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Featured Should you tell your employer about your ASD?

Discussion in 'Education and Employment' started by Bismarck, Apr 10, 2018.

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  1. Bismarck

    Bismarck Certified Hermit

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    I'm getting ready for an interview with one of my favorite restaurants that I frequent and know some of the staff, this would be my first job. I don't know how wise it would be to let them know I'm autistic.

    A. It could prevent my employment
    B. It could help if I'm in a particularly troublesome situation
     
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  2. clg114

    clg114 Still crazy, after all these years. Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    No,it will put you in a troublesome situation.
     
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  3. PokemonManiac

    PokemonManiac Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Everyone always says you shouldn't tell, when I see adults who have seeker a diagnosis for ASD and then say oh I won't tell people, I just think what was the point on seeking diagnosis if you won't let people know about it

    You can't expect support if you don't tell anyone, and what happens if you get into a tough social situation and they see your struggles? They wouldn't be happy with you then

    I usually tell people to let potential employments know about ASD
     
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  4. AO1501

    AO1501 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think it depends. I would certainly not divulge this at an interview, but if the nature of the job or the work or environment were to be particularly problematic for self-regulation, therefore raising the possibility of colleagues, customers or bosses witnessing a reaction, it might be wise to let your employer know. Of course it might be even wiser not to work in that environment in the first place, but it is not always clear when accepting a job offer.

    My employer knows. It is a very high-stress and fast-paced job with considerable responsibility, and I worried that my colleagues might see some occasional behavioural issues as a result. It was only fair to ensure they know what that is about if and when it happens. Funnily enough, I even had a meltdown in my annual review last year, and they just waited it out, got me a glass of water, and gave me a pay rise anyway.

    Best to get some idea what the employer is like to work for before making a decision.
     
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  5. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Just because one informs people in their orbit is by no means any guarantee they will understand your autism, let alone support it. Especially in the workplace, with or without any considerations of legal protection under civil law.

    It may or may not get your foot in the door, but you will still be dependent upon your own ability to successfully interact with coworkers or risk their ire socially and occupationally.

    Tread lightly. Not what you want to hear, but rather what you need to know.
     
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  6. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think that it's best to wait and see how they are with diversity. They may not understand what you mean or have any knowledge of autism or Aspergers or high autistic traits etc. They may just picture Rainman as many do.

    I m not sure what troublesome situation you think may happen? Perhaps you could prepare for this in other ways? Like, if you maybe think you'll be confused at first, you could say, will I get a chance to work alongside someone at first so I get a full idea of how to do the job? So you sound keen and meticulous rather than anxious, and don't raise up negative stereotypes which mentioning autism may do.

    Unless they advertise as autism friendly to employees?
     
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  7. the_tortoise

    the_tortoise Lost Soul V.I.P Member

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    Sometimes it is a good idea, sometimes it is not.

    Even when it is a good idea, sometimes it will work out well and sometimes it will not.

    Deciding whether or not to disclose a disability (any disability) to an empoloyer (and when and how to do it, if a person decides to disclose) is really a judgement call, different for every person and situation.

    Ultimately it is your call when it comes to deciding whether the risks outweight the benefits, or vice versa.

    If you need accomodations (even if they are very small, like being given the opportunity to write down instructions or to have tasks visually demonstrated rather than explained with words) or you can foresee a lot of misunderstanding with your colleagues and/or your boss, it may be necessary to disclose that you have ASD -- or to at least disclose that you have certain difficulties without actually stating why you have them.

    If disclosing specific difficulties (which I would advise you also do if you disclose that you have ASD, because the employer will probably have no idea what it means that you have ASD -- as far as your abilities/difficulties and potential job performance), focus on the positive and propose strategies that will render the difficulty a non-issue. For example, if you were a visual learner who had difficulty processing verbal instructions, you might say something like:

    "I have some difficulty with verbal instructions, so I need to carry a notepad and pen with me at all times and write down everything I'm asked to do. I also might ask for more clarification than most people. But doing these things has the useful side effect of making me extremely precise -- and I never forget what I'm supposed to do when I'm assigned extra tasks or asked to do something differently in unusual circumstances. [Obviously don't say things like "i never forget anything" if that's not true -- the idea is just to look for some positive spin you can put on something that might be seen as entirely negative, or not worth the trouble for the employer or their other staff]." Or

    "I would need to have things [or "some things"] shown to me or otherwise demonstrated visually during training because I learn and think visually -- I learn things very quickly when given visual instruction,."
     
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  8. George Newman

    George Newman Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    No, it will put you in a troublesome situation. Get the job and work like you have never worked before. Give it your all. Show them what a great hard working autistic kid can accomplish. Get the job!
     
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  9. AO1501

    AO1501 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    A practical example of this: My daughter is a data analyst, and being an Aspie, she is really, really good at it. Until recently she worked for a very large (think, 200,000 employee) company as part of their analytics team.

