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AIBU to wonder how you would feel about your child having an autistic teacher?

(129 Posts)
Aspieteach Fri 22-Mar-19 22:30:34

Name changed for this just in case any one from my school is able to identify me from previous posts.

I had an appointment today at my county's neurobehavioural clinic. No formal diagnosis yet, but I was told that I meet the diagnostic criteria for ASD. I'm going to "come out" to friends and colleagues once I've had a formal diagnosis but don't know whether to tell parents or not.

I've been a primary school teacher for over 20 years and have always had good relationships with both the children in my class and with parents. But I'm not sure whether parents who don't know me would feel uncomfortable with the idea of their children being taught by someone with autism or whether parents who do know me may change their opinion of me.

I'll read all replies if anyone takes the trouble to post, but won't be back on this thread tonight. Today's been quite intense and overwhelming. I'm feeling pretty exhausted so am off to bed now.

3boysandabump Fri 22-Mar-19 22:32:29

It wouldn't bother me at all. I wouldn't expect to know about it tbh. It's not a parents business to know personal details like that about a teacher.

malificent7 Fri 22-Mar-19 22:32:52

I would be fine with it. Don't sound great.

LeekMunchingSheepShagger Fri 22-Mar-19 22:33:32

I would be delighted. My year 6 dd has asd and it would be wonderful for her to have a teacher who understands.

There's no reason why someone with asd cant be a good teacher.

Joebloggswazere Fri 22-Mar-19 22:34:25

It wouldn’t bother me at all. As long as you were doing your job and my child was happy and learning then I don’t see how it would be an issue.

Lovestonap Fri 22-Mar-19 22:35:13

I've been a primary school teacher for over 20 years and have always had good relationships with both the children in my class and with parents

Seems the most relevant part of all of this. This is a test to see how your brain works, not what kind of person you are.
You're clearly good at your job, and that's really all any parent cares about.
I hope your friends and family are as supportive as they can be for you.

HoneysuckIejasmine Fri 22-Mar-19 22:35:23

I'm a science teacher. I have worked with many colleagues with ASD. Not an issue.

EvaHarknessRose Fri 22-Mar-19 22:36:23

I expect dc do or have had some teachers with asd. I wouldn’t expect to know or be told. If it was shared, it wouldn’t worry me.

zen1 Fri 22-Mar-19 22:36:23

I also wouldn’t expect to know. You are under no obligation to disclose your diagnosis to parents. You’ve been successfully doing your job for 20 years, so are clearly a good teacher.

Goldrill Fri 22-Mar-19 22:38:11

What 3boys said. None of my business and certainly not something that would worry me if I knew. Likely to pay a lot more attention to the 20 years of experience!

EspressoPatronum Fri 22-Mar-19 22:38:20

I would think it was none of my business.

All I would care about is that you were doing your job well and had positive relationships with the children, which would be the same for any teacher, nt or not.

AmIRightOrAMeringue Fri 22-Mar-19 22:38:51


Please don't tell the parents. If they're prejudiced they'll take some sort of offence. If they're not they won't care.

I imagine most people will judge their kids teacher on whether they're fair (I'd guess this is more likely with you? Sorry if that's making an assumption that's not relevant) whether their kid is learning, whether their kid likes you, whether their kid likes going to school, whether their kid gets good results. I don't see how your diagnosis makes any difference at all to any of the above. At work you're assessed on your behaviour, teamwork, results etc not on how your mind works. I'd guess in some situations it gives you a positive advantage - understanding kids who have a similar diagnosis, understanding how to phrase things for children who take things literally for example? This is true of any teacher whos own life experience and personality will give them advantages and disadvantages in certain areas.

I know this feels like a massive thing for you but nothing has changed in terms of your ability to do your job - you still passed the interview, your results will be the same, your pupils won't care one way or the other as that's not what they'll judge you on

Its no one else's business

JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff Fri 22-Mar-19 22:39:05

I work in higher education and would say a hefty chunk of colleagues are on the spectrum somewhere grin

I would not care if my child's teacher had ASD and would not expect to know. The only thing that would make me uncomfy is if you "came out" to me as a parent as I would consider it oversharing and would wonder why you were telling me something so personal.

spaghettipeppers Fri 22-Mar-19 22:39:19

I would see absolutely no reason why parents should know.

