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AIBU?

To ask if your autistic child has shared their diagnosis with their friends

39 replies

RainbowTwister · 14/10/2022 23:37

And if so has that been a positive or negative experience. Has it helped their friends understand some of their behaviour or lead to bullying/meaness.

DC is currently undecided whether to share their diagnosis and has asked my advice. I'm not sure so would love to hear others experience on this.

OP posts:
ofwarren · 14/10/2022 23:39

My son is 19 now and yes, he shared his diagnosis. He was 13 when diagnosed.
He found it helpful to do so.

Foolsandtheirmoney · 14/10/2022 23:40

Ds has. His friends are pretty much all ND themselves though so it made no difference to them. He hasn't shared it wider than his friend group though for eg with his classmates. He hasnt felt the need and says he doesn't care what anyone thinks about him anyway.

Hotpinkangel19 · 14/10/2022 23:42

Yes. He has told his close friends in secondary school, and spoke to his class about it in his last year of primary school.

RainbowTwister · 14/10/2022 23:47

Intially I'd thought they shouldn't share until they had fully processed it. But some of their ASD related challenges are making the friendships harder. I think if the friends knew it was due to being autistic rather than them not enjoying being with them it might help.

OP posts:
ofwarren · 14/10/2022 23:48

How old his he?

RainbowTwister · 14/10/2022 23:49

DC is 12

OP posts:
SpinningFloppa · 14/10/2022 23:51

No she has no friends, though I’m sure the children in her class were aware anyway.

MrsTerryPratchett · 15/10/2022 00:05

Foolsandtheirmoney · 14/10/2022 23:40

Ds has. His friends are pretty much all ND themselves though so it made no difference to them. He hasn't shared it wider than his friend group though for eg with his classmates. He hasnt felt the need and says he doesn't care what anyone thinks about him anyway.

My little one with ADHD is very open and similarly her friends are a smorgasbord of ND all also open about it. They were going to start a school club but unfortunately the ones with ADHD were supposed to be organising Grin

ofwarren · 15/10/2022 00:07

MrsTerryPratchett · 15/10/2022 00:05

My little one with ADHD is very open and similarly her friends are a smorgasbord of ND all also open about it. They were going to start a school club but unfortunately the ones with ADHD were supposed to be organising Grin

I love this 🤣

DelurkingAJ · 15/10/2022 00:10

DS1 sometimes asks us to tell people (he’s 9) but I don’t think his classmates would care either way…they’ve been enormously forgiving of his slightly unusual behaviour (much kinder than our generation would have been). Adults either look utterly stunned (he likes talking to adults and does so like a little old man at times so can present to them as chatty and socially fairly adept…he simply can’t read anyone) or nod and say ‘I did wonder’.

PastMyBestBeforeDate · 15/10/2022 00:14

Dd was 9 when diagnosed. We were open about it. She's open about it. She has a gang of ND people and NT people at 16. It hasn't always been easy!

bebravelikesuperman · 15/10/2022 00:44

My DS doesn't have any friends to tell. He is 12 and I don't even think he realises he's different to other boys his age. He tries so hard to chat in his own way

Fraaahnces · 15/10/2022 01:11

My 18y/o dd was diagnosed a year ago. She hasn’t accepted her diagnosis and won’t tell her friends. Ironically, she has supported a lot of them through theirs.

InattentiveADHD · 15/10/2022 02:09

"My little one with ADHD is very open and similarly her friends are a smorgasbord of ND all also open about it. They were going to start a school club but unfortunately the ones with ADHD were supposed to be organising "

Ha ha. Brilliant. Who thought that'd be a good idea! Although if they are like me (I also have ADHD) nothing will happen for ages and then all of sudden organising the ND club will be the most interesting thing ever, I'll hyperfocus on it, won't be able to do anything else for a few days and it will all come together! 😂

OrangePumpkinLobelia · 15/10/2022 05:43

My DS1 is 12 and he is very casual about mentioning it. His friends are (to my knowledge anyway) all NT. He also has tourettes and although he sometimes sobs about this and his ASD at home he is pretty matter of fact when in the compnay of others. Mind you, the tourettes is more clearly obvious than his ASD. His friends seem to take it in their stride and sometimes when he is mocked by the 'cool kids' (as he calls them) for tics or behavioural issues his friends just say 'he can't help it, he has tourettes' or 'he has autism you know' and they all get on with their day.

They are certainly more accepting of it than i think it would have been in my day.

OrangePumpkinLobelia · 15/10/2022 05:44

(And I love the ADHD school club organisation idea. That is simply delightful!)

RainbowTwister · 15/10/2022 22:27

Thanks for the responses. Really helpful I think DC is going to start by telling a couple of close friends and see how it goes.

OP posts:
SafeHeaven · 15/10/2022 22:37

They will already know, it’s obvious when someone has Autism.

Iwantcollarbones · 15/10/2022 23:07

My oldest ds went to schools with asd units attached so he never really had to. He’s now just started at uni and has spoken to practically no one so far so it hasn’t come up. I don’t think he will as he’s high functioning and will probably just come across as quirky. Ultimately his asd is part of his personality, it’s not an identity.

My other ds doesn’t as far as I know but he’s far more social then my other ds. He has always wanted to make friends but struggled with knowing how. He has struggled more then his db as he wants friends more but now has a core group of friends who are probably on the spectrum in some way too and I don’t believe they discuss their diagnoses when Thomas the tank engine and five nights at Freddys are more interesting to them.

I would suggest that if your ds feels more comfortable with his friends knowing then he should tell them. Ask him what he ultimately thinks he wants to do and support him from there. ASD is more known and hopefully more accepted now.

AnorLondo · 16/10/2022 17:40

SafeHeaven · 15/10/2022 22:37

They will already know, it’s obvious when someone has Autism.

Not necessarily.

mamabear715 · 16/10/2022 17:45

Both my DD & DS told their friends.
Tbh I think 'labels' are helpful. You don't need to explain so much. :-)

BeanCounterBabe · 16/10/2022 17:53

My DD diagnosed at 8 is very open about it. She is funny and articulate but is very demand avoidant and masks until she explodes. Now in mainstream year 10 she has an EHCP mainly for emotional needs. She has a small number of close friends who all know and a bit quirky themselves so they are not bothered by it.

Choconut · 16/10/2022 17:55

SafeHeaven · 15/10/2022 22:37

They will already know, it’s obvious when someone has Autism.

It's really not to a bunch of 12 year olds.

FarmerRefuted · 16/10/2022 17:57

Teen DC and his friends are all open about their diagnosis' (almost all of his friends are ND and/or disabled). DC will talk about it in a matter of fact way, for example if he inadvertently does something that upsets someone then he'll explain that he's autistic and doesn't always understand social rules. It also forms part of the banter he and his friends have, for example they'll tell each other "you're being so autistic right now...". They make jokes about it and they use it to tease each other in a good natured way.

Pleasedontdothat · 16/10/2022 18:01

Dd was finally diagnosed when she was 17 - it was a relief in lots of ways as it gave her a reason for the last few years being so incredibly difficult. She has a very small circle of friends, all met through her overriding interest not school, and she told them. A couple of them were surprised but she’s very good at masking and they see her in her happy place rather than in situations with which she struggles

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