupid enough to share that I'm struggling with and being caused pain by -- TELL ME TO MY FACE so that I can defend myself, instead of see you make a mockery of or a dig about it later.

On the other hand, friends will never need an explanation, and enemies bent on disliking me will never accept one.

ASD Level 1, PTSD. Plus anxiety with panic attacks, mild sub-clinical situational depression -- and a massive case of sheer freakin' BURNOUT.

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Fnord
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18 Oct 2015, 7:35 pm

Well said, BIF.

It seems that "coming out of the closet" regarding ASDs means hanging a huge "Kick Me" sign on your back, at the very least.

At worst, it means painting a target on your forehead ...


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Darcygirl
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19 Oct 2015, 1:05 am

Hi. I was diagnosed earlier this year and have gone through the same dilemma. I haven't told and I'm glad I didn't. It was hard as I wanted to tell very badly but once its out its out so take your time in deciding who to tell and how much.

I don't use the terms Aspergers or Autism but I might explain a difficulty; for example "sorry I am bad at remembering names, please can you remind me what he's called".

I spoke to a couple of my friends abut my suspicions pre diagnosis and that I was thinking of getting a diagnisis and neither has asked since if I went for a diagnosis which I think is telling, ie they don't want to know (shrug)

Good luck


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LivingInParentheses
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19 Oct 2015, 5:31 am

Yep, same here with people treating me like they didn't want to hear about it - i mentioned it ahead of time to some close family and one of my brothers who probably knew me best (he's since died) replied with "Jesus, you've always seemed pretty normal to me".

It really upset me that he completely dismissed me like that and invalidated what I was thinking and feeling, plus implied that in order to have Asperger's one must be visibly "not normal". I gave up on being diagnosed for a few years at that point largely because of that. Telling people doesn't always do what you think it will. It definitely never buys compassion... which is too bad because that's what I felt I needed the most and wasn't getting, and therefore prompted me wanting a diagnosis! oh well. it is what it is. and I am who I am, label or not.


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