StillMedusa Fri 22-Mar-19 22:39:23

Would you feel the need to 'come out' if you had diabetes, or had left your husband for a woman , or any other personal aspect of your life? If not I don't see any reason to 'come out' to parents... it obviously hasn't affected your teaching or relationship with children for the last 20 years.

I say that as a parent of an autistic adult... who is not that high functioning. People don't generally understand that Autism is a huge spectrum and their perception (in my experience) is they think someone with autism is either flapping in a corner OR a a savant with extraordinary skills. My son rather more fits the 'Rainman' stereotype but we still don't feel the need to announce it to all and sundry smile

Plus I can't imagine sticking the news in the school newsletter or parent mail!! Unless it is going to dramatically change how you teach I'd genuinely say it's a non issue for 99% of the people you work with.

NellieEllie Fri 22-Mar-19 22:39:44

I’d be fine with it. As long as a teacher does his/her job, no problem. My DS is on the spectrum so would like to think people are not negative about these things.

YeOldeTrout Fri 22-Mar-19 22:44:46

As a parent... What would I do with that information?
Can you establish a good rapport with my child & get them to enjoy learning. That's what matters. I don't want distractions about your own personal challenges.
I wish anyone in OP's situation well... but seriously. I don't care.
I'm being blunt, but the truth is, I don't care if you have ASD. Which I guess is what you want to know. I realise it might help your students with possible ASD to have you as role model, but I would only give that info to the students who would benefit from it and be open if other pupils heard about it & had questions. Otherwise, it's a non-issue to me as a parent.

I live in a small town, since 14 yrs ago. ~ 10 yrs ago someone told me that DC teacher used to have a mental illness common to young girls now (she had symptoms in high school, 20+ yrs previously). That her family always made her feel inferior to her successful big sister. Honestly. WTF do I care?! The teacher seems very nice & has been good with my kids. That's all I need to know.

NCKitten Fri 22-Mar-19 22:44:57

If you've been teaching for 20 years then it's clearly not affecting your ability to do your job and therefore it's none of any parents' business. Please tell me how to keep going for twenty years!!!-

I think a member of SLT at my school has ASD. They're a better teacher for it, they're passionate about SEND.

Ifartglitterybaubles Fri 22-Mar-19 22:48:00

I'd be fine with it, there's also no reason why any parent should know. In fact, ds1 has Aspergers, I would be more than happy that his teacher would understand him and would truly understand ASC.

Waveysnail Fri 22-Mar-19 22:48:04

I wouldn't tell parents as there's some bloody awful judgemental people out there and your asd is no one else's business. I have two hf asd children. I pushed their diagnosis so they could understand their behaviours and why they feel a certain way. I suspect at least one teacher in my childs school is autistic - great worh kids but a bit of a disaster dealing with parents

SadOtter Fri 22-Mar-19 22:49:54

I think telling the parents would be a bit odd, not because there is anything wrong with a teacher with autism, I have worked with a few, but just because you don't generally announce things about you to parents other than weddings and pregnancies. If a teacher mentioned it in passing because it came up in conversation I wouldn't be bothered but I think especially for parents who didn't know much about autism announcing it would make it a thing, because they would assume there was a reason you were telling them.

themoomoo Fri 22-Mar-19 22:50:39

why would you tell pupils/ school /parents? All a bit me me me isn't it? just quietly get on with your life, you don't need to "come out"

Islands81 Fri 22-Mar-19 22:50:43

You can choose whether or not to disclose it to anyone, including your colleagues.

I certainly wouldn’t tell parents. Some people will always take umbrage about something when it comes to teachers, and you don’t want them to be able to use it as a stick to beat you with. You’ve done 20 years of successful teaching without disclosing it, so why do you need to now?

(Fellow aspie here)

nancy75 Fri 22-Mar-19 22:53:10

I wouldn’t care but I would find it a bit weird that I was being told.

blueshoes Fri 22-Mar-19 22:53:31

I would have no problems at all if my dcs' teacher had autism.

I used to work with a colleague who I later found out had autism. She was so smart and lovely. All the stress and anxiety was on her, but did not affect the people around her.

I hope you don't mind me asking, does your condition affect your teaching or how you cope in the classroom?

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