A while back on a Facebook page a self-diagnosed person with Aspergers asked if we tell employers that we are on the spectrum. Several people commented on the threat and I was one of them. I said its not their business and I don’t have to say anything. The message back was that we rather hide who we are to everyone and act exactly the same. I thought this was funny for someone who self-diagnosed himself especially when you had seen everything else this person had posted elsewhere and he was pretty obnoxious. I would say he had no idea and he would not have Aspergers, but something else entirely.
My thoughts are this. There are some employers / workplaces that do need to know, but the person would have to know if they can do the job. Working for a national retailer means there are constant changes within every year or so with many of the managers. It gets old pretty quickly if you tell everyone you have this or that. I really only tell people about my lack of smell or taste as I feel that is more a health hazard than Aspergers. Am I hiding who I am? No, actually I am not as people know exactly that I am different. They do know that I honestly get the work done without too much complaining. You show them what you can do and not focus on the negative stereotypes people always think of. People have called me funny as I always am literal in some way. If you feel the need to say something then go ahead. I am happy going through being treated like everyone else without special treatment. I do the same with my volunteer work and I have been there 11 years without any major incidents that meant I would fall apart other than getting annoyed at people talking to me, but calling me by another name. I did argue with someone on the boat when he did say he wanted to know if someone had a medical condition including Aspergers. I said I don’t have to especially if it doesn’t affect my performance on the boat. The thing is also that people do tend to forget things and you have to remind them. It is annoying having to remind people.
I was once told that aspies don’t work in certain national retailers and when mentioning I work for that one they said Aspies prefer the other national retailer. I really did once think other people with the same condition would be supportive, but they don’t always. People have to remember all of us are different and it’s a spectrum for a reason. Some of us just don’t need to tell everyone they encounter that they have Aspergers. I personally find it a little embarrassing when someone just spouts off to a total stranger that you have Aspergers or uses Aspergers as an excuse to cut into a line for some event. I am actually happy to wait with everyone else at the back of the line.
Am I hiding? Hell no, I am likely the poster person to many others saying they could do this and that. Knowing people who know what I do through Facebook is recognition enough. People could say, we cannot do that, but he shows others that we are not all the same so the stereotypes are smashed within minutes. Have I done the research and have sources. Nope, but I am just one person.