Should I reveal my diagnosis to this person?

Page 1 of 1 [ 14 posts ] 


Should I reveal my diagnosis to this person?
Yes 92%  92%  [ 11 ]
No 8%  8%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 12

248RPA
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 29 Oct 2015
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,011
Location: beyond the Wall

05 Nov 2016, 6:54 am

Every week, I go to this person to take piano lessons. Every week, he asks me why I always look around the room when he's talking, why I take so long to answer his questions, why I can't stop moving in my seat, why I must always take his jokes so seriously, etc. He's known me since I was little.

He isn't really annoyed by this, so wondering if I should just tell him that I'm autistic or have Asperger's just to satisfy his curiousity.

However, he grew up in an era where autism was rarely diagnosed and Asperger's was not yet a diagnosis. I'm afraid that he'll say something like: "You're not autistic. Autism is so overdiagnosed nowadays."

Or if I go with Asperger's: "Asperger's isn't real. When I was young, they were just eccentric."

(I was diagnosed after DSM 5 merged classic autism, Asperger's, and PDD-NOS. DSM IV-TR would have classified me as Aspie or PDD-NOS.)

He says I'm one of his better students, and I think I'm one of his favourite students, so I doubt that he'll use this against me. Should I tell him?


_________________
Life ... that's what leaves the mess. Mad people everywhere.


EzraS
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Gender: Male
Posts: 22,698
Location: Twin Peaks

05 Nov 2016, 7:55 am

I think so, he's a trusted adult who's known you most of your life and your teacher. He's asking so I say tell him.



SilverProteus
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 20 Jul 2007
Gender: Female
Posts: 7,921
Location: Somewhere Over The Rainbow

05 Nov 2016, 8:18 am

I would.


_________________
"Lightning is but a flicker of light, punctuated on all sides by darkness." - Loki


ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 62
Gender: Male
Posts: 19,582
Location: Long Island, New York

05 Nov 2016, 11:10 am

Just say you have trouble with eye contact


_________________
Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

"The lunatics have taken over the asylum" - The Specials


skibum
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 18 Jul 2013
Age: 52
Gender: Female
Posts: 7,165
Location: my own little world

05 Nov 2016, 12:41 pm

Yes tell him.


_________________
"I'm bad and that's good. I'll never be good and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me."

Wreck It Ralph


racheypie666
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2016
Age: 25
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,373
Location: UK

05 Nov 2016, 12:51 pm

I would tell him, if you feel comfortable. He knows you well anyway and he's picked up on the traits/symptoms you have enough to ask about them. Good luck :)



StarTrekker
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Age: 26
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,088
Location: Starship Voyager, somewhere in the Delta quadrant

06 Nov 2016, 1:57 am

I would tell him. If he doesn't understand at first, this will be the perfect opportunity to broaden his understanding of autism. He may also surprise you and know more than you expect. He clearly knows something's up, it's better not to let him jump to his own conclusions.


_________________
"Survival is insufficient" - Seven of Nine
Diagnosed with ASD level 1 on the 10th of April, 2014
Rediagnosed with ASD level 2 on the 4th of May, 2019
Thanks to Olympiadis for my fantastic avatar!


Uncle
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 7 Apr 2015
Posts: 1,123

06 Nov 2016, 2:59 am

Maybe ask him if he has heard of Aspergers/autism and ask him what he understands of it... This way it brings it into light without being too directly uncomfortable about it and also gives you an indication of his knowledge in this area and then to fill him in in areas he isn't aware. Im sure being a piano teacher he has likely come across such individuals before as there are many that are musically orientated.. He may be surprised in a good way and would likely allow him to understand some of the things he might not as often witness when teaching NT's... :)



248RPA
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 29 Oct 2015
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,011
Location: beyond the Wall

06 Nov 2016, 7:36 am

When I was younger, I asked him if he's had any autistic students, and he said yes. So he must have some idea of what autism is. That was before I was diagnosed, and I was having an obsession with the topic of autism.

Another thing is that he used to have a dyslexic student that he always called "retarded". Not to his face, only after he left.

I don't know what he thought of his autistic student(s), but I don't want him to make assumptions when I tell him that I'm autistic. Then again, the phrase, "When you've met one person with autism, you've only met one person with autism" will be useful.


