This is a question faced by many and regardless of the decision, it often has mixed results.
If people have never heard of Asperger’s Syndrome or Autism Spectrum Disorder, or if they don’t understand that much about it, then telling them you have it likely won’t do much good.
I have generally found people react in the following ways…
- People won’t believe you or they try to comfort you.
Most people won’t notice anything in particular that you do that fits in their definition of “autistic”, so such news will often come as a surprise. They will generally respond by denying that you have it, or they may try to respond in a way that is intended to make you feel better about it. Often this leads them to respond by saying something like, “You don’t look autistic” or “Oh really? I didn’t notice anything different about you.”
- People will start treating you differently or things just feel really awkward.
Some people may treat you as if you are incapable or very impaired and unable to understand proper speech. They may speak louder or slowly, or they may word things more simply, or treat you as a child. Others will not know what to say or do, and in those cases, things may feel awkward whenever you’re around them.
- People will treat you the same as they did before.
Often times people will completely forget that you told them, and they will simply treat you like they always have. This includes the behaviors that may have led you to share it with them in the first place.
These reactions all stem from a lack of awareness and understanding of Asperger’s Syndrome or Autism Spectrum Disorder.
One way to address this lack of awareness and understanding, is to point people to proper resources that inform and educate them about it.
We have created some cards that will help you create awareness and educate anyone you meet at work, school, church, shopping centers, or wherever else you may go.
The cards feature a website address that points to our Asperger’s Awareness page.
Our awareness page features some short videos that talk about what Asperger’s or Autism Spectrum Disorder is and what it’s like to live with.
With a blank backside, you can add your own personal message or contact information or even a funny doodle. If you’re feeling stressed, you can even use them to draw to relieve stress.
If you’re interested in ordering a set, you can get them here on our website, or if you’re a DIY’er you can go make your own. 🙂
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Hi! I’m Lisa Anthony, the founder and editor of Life with Asperger’s.
I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when I was 29.
If you need help with anything, I’m here!