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When being "out" would be so much easier

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Dryope, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. Dryope

    Dryope Active Member

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    I called a specialty fountain pen company about a vintage Waterman I wanted to buy that required customization to give it more flex. I also wanted advice on making a determination on buying a Nakaya pen with an elastic nib, since I can't go a pen show just now and don't know enough to make a reasoned purchase, and I've never seen one in person.

    The nib expert at the company took my call, listened to my questions and said, "Well, I don't know what to tell you."

    My god, how more simple it would have been to just be able to say: "Oh, well, I'm autistic, and I have lots of little questions about the details. I've read everything I can online, watched videos of the pens on YouTube, and looked into the mechanics of how they work and considered how that relates to my writing style. But I still don't have enough information."

    But of course I can't say that. Tony Atwood says I can't say that. "I'm the kind of person who..." what? It's easy to come up with something now, but in the middle of a conversation on nib grinds? My mind just comes up with "I'm the kind of person who can't go to a pen show just now and who wants to know more about flex and customizations."

    Uh, no. Lucky for me, there are a lot of pen nerds out there and this guy has learned to just close his eyes and answer lots of fiddly little questions.

    Still, I have to keep biting my tongue not to say -- "I want to know because I'm autistic, OK? Now just tell me what I want to know."
     
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  2. Beverly

    Beverly Euthanasia Redux V.I.P Member

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    I know what you mean. So many times I want to say "Hey dip wit, I have ASD so just shut and listen to me a minute, then answer all of my questions, even if you think they don't matter - they do to me so, just do it." I can't do that, obviously but it's tempting at times.

    Instead I usually end up at "Okay, when can we set up a meeting to address my concerns?" Then I have time to write up my questions in a way that doesn't sound horribly "divaish" or nit picky. And I can be terribly nit picky about things. Maybe some details aren't relevant to actually using the item or doing the activity but, they are relevant to me fully understanding whatever it is and, knowing how to handle any of the one in a million situations that might involve the item or activity.

    My current problem is a product test I'm doing to see if I want to promote this new thing or not [can't name the thing because I'm under a NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement)] This thing does a lot of cool stuff, things nothing else of it's type does but, I don't know exactly HOW it does those things. I'm not sure it fits with my image because that would depend on how it does what it does but, I'm supposed to decide if it works for me or not and, they won't tell me how it does what it does. I can't ask here, though I'm certain some of you would know because of that NDA - it's driving me nuts.
     
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  3. Dryope

    Dryope Active Member

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    Yes, that's exactly what I mean. I have to gather info until my brain clicks -- and then I understand the thing and can know what to expect from it and how it works. And I usually LOVE the research process, but not when there's insufficient data.

    You've piqued my interest and I wish I could help research your thing. Is it possible to break down your questions into small things that wouldn't lead anyone here to guess what it is? I'm guessing it's some kind of tech, so maybe something related to the software/hardware?

    I do hate that feeling of making a decision on something when the data's not there...like standing on the edge of a cold pool, about to jump in.
     
  4. SocOfAutism

    SocOfAutism Member

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    If you're talking to someone you don't really know, who doesn't know you, why not say exactly that? I have to talk to people on the phone for my husband. I say, my husband is autistic, do you know what that is? If they say no I say, "it's not a big deal, but it's really stressful for him to talk on the phone" then I'll ask exactly what they need from him in order to talk to me so I can handle his business for him.

    People always accept that and do what we ask with no problem.
     
  5. Beverly

    Beverly Euthanasia Redux V.I.P Member

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    SocOfAutism You are in a position to do that without repercussions. Not everyone is in such a position in life. If it were to be known under my public (stage) name that I am on the spectrum, my career would suffer. Yes I am in the process of going public but, it isn't as simple as just putting it out there. Doing that would be professional suicide for me so, I've got to get other things in place first to prevent that to a degree and, be able to replace what I am going to loose by going public. I've also got to insure the same safety net is in place for others that will be going public with me, at my request.

    For others it's more personal, they may face family or community negative reactions and perceptions if it were widely known that they are on the spectrum. Either way, professionally or personally it's a matter of self preservation in some aspects for some of us and, that is a powerful instinct to have to override.
     
