Disclosure

Today I received an email asking me whether or not to disclose to someone that you have Autism.  My answer to this is yes and no depending on the situation.  The reply you provide will either be a help or hindrance so it is best to use discretion wisely.

If you are applying for a job and get called in for an interview DO NOT under any circumstances reveal to a potential employer that you have Autism.  Although companies say they offer equal opportunity employment the reality is people are scared of unknown differences.  When I was interviewing for a position at a well known investment bank I made a mistake in the fifth round of the interview to reveal to the company representative that I was Autistic.  Right after that statement I knew my bridge had burned twice over.  The person’s behavior went from outgoing to standoffish and the environment turned colder than Antarctica.  That following Tuesday I received a phone call from the HR director telling me that “We are sorry but we made a mistake.  There isn’t any position here for you”. I know this is their way of covering their reputation rather than telling me the truth.  One if there was not a position open then there would not be a reason to five rounds.  Secondly, I am sure they do not randomly meet people just for kicks.  I will go to my grave knowing that having Autism was the reason I got denied that job.

If you are in a situation such as living in an on campus apartment where you will be with the same people for eight months out of the year then I think it is fine to divulge this to someone.  However you need to be 1000% sure that the person you are about to tell is really your friend.  Everybody will seem nice at the beginning but it is only a matter of time before ones true colors are exposed.  For me, it took two solid months to decide who my friends were and weed out the ones that were only nice to me because of my possessions.  The first person in the apartment that I felt comfortable telling my secret to was my friend who worked at the Disability office.  After I told someone it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders.  She told me she already figured it out before I said anything and it was not an issue for her.  In fact she became my on campus “mom” and helped me work out a lot of my problems.

The choice to disclose ones disability is a personal decision they have to make on their own.  I can not give a definite answer because everyone’s story is different.  The best answer I can give is to share my story of both positive and negative results and what I learned from my experiences.

Thank you for reading!

Autistic Female


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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Miriam
    Jun 24, 2009 @ 16:15:52

    This is an excellent post. My son, who is 12, often tells people of his disability but that might not work as well when he is older. He’s in a school right now, just a public school, that has it’s own special olympics team and the typical kids are very familiar with a variety of disabilities, so making them aware has been a good thing. Maybe attitudes will improve in the next few years. I HOPE so.

    Reply

  2. EquiisSavant
    Jun 24, 2009 @ 20:29:41

    Unfortunately, for me, I have to disclose to employers that I have autism because I require extensive accommodations for the deficits. I wish I were as fortunate as those with autism and some of the Aspies who can work without any accommodations. We are not all so lucky.

    Reply

  3. Mena
    May 21, 2011 @ 18:57:18

    That’s not just logic. That’s really sebnslie.

    Reply

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