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Do you tell people you are on the spectrum?/ASD?/aspergers?


I do not talk about aspergers with acquaintances or friends because I assume they don't know what it means or they have vague ideas about it and might misunderstand me. But, lately, I've been meeting many new people who are very NT. I can see they are beginning to sense that I'm different, and while some are open/accepting or indifferent, others clearly aren't. It frustrates and angers me, but I also understand their perspective as an NT. I know they are reasonable people and I wonder if talking about aspergers would give me some relief from my feeling horribly misunderstood.
What have been your experiences discussing aspergers with friends and acquaintances?
I do, have and will lol and by the way, very much welcome.

I am not official and when I felt like a fraud and blurted it out, due to feeling very uncomfortable, I got myself into silly conversations, with me trying to defend myself and the person on attack. I stupidily would say: it is on the autism spectrum, because I would feel so embarrassed for them, not knowing what aspergers was and they would look at me and say: sorry, but you are not autistic ( clearly so) and: oh we all get like that etc.

But ones who know me, accept me as having aspergers and I have even been advised by someone in authority, that when I meet new people, I should tell them I have aspergers, because that will let them understand me a little bit more. His brother has aspergers.

I get some who will listen without talking and others who show very much that they rather be somewhere else, but once I start on a tangent, I am afraid that I look through a haze or something and only CLEAR expressions will I see that I am over talking.

Often, I have said: oh sorry, I am going on a bit and get: no, no, you are just fine.

I am told that I talk too much; but I am also told that I am too silent and all this does is makes me want to hide away! UTTER CONFUSION.

So, yes, I will tell people I have aspergers, because nt's work with clear labels, but of course, along comes the sterotyping. I have had: wow, you are brilliant at maths; like a genius, aren't you? They seem rather disappointed that I am mediocra lol
Friends and family, mostly, yes. Acquaintances, usually, no. I'm by no means ashamed of who I am, but I usually refrain from telling people who wouldn't understand, would be insensitive about it, or have no business knowing. And people in those categories aren't usually my friends anyway :p
I did and wish I could take it back... Pretty much destroyed my life socially, not that I had much going on in that regard anyways, but a little is better than none.
I do it on a "need to know" basis. Personally, only people who know me well. Professionally, right now, only one boss who is in IT and has probably met a few :)

Pre-label, I am simply bright, fun, quirky, enthused, with a knack for certain things.

Once labeled, all these things become "it's because I'm weird" and I have to deal with prejudice. No one wants to deal with that.
I dont tell people directly what I have. I sketch first an idea of what I'm like. Usually what bothers me. Then when they ask, I explain what it is. Then I remind them what it means for me, and not what it is in general. Besides that, everyone on the spectrum is diffrent. There is no official manual that goes into specific details about their diagnoses, meaning that even when they know what asd/pdd-nos/asperger/classic autism is and understand, that it doesnt mean they know how to treat you.
No, I would never tell people that unless, for some reason, they needed to know, , because I don't want to be prejudged. I have told close family members because I want them to try and understand them better. I haven't had any negative experiences from telling my family.
I don't hide it, but equally I don't tell people if I think they will struggle with it. For example, my boss doesn't know, he would just be uncomfortable and sideline me. However, some close colleagues that I have coffee with know and find my mannerisms hilarious, we joke about it and it's comfortable. I asked them to describe their feelings and they try to help me understand empathy. I don't tell people when I first meet them and I don't tell acquaintances simply because they don't care. So just go with what makes you happy really.
All of my past friends that I have told about my autism always immediately discarded it, not one ever truly believed me. You would have thought the fact that I usually never wanted to see them in person and only talk to them online would have explained a lot, but whatever.

I haven't bothered telling anyone else about it, because I know exactly what will happen, it has been proven time and time again.
Reactions when telling people that I and my spouse have autism:

Best friend, blank stare, then a diatribe on early childhood abuse that might have been the cause of it, he thought I was referring to him as having autism.