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  6. Datura

    Datura Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if in Dryope's case it would be pertinent to share that one has autism. Wouldn't it suffice to say that you are very particular about which pen is best for your writing style and you need to gather as much information as possible before making a choise? Simply stating that you need this information because you are autistic might just be extraneous information. First off, the person might not have a good idea of what autism is and will therefore need an explanation of what it is and how exactly that connects to the present situation. Worse, they might think you are asking for "special treatment" they don't feel you deserve, causing them to be both less helpful and to have a more negative outlook on autistic people. It's not fair, but this seems to me a likely outcome.

    I am reminded of going to an anime con last year where I was looking specifically for subbed 60s Shojo Anime. I explained the nature of my historical project and the stringent parameters I had set for myself. There was no need to mention that these obsessive tendencies might be caused by an underlying condition.
     
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  7. Sully

    Sully Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It was just some guy at a company who doesn't even know you, so why not just say it and see what happens? It would be an interesting experiment.
     
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  8. Progster

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

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    I'm not out of the closet, but there are times when I have genuine difficulties in public when I wish I could just say that I'm autistic to gain more understanding from others. But it's a small town, and word gets around very fast. If I mention it to one person, then soon everyone will know, and I'm not ready to go public with it.
     
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  9. SocOfAutism

    SocOfAutism Member

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    This is true. It all depends on the situation. When you're in an anonymous situation, though, it can help spread awareness and acceptance. I ALWAYS follow any kind of disclosure with brief instructions on how the other person should see it. I have a serious neurological disease and I sometimes have to tell people about it. They might ask me uncomfortable questions like, will you get better? Will you die from it? I answer them honestly (no, yes) and then before they can pity me, which would make me mad I said, "It's not a big deal, it just means..." and then I go on with whatever I had to tell them in the first place (I need more rest, I can't always drive, whatever). In the case of being autistic, I would say, "It's not a big deal, I just need more details than other people." You know or whatever it is you need.

    But yeah, I totally agree with Beverly. Don't ever put yourself in compromising position. Sometimes you shouldn't, or can't, come out.
     
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  10. clg114

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

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    For me, I do not tell anyone that does not need to know about my AS. It has been my experience that "other people" either can not or will not understand. If they know they will see me as inferior even though I do things that they can not do, on a regular basis.
     
  11. Dryope

    Dryope Active Member

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    Yes. I don't want to put myself at the mercy of whatever definition they attach to the label. I have told psychologists in a nonclinical setting. I have to do some calculations in my mind before telling people -- and the number had better be a good one. They need to be informed, it needs to be necessary that they know, and they need to be discrete. Most people don't make the cut because I don't know enough about them.

    Telling people who don't understand...leads to conversations I'm not willing to have with strangers over the phone. I am talking about pens. Let's not change the subject. That would tax me too much -- I'll be too disorientated to be focused on what I actually need to know.
     
  12. epath13

    epath13 the Fool.The Magician.The... V.I.P Member

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    I would totally say it :) I don't usually say 'autistic', I say 'on Autism spectrum' - it's my personal preference. As long as you speak politely (so person on the other side doesn't feel intimidated - nobody likes feeling intimidated) many people may end up surprisingly supportive and understanding. There're obviously those who have very limited view on life unfortunately, but many may end up much more flexible than you might think... As long as you are nice to them. As for misunderstanding... Some people might find it hard to admit that they don't understand something or simply don't listen. Polite repetition or rephrasing would be totally fine. It depends on a person. From my experience, no
    matter what disability you have, if you're able to be friendly and laid -back, many may respond well to you. I see it with my 2 kids: the nonverbal smily-face (as I call him sometimes) charmer and cranky-looking smart-talking verbal kid. My nonverbal son can just charm people with his smile and they are attracted to him, with my verbal kid, sometimes you have to get to know him a little better to like him (he can also be very friendly and sweet btw). Some people may even get annoyed with you if they don't understand, but almost anybody can be 'killed' with the right amount of charm :) in my opinion, being polite may equal showing compassion.