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...not to tell people I have Aspergers

(189 Posts)
KerPlunkKid Thu 05-Feb-15 13:50:57

Background: Female mid forties, diagnosed a few months back.

I have told a brother, sister and my DH. They have been ok.

I recently told my other brother and SIL. SIL just did not seem to register at all, whilst my brother whispered to me "why are you going round telling people you have a mental illness" I replied I have only told family and that Aspergers was not a mental illness but a neurological difference. My brother is a mental health nurse btw.

Now I'm thinking whats worse just leaving people to think Im odd or telling people I have Aspergers.
Would people whisper poor DD for having a mum like me or kids mock DD for having an Aspie mum?
Would work cruel or kind?

There seems so little awareness or understanding. <looks for rock to crawl back under>

PopularNamesInclude Thu 05-Feb-15 13:56:44

Tell people if you please. Why should you hide that or be ashamed? Nothing wrong with having ASD and I bet you will be an inspiration to others for being open.

OOAOML Thu 05-Feb-15 13:57:22

Shocked that a mental health nurse could make a statement like that.

My son has Aspergers, and I hope by the time he is an adult people will be so much more at ease with the idea.

I'd recommend it being on your file with HR at work - there might be a discrimination issue, or there may be adjustments that will make things easier for you. Otherwise presumably it would just be on a 'need to know' basis, if it comes up in conversation, if you feel like telling people, kind of thing.

MamaLazarou Thu 05-Feb-15 13:59:50

Oh bless you! That does sound hard. My DH has a mild form of Aspergers and really struggles with some situations though he generally has a very happy day-to-day life.

Most people will react with far more consideration than your brother.

EbwyIsUpTheDuff Thu 05-Feb-15 14:01:11

oh good grief, your brother's at least 50 years behind with his attitude.

Asbergers isn't an illness, it's just being on a different operating system... like running linux when the rest of the world is running on Windows.

Nothing you should have to hide!

and even if it was an illness (which is isn't), so bloody what? I'm not ashamed of being mentally ill!

OnceUponATimeAgain Thu 05-Feb-15 14:04:00

Would you be ashamed to have cancer? no! would you be ashamed to have depression? no! DO NOT BE ASHAMED to have Aspergers, you're just slightly different to 'normal' people - and if anyone wants to out themselves as 'normal' - i bet you're not!!

My son has Aspergers, i'm not ashamed of him - i'm dead proud of him because in spite of having some issues with it, he's doing really well

OnceUponATimeAgain Thu 05-Feb-15 14:05:10

(not that aspergers is an illness, didnt mean to offend anyone with my comparions above, just felt a bit cross that someone might be made to feel inferior over something they have no control over)

justdrifting Thu 05-Feb-15 14:07:05

I am undiagnosed and have several family members on the spectrum so family is not an issue.

I often wish I could tell people, especially when I make painfuly embaressing mistakes or take people so literaly. Like you though I'm unsure of saying anything.

LittleBairn Thu 05-Feb-15 14:10:30

Your brother is a Prat ignore him tell who you please.

ProudAS Thu 05-Feb-15 14:15:16

It's not something to be ashamed of and we need more awareness but if you are not comfortable with telling people don't feel you have to.

Your brother's attitude sucks BTW.

manicinsomniac Thu 05-Feb-15 14:21:23

I don't think it's something to be ashamed of OR something that you need to go around telling people if you don't want to. It just is.

However, this might be a silly question but can't people you know tell that you have AS anyway? Maybe it changes with age but I can always recognise AS or HFA in a child within a few lessons of teaching them.

KerPlunkKid Thu 05-Feb-15 14:27:42

I am not ashamed of myself, far from it.
I'm actually quite proud of myself that I got through the NT world, living independently, having my own family, career, house, car etc etc as an undiagnosed person with Aspergers.

However Im still fearful of a lot of people and how they act/react.

BarbarianMum Thu 05-Feb-15 14:29:49

It is up to you who you tell.

