Disclosing diagnosis to family members

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Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 10 Jan 2019
Gender: Female
Posts: 3

11 Jan 2019, 11:23 pm

I don't live with my family, I haven't since I was 15. I'm not on bad terms with any of them, and my mom is still very involved with my life. My parents were both part of the process of my getting a diagnosis, and they told some of my adult family members for reasons that sort of make sense, but have promised not to tell anyone else unless I give them permission. This includes my brother, who still doesn't know about my diagnosis. He's a few years older than me, and we get along pretty well but we only ever communicate when we're both at my parent's house, which doesn't happen often since our school breaks don't tend to line up. I want to tell him, so that I can explain that it's a contributing factor to why we're not as close as I'd like for us to be and maybe initiate a conversation about trying to make an effort to get to know each other again. Unfortunately, starting conversations, especially emotionally involved ones, is pretty difficult for me. Any advice?


Joined: 20 Jan 2018
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 102
Location: Melbourne, Australia

12 Jan 2019, 7:47 am

I'm not especially qualified.. my usual tecnhique is to worry about it, then pitch into it awkwardly, then deal with the flow of conversation from there..

Just thinking here, though...

Perhaps when you're both ho.e, you could ask your parents ts to send him in, something like "please go talk to your brother, he has somrthing to tell you"

Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

Joined: 24 Jul 2015
Age: 35
Posts: 33

13 Jan 2019, 11:20 am

Is it possible to invite your brother over to your place, to play board games?
Or, if you like to cook dinner, offer him a meal. I'd suggest not to go anywhere out, because the whole entourage and noise around you can put pressure on things.

If you can't start the conversation and are afraid the afternoon or evening will pass without you bringing it up, you could write it on a card. Not a very formal letter, a card. Give it together with his drink. Just 'topic: autism!' (yes, that bluntly) will get you talking.

Also, it might help you to analyse what his view on the matter is. Put yourself in his place and play the conversation in your head. He'll be relieved probably, and the fact that you brought it up a bit awkwardly, can be explained by the autism part. Maybe things fall into place after this. Think of what you want out of that conversation. Because upon hearing the news, he'll probably be 'so... ?' . Think of what the next step is. The ball is in his court, and if he's a nice brother, he'll ask you how he can help you to regain a better relationship.