_________________
Life ... that's what leaves the mess. Mad people everywhere.


jimmyboy76453
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 18 Mar 2015
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Posts: 575
Location: Ashtabula

06 Nov 2016, 10:53 am

In my experience, telling someone about your diagnosis is tricky. Sometimes it can be good and sometimes it can be bad, and I don't seem to be able to accurately predict someone's reaction to that information. People who I thought would react badly have not, and people who I thought would react well reacted badly.

So here is how I make my decisions about telling someone my diagnosis, and it might help you.

First, I look at how important this news is to the other person. For example, I felt it was important to tell my boss but not my coworkers because it is important for my boss to know in case I ever need assistance of any kind at work, but it is not important for my coworkers to know.
Secondly, I look at how I would feel if this person reacted badly to the news, like if they said they thought I was just being whiny or stupid by thinking I'm autistic. For example, I haven't told a couple of my sisters because it would be hurtful to me if they reacted badly.

I take those two factors together to make my decision:
If it IS important and a bad reaction WOULD NOT bother me, I tell them.
If it IS NOT important and a bad reaction WOULD bother me, I don't tell them.
If it IS important and a bad reaction WOULD bother me, I consider which factor is stronger.
If it IS NOT important and a bad reaction WOULD NOT bother me, I consider which factor is stronger.

For example, I told my mother and one sister because, even though it would be hurtful to me if they reacted badly, it was MORE important to me that they know about it. I do not tell most of my acquaintances because even though it would NOT be hurtful to me if they reacted badly, it is also not at all important for them to know. My close friends know, some of my closest family members know, my boss knows. Most everyone else does not know. I SHOULD tell my medical doctor because it is important for him to know (since medical research is increasingly showing a physical component to autism, such as gastrointestinal issues), but I haven't yet because I think a bad reaction from him would be hurtful to me.

I hope that is clear and that it helps you to decide what to do.

Also, one tip that I have found to be somewhat helpful when someone tries to say that I'm not autistic is to tell them that I was diagnosed by a professional therapist with special training in autism (which is true) and that it is not simply my own diagnosis.


_________________
You don't need to hide, my friend, for I am just like you.


Exuvian
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 16 Aug 2016
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Posts: 800

06 Nov 2016, 10:04 pm

I voted "yes" since it sounds like you're on good terms, have a long history and he's asking out of simple curiosity.

I think I'd phrase it as "I was diagnosed with..." if you're nervous about possibly being disbelieved. As opposed to "I have, or I am", you're just relaying what was told to you. His rejection of the information relayed this way is to disbelieve the doctor's opinion instead of yours. It's less personal this way, and easier to move on in the off chance that he really does repudiate the claim.

Sometimes it's good to "reach out" in that way, and this is a pretty safe situation in which to try. The choice is and should be entirely yours though; either route is reasonable.



anagram
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Nov 2012
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,432
Location: 4 Nov 2012

06 Nov 2016, 11:12 pm

Exuvian wrote:
I think I'd phrase it as "I was diagnosed with..." if you're nervous about possibly being disbelieved. As opposed to "I have, or I am", you're just relaying what was told to you. His rejection of the information relayed this way is to disbelieve the doctor's opinion instead of yours. It's less personal this way, and easier to move on in the off chance that he really does repudiate the claim.

i think that's good advice

in my case, since my oddness is more indistinct (and i barely even identify as "aspie" or "autistic"), and since i may not want to draw attention to the fact that i went to see mental health professionals as an adult, i'll usually just say something like "i'm just weird like this. always been. <shrug>", and then probably say something goofy and change the subject

i've made it a point in a few occasions to tell some person or another about one of my diagnoses to see what would happen. the typical response i've gotten so far is zero interest in the subject and no reaction or noticeable effect (good or bad). that piano teacher does seem to be curious, but i think as a rule people either don't care or specifically don't want to know about it


_________________
404


EzraS
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Gender: Male
Posts: 22,698
Location: Twin Peaks

07 Nov 2016, 12:00 am

Of course telling him might not make any difference. My teachers who are fully aware of my autism try to get me to stim less, look at them more, be more verbal etc.



whatamievendoing
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 20 Aug 2016
Age: 25
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,336
Location: Finland

07 Nov 2016, 5:05 am

Well, the guy's known you since a relatively early age, so I'd say go for it.


_________________
“They laugh at me because I'm different; I laugh at them because they're all the same.”
― Kurt Cobain