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Should I tell my renter he has Aspergers?

Discussion in 'Help and Support' started by Paraluman, Mar 17, 2020.

  1. Paraluman

    Paraluman New Member

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    Hi,
    Currently, my husband and I rent a room to a 56-year old never-married single man. At first he rubbed me the wrong way, but then it dawned on me that all of his behavior would all be explained if he had Aspergers.
    A 27 year old niece of mine is diagnosed with it, and everyone in our family loves and accepts her limitations and loves her in spite of - and sometimes because of (!), her quirks... she's found community online and friends in real life.
    This renter, however, has no friends (self-described), he does not work, sleeps all day and is up at night by himself. (Fortunately, he pays his rent just fine.) It seems to me his world would open up in miraculous ways if he knew there were other people like him, who he could relate to, etc. He knows he's different, but he's never used the term Aspergers. I have a great deal of compassion for him.
    SO, I realize every person is different, but does anyone have any insight into how a grown man who may not realize he's on the spectrum react? Of course I wouldn't be so presumptuous to say, "I think you have Aspergers." I mean, I could be wrong; he'd have to be evaluated to be diagnosed. But I could say, "Have you ever heard of Aspergers? I was reading about it because of [my niece]" ... ? "
    Would this (or some version thereof-- suggestions accepted!) be well received or not?
    I would appreciate feedback. Thanks!
     
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  2. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    Hello & welcome @Paraluman .

    It would depend what kind of rapport you have already established. If it is strong enough, the closest I would go is, "You know, you remind me of my niece who has Aspergers."*

    If you do, be prepared to say in what ways they are similar. If you can't frame those in a flattering way, it is better to not broach the subject at all.

    *nka ASD1.
     
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  3. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    I agree with @Crossbreed.

    Additionally, if he's not ready to hear it, he could take offense. Several years ago, a boss of mine suggested that I might be autistic. I was pretty offended. I told a friend of mine, "Regardless of whether it's true or not, who just says that?" My friend said, "He might be autistic, too."

    So, now I know that he was right, and I am autistic. But I found out when I was ready to, when I was looking for help dealing with things.

    Consider it "offering unsolicited advice" - would you do so in any other circumstance? How can you be diplomatic and sensitive about it?
     
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  4. Varzar

    Varzar Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    A few years ago, I was talking to my neighbour about how I think my brain works.. Part way through the conversation, he asked me outright, "Do you have Autism?".. My response was to laugh and say, "No!... Why would you say that?!".. Cause to me at the time, Autism pretty much meant ASD-3..

    Fast forward several years, and I "figured it out myself" after watching The Good Doctor and the similarities hitting a little too close to home.. Determined for myself that I fit Aspergers, or ASD-1.. I went back and told him he was right all those years ago..

    So.. That's how I reacted when someone asked me and I was unaware of it..
    To be clear, I wasn't at all upset at him for asking.. He just asked a question that I thought was nonsensical at the time.. So, it just kind of got brushed off as irrelevant..
     
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  5. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Don't even go there if on the assumption you reside in the US. You have a legal relationship with this person as his landlord, and he is your tenant. He pays his rent on a timely basis.

    Pursuing questions over a tenant's neurological status just might expose a disability on his part, which just might leave you legally vulnerable when it comes to provisions of the Fair Housing Act. No point in sticking your neck out just to satisfy such curiosity.

    You may mean well, but self awareness of an adult's own autism is a complex journey for many of us which only works when we are truly ready to pursue it on our own terms.

    For Autistic Adults: Disability Rights Laws
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2020
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  6. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    Keep it to yourself, OP.
     
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  7. Sherlock77

    Sherlock77 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I would suggest you not say anything about that in particular, unless you know him well

    He might already know anyway

    But from my experience, a good friend (ie. someone I knew quite well) simply suggested in a conversation that I could be Asperger's, I don't remember when exactly, but do remember it was the central room of our local flea market... Because I knew him the comment had some validity...

    What I will say, if you are observing some bad habits, you could encourage him without mentioning Asperger's specifically
     
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  8. Bolletje

    Bolletje Overly complicated potato V.I.P Member

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    I would just leave it.
     
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  9. Paraluman

    Paraluman New Member

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    Thank you ALL for your direct and honest advice. That is something I definitely appreciate about folks with Aspergers-- no beating about the bush! I will keep my observations to myself.
     
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  10. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    I think I would only mention it if I knew him very well, and knew that he had some serious problem which could be helped by a diagnosis. If it's just noticing a few traits, I wouldn't mention it. He might already know, or it might not be welcme.

    I had the same situation with a friend a couple of years ago, who had many traits, but he was managing, didn't have mental health, financial or other issues apart from OCD-like traits, so why mention it? Also, it isn't my place to diagnose people.
     
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  11. Stuart1975

    Stuart1975 Member

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    Similar thing happened to me, I used to flat share with a slightly older than me women. One day whilst having a general chit chat out of the blue she mentions her daughter has Aspergers and is doing quite nicely for herself (nothing to do with the conversation we were having) I think I said something like “oh that’s nice/good” but thought that was wierd. So next day google google google hey presto epiphany. Have since asked her if she did it deliberately but she said no.
     
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  12. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I am not sure if it would be appropriate to discuss your niece's business with a stranger? I wouldn't be pleased if my relatives did that. She may share her status with her family, but may not like or benefit from it being discussed beyond that. I would respect her privacy, and also, take time to get to know the tenant better.
     
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  13. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    [​IMG] (Usually, an unnamed niece retains her anonymity, unless the OP has only one niece...)
     
  14. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    This implies to me that he already receives disability payments. In turn, it means that he already has a diagnosis of some kind.
     
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  15. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Exactly. And why I mentioned the perils of messing with such a tenant given the legal implications. Where FHA and ADA laws may merge with potential consequences for landlords.
     
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  16. Giraffes

    Giraffes Active Member

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    Best to leave it be, if he wants advice, support or your help he may ask and that may change the dynamics.
     
  17. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    If you really want to help him, and I sense that you do, be an island of stability in his world, and offer friendliness and courtesy. That should be welcome, no matter what his neuro-state or diagnosis. I can think of several other diagnoses that might apply, but this advice is generally valid.
     
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  18. Ezra

    Ezra Relax, it's just chaos.

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    I was going to say the same thing.
     
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  19. WildCat

    WildCat quit your lion V.I.P Member

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    His mental health is his concern and none of yours. Probably would be best if you didn't pry any further as he's not causing any trouble.
     
  20. Chrysanthemum

    Chrysanthemum Active Member

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    To be honest if you only know him as your client and not in any other position (i.e. you are not relatives, or close friends outside of that position), I don't think it's appropriate (even if you were close friends or relatives with this person outside of your work, I wouldn't discuss this in front of other clients). I mean people have a right to keep such things private, and anyway how can you really know for sure whether or not he is or would have been diagnosed with Asperger's or any diagnosis for that matter? Also how do you know he "sleeps all day and is up at night by himself" or "does not work" (people do work from home sometimes but even if he doesn't there may be certain circumstances contributing to the reason for that)?

    If he mentions that he thinks he is different, I think casually letting him know that different is OK and that people are all different from each other is fine if done properly, but beyond that I don't think it's a good idea to mention anything about it, possibly unless he brings up that he has a diagnosis himself.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2020