Brother, widening of the eyes, as if startled. Then a search when he was staying with us for 'strange behaviour.' Which he could report back to the biological family, who have continually called me 'weird' since I was a child.

Another old friend, mentioning that her autistic nephew and niece will require special schools. When I mentioned that I have autism as does my spouse, she replied, "I could have guessed that, it seems credible." At least validation, rather than derision. She's a teacher.

Two couples that my husband and I have known for twenty years. Mentioned to them after we both retired at fifty-five and fifty-six respectively. They seem now to treat us as if we are different from them, since. As if waiting for us to do something odd in public. They are not as friendly as they were in the past.

A female emergency medical technician, who inquired as to why my spouse would not lie down and do as he was told in the ambulance. "He's autistic, and doesn't like strangers touching him." After that, they let him sit beside me and hold his hand. Everything became quiet, and they stopped trying to strap him down.

All of these examples, are my own experience with telling. In the case of people who are aware of autism, who comprehend it, it was easy. The teacher and the EMT understood.

Other's responded with confusion, those who knew little about autism, seemed slightly fearful. Or even perplexed, as we seemed like them and they noticed little about us that was different from themselves. They slightly distanced themselves from us, as if we have a communicable disease. Think it's better not to tell most people, unless they are familiar with autism. Better for them to assume you are quirky or eccentric.
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Can't see much of a point in doing it, honestly, especially with people that you will meet a few times in your life and then never see again.
I generally won't mention it to strangers unless I need to explain something particular. With friends and acquaintances I tend to mention it in a casual way whenever it seems relevant. Sometimes I think they haven't been so sure what I as talking about. Mostly I focus on the problems I have and not the diagnosis. People can be surprisingly hostile or rude about the information. I have learned that telling can sometimes be a great way to filter out people I need to avoid, or at least keep some distance from.
For a long time I had the identity of a Geek Girl, which I still am and continue to be proud of, and that serves most purposes.

Being an artist, or shy, or explaining I have very keen hearing; all true, and all quite useful.

I'll feel more comfortable with revealing it when more people are comfortable hearing it.
Or if you have Asperger's or what they call it now highly functioning autism.

I told quite a few from the Church. I told the pastor day one. My friend Justin and his wife leaders of life group know. I told the life group too which is helpful because one of them from the group brother has full Autism.

I usually say I have some of what my sister has that she is autistic. Or I say to lesser know people that I suffer from mental illness.

Once I was told I did not even know you had Autism? A girl I chat with now told me when I said I have some of what my sister has that she is autistic she said you are doing a great job talking to me.

Of course I won't tell some stranger especially one outside the church as one YouTube video of married guy with kids who does not even have Autism said to do. I laughed at that video.
No, I don't tell people, not unless there is a particular reason why they need to know. People can be very ignorant and judgemental and in many cases all they know about autism is Rain Man or Sheldon Cooper, I don't like to be prejudged according to media stereotypes.
No one at my church judged me. The people at the Church I attend are the most friendly bunch I encountered. They never told me to go away after I mentioned it and I even mentioned I was not smart in school so I don't have no Rain Man complex.

It also helps that a few people from life group are teachers from various grades preschool to high school so they had to encounter ASD.
Thing about me is,my outlook on this question is that people who stereotype people with autism tend to stereotype other people for completely different things. The people who stereotype aren't a majority of the human population, thankfully. The challenge for a long time was speaking up about it when i did get treated like this. But as i have become more articulate with how I explain things aswell as understand things, I find I am more precise about how to explain it, so i could explain it to someone. I mean if you can explain it to someone you have a better chance of showing how it really is to people, but it is hard. And even then, I find i only bring it up if a topic comes up related to it or if i'm required to bring up medical records.

But I did used to hide it. Thing is even tho i did hide it, my mother would explain to people anyhow, so I was dragged out of the closet whether i liked it or not. :p but she was and is really great at explaining things to people and how the cogs of the machine that is me works.
But now I am alot similar to my mother, and she can help correct me if i get something wrong, so it's no big deal.

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