Wednesday, 5 February 2014

When to come out as Aspie?

So, you've just started a new job.  Or maybe you've joined a club, signed up for a sports team, or have a date.  Whichever scenario it is, you're about to meet some new people and would like to make a good impression.

At what point do you disclose that you have Aspergers?

Peek a boo
Dude, can I have a word?
photo by Amandarichard421
A lot of advice says to hold off until you've got to know them a bit, so you're judged on the strength of who you are rather than your diagnosis.  And if you pass for neurotypical, that might be a very wise thing to do.

But if you don't reliably pass for normal, I can't help but think it might be better to disclose up front, as soon as is practical.  Personally, I've brought it up when I started an exercise class (because motor skills), in job interviews, and to new colleagues.

Before I was diagnosed, I had a lifetime of people assuming I was stuck up because I'm fairly cautious around strangers and not big on free-range alcohol-based socialising.  Or assuming I was cold.  Or aloof.  Or a bitch.  Or I had something against them personally.  None of that was the case, but peoples' imaginations came up with all sorts of reasons why I wasn't like them.

That's why my personal policy is to disclose as soon as is practical, and explain why I am the way I am before they have time to make up their own reasons.