    The analytics team was highly socialised and most members of it had been there many years so had formed their own cliques. When she joined, she tried to be friendly but they basically ignored 'the newbie', so she settled down to get on with the job, which the rest of them resented because she undermined their comfortable laziness. She was frequently told she needed to socialise with the team, but being an Aspie, she didn't know how if they wouldn't let her in. Bear in mind here that there was no suggestion made to the team to let her in, she was just expected to figure it out like almost any NT would.

    Because she couldn't they decided she didn't fit in, and even though she had single-handedly done the entire company's gender pay gap reporting, including figuring out the data sources, creating all the analytical and modeling tools, and developing all the methods and report structures, on her own, with no guidance (last year being the first year of statutory gender pay reporting), they decided when they were restructuring, that it was her job that would be cut. Her managers knew how she had performed in the role she had, but her face didn't fit because she didn't conform to everyone else's rules.

    Incidentally, for this year's gender pay gap reporting, they have assigned a team of 4 analysts to replace her.

    If she had told them she was on the spectrum, it would have removed any expectation of her joining in the social structure, and helped her managers target her workload better. She would not have lost her job, because in making her redundant, they were unfairly dismissing her and discriminating against her.

    Disclosing couldn't have made her any more vulnerable than losing her job.

    Ultimately, the choice to disclose or otherwise, depends on the nature of the situation.
     
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  10. Gritches

    Gritches The Happy Dog V.I.P Member

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    No, absolutely not. It will hurt you, it will not help you in any way, shape, or form.

    I mean, lets make it absurd: how likely do you think it is that they'll be like "Oh yeah, autism, we know all about that. We understand it and know how to accommodate you. The word "autism" doesn't make you seem like a risky hire, quite the opposite in fact. And it also doesn't seem like you're trying to use autism as some sort of leverage to get special treatment. Nah, I realize you're telling me this because it makes you different, not less, and if there's one thing we love doing it's making accommodations for our peons."

    Now, does that seem sarcastic? If it does, there's a reason for that. The world is not there yet when it comes to autism, try again in 100 years.
     
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  11. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Ultimately it's you who decides. Yet my advice is to not tell people where you work that your autistic. If something occurs in this restaurant where you might have a meltdown or shutdown, or some other difficulty it wouldn't help the situation. Few people understand autism, or it's difficulties.
     
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  12. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard

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    I wouldn’t disclose it at the job interview. Because it does potentially harm your chances of getting said job.
    I chose to disclose to a few colleagues I’m close to, but not to my boss. I might, at some point, if I feel like it. But not right now.
     
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  13. Mr Allen

    Mr Allen Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I disclose it every time I have an interview, consequently I'm still unemployed at just turned 42, equal opportunities my arse, they just say that because they have to, they don't mean it.
     
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  14. Major Tom

    Major Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'd say in a working environment it should be kept to yourself until you've proven yourself, then decide if and when to tell people.
     
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  15. Gary DuBois

    Gary DuBois Well-Known Member

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    I always say when i am writing to a employer through email i am 26 years old with mild autism - aspergers and add and i am a good worker and i do good work. And i get alot of employers replying back to me wanting me to come in for a interview and they never ask about autism. So in my personal opion you can either let employers know about your autism or simply don't tell them either way works just fine.
     
  16. Otenba

    Otenba Maverick

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    I'd disclose it after I've been offered the job, just like I do for my other disability. If you give them the idea that you think it's something they should avoid before that point, they'll treat it like it's something to be avoided and not take you for the job. You can't really protect yourself properly legally from discrimination if you don't disclose too. Best wishes and hope you get the job!
     
  17. Pondering

    Pondering Well-Known Member

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    A lot of job applications require you to state whether or not you have a diagnosed disability, autism being among them (usually states that by law they cannot discriminate hiring anyone with said disabilities). I recommend not bringing up autism unless you have been professionally diagnosed and the job you have applied for states that it won't discriminate. You shouldn't have to verbally talk about it if shows up on your background check (in the case that you have been clinically diagnosed with autism). Because if it's not obvious and you haven't been clinically diagnosed, it's as good as though you didn't have autism where employment is concerned. That's just my personal opinion, though.
     
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  18. Bismarck

    Bismarck Certified Hermit

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    Thanks for all of the advice and I've taken it all to heart. I'm unsure as to yet if I will disclose it, but if I do it will be well into my employment and not early on. So far, I'm leaning towards not mentioning it at all. As an above poster said, if they looked at my records they would find the diagnosis anyways.
     
  19. tducey

    tducey Well-Known Member

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    Most of my jobs have been under disability programs so they know of my diagnosis. Personally I would tell as they may find out anyway. If they know and you end up doing a great job you'd prove that when given the chance people with Autism can do the work.
     
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  20. AO1501

    AO1501 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    The other factor is that if they know, they can target workload better, and recognise depth and potential better. More employers understand Aspie issues and potential these days - at least in Europe. I suspect that there is still a lag in the US.