Families can be funny about things like this though. My BiL was diagnosed in his 40s. The family was split bw those (notably his dm) who thought 'there was nothing wrong with him' and those of us who agreed that there was nothing wrong with him but that he did most certainly have Aspergers.

On a personal note I was pleased to know because it explained quite a lot of his ruder behaviour (doesn't do small talk, gets very upset at any sudden change of plan etc) Of course that wouldn't necessarily apply to you OP.

BarbarianMum Thu 05-Feb-15 14:31:28

Forgot to add - dBiL was really pleased to get a diagnosis as the irrational way the rest of the world act had been annoying him for years. Diagnosis revealed that we couldn't help it <sort of joking>

PopularNamesInclude Thu 05-Feb-15 14:32:02

Your update suggests you are an inspirational sort. Tell everyone. smile

KerPlunkKid Thu 05-Feb-15 14:34:38

Maybe it changes with age but I can always recognise AS or HFA in a child within a few lessons of teaching them.

Women with Aspergers learn mimic and mask to fit in. However it takes a good deal of emotional energy to hold the façade up, cracks often appear and the mask slips.

Imagine having to act everyday of your life, just to fit in.

payuktaxrichardbranson Thu 05-Feb-15 14:45:29

I wouldnt worry about telling people, the chances are they know already grin

squizita Thu 05-Feb-15 14:47:47

I have very mild spectrum tendencies. Mostly sensory, tine related and my that moral commitments shouldn't be changed on a whim.

As PP have said unless you know me well you'd never know. Through observation I know how to appear completely NT. OK these are very very mild tendencies but even so.

Live with me a while or expose me to unstructured time for a while and it becomes apparent. The sensory issue is the main thing but I pass it off as deafness.

BumpAndGrind Thu 05-Feb-15 15:41:43

I got a DX a couple of years ago in my very late 20's.

I decided to go down the full disclosure route.

Some people get it, some people don't.

BumpAndGrind Thu 05-Feb-15 15:46:48

I can also pass for NT in most circs.

It's only when I get scared, excited, tired or hungry I let the mask slip.

MephistophelesApprentice Thu 05-Feb-15 15:48:36

Personally, I've made full disclosure work quite well for me, though I find the trick is picking the moments when you can integrate it into self-deprecating humour.

manicinsomniac Thu 05-Feb-15 16:12:19

That's really interesting Kerplunk thanks. Any idea why it's only women who do this? Must be really tough, I can imagine.

Iamcuriouslyskanky Thu 05-Feb-15 16:17:52

I'm upfront about it - unless to someone unpleasant! Usually it comes from a misunderstanding and I can say Oh sorry I didn't get that right, I'm an autistic person.. haven't had any bad responses to that.

squizita Thu 05-Feb-15 16:28:03

Manic it seemed to me as a child everyone must be doing this: an intricate game of manners. Society for women as far more of those rules, so we are coached in this kind of fitting in behaviour for longer. How many NT women have aspect of them they just quietly play down? Loads.

Personally I like it as I like to be with other people and dislike them making "allowances" or over helping me (which makes me anxious).

Of course when I was at school the local ed psych thought only boys could be on the spectrum, if you had ASD you couldnt do similes/metaphors at all and that was how you "spotted one", one fraternal twin was always "subnormal" compared to the other and abused kids were always quiet and withdrawn (a member of my family worked with her and ranted about all these 1980s ideas).
So it was just as well!

IsItMeOr Thu 05-Feb-15 16:48:45

Stunned at your brother's response. It is wrong because he has misunderstood what autism is. And it's wrong because, as a mental health nurse, he should be the first to know that there is nothing to be ashamed about in having a mental health problem.

I think you are fine to do whatever feels comfortable to you. You will probably find that you get a range of reactions, and likely more will be positive than negative. DS was recently diagnosed with AS, and I have found that everybody has been positive about it (although we are still coming to the terms with what this means for the future), but also gather that sometimes family's find this really challenging.

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