I've been working there for over 5 years now, even though I know that some people know that I have aspergers, I don't know who does or who doesn't really. And the problem is that I never have been able to start a conversation with anyone myself from when I started working there until now 5 years! I've been able to reply to others when they ask me something but it mainly just involves work related stuff and not just general chatting? Also when people in the workplace ask me to do something, I always need slightly a longer time than a NT to process the information they said and to understand what they mean. I worry that if they don't realise I have aspergers then they may wonder why and not understand how to actually speak to me to pass the instructions on about what they want me to do?
Also, noone talks to me that much and I want them to understand why and not for them to just think that I just don't want to speak to them? Because I always appear socially awkward, they may just not know why etc.
Also one thing I overheard my line manager (this was a while ago) say to one of the secretaries was that I hate everyone etc because I didn't go to the Christmas meal. I was very annoyed when he said that though he has no idea how annoying this could be especially because he should of known why I didn't go to the meal not because I hate everyone, I didn't mention anything about it though but he has been much of a better line manager now probably because he tried to understand my condition a lot more now.
But yeah overall I just want all people at work to know I have aspergers and that is what explains why I behave the way I do at work. I sometimes can be uncomfortable with telling people that I have aspergers but if there is a good reason to I don't mind at all.
Would it be good to do this then overall? Would my line manager actually help me draft up a email so he can email everyone in the workplace to make them aware that I have aspergers and how it effects me and what other additional information is good to add on as well?
I feel like this maybe a good step to take, perhaps the first step to make the workplace a slightly more relaxed environment for me because I will probably be working there for quite a long time from how things are looking.
Also I haven't got any mentor in the workplace, I feel like I need at least someone that I can feel comfortable to talk with privately about my worries concerns and progression etc my line manager is good but I don't feel comfortable talking to him unfortunately, He take things too seriously and jokes a lot which is good but then when the times he is serious, It just makes me uncomfortable and anxious when asking him things. I need someone who is serious but makes me relaxed to talk about things if that makes sense!
From when I started working there until now which has been quite a long time, I have never felt relaxed, I always felt tense and anxious and just got on with my work constantly, but now as I'm getting a bit older, I think I know that this could be one of the issues what is causing this, still not sure yet! The other thing is the amount of different assisting tasks I done, I feel like I just don't get appreciated enough. :(
Numb asks: "Would asking my line manager to do a email to everyone in the workplace to say I have aspergers be a good idea?"
... I would say that if you do this, then you shall find out who your REAL friends are.
So does that mean yes or no? I struggle with grey areas and reading between the lines if that's what they're called. Do you mean it could end up good or bad if I do this?
I don't have any friends in the workplace unfortunately :(
It's an interesting idea. Only some of my colleagues know (as far as I know). It would be important to say that you think and act differently, so not to make assumptions about why you don't go to parties. Would you like people to be more patient in getting to know you, or more persistent, would you like them to be clearer in requests, or check you'd understood, or how would you like them to behave? At one point (before diagnosis), I nearly had a T-shirt made up saying 'Not unfriendly, just unhappy.'
Maybe ask for an external mentor - you might be able to find one, and then get it paid through Access to Work.
From what you've said, your line manager isn't the most sensitive person and also isn't averse to gossiping a little - it would seem very likely that everyone you work with already knows about your Asperger's from him.
This (passing of information "between the lines" and in the "grey areas" between saying something outright and not saying anything at all) is the 'normal' way of communicating just about anything non-work related in most office environments. The fact that your colleagues haven't mentioned anything to you, and yet also haven't made any effort to get to know you more, makes it even more likely that they already know about your ASD (and they probably assume that ASD means that you don't wan't to get to know them).
I think sending an e-mail around the entire office is a really bad idea.
Whether they already know or not, an e-mail sent to everyone would only cause a 'sensation' and make an issue out of the situation which in turn would not help your situation as people would be more likely to talk about you than to you.
If you want to be certain that people know (instead of assuming, as I am) the best thing to do is to tell them yourself. One at a time, in conversation.
I think it might actually be illegal for your manager to send an e-mail around the entire workplace disclosing private details of an employees health to everyone - even with the person's permission.
Numb Said: "I struggle with grey areas and reading between the lines if that's what they're called. Do you mean it could end up good or bad if I do this?
I don't have any friends in the workplace unfortunately"
My apologies. Had I known that, then I would not have written what I wrote. Fortunately, others have next written better replies than mine, there. My reply did mean neither Yes nor No, but rather that if you know or trust someone then tell them whatever you feel is necessary to tell them, and to then see if they are still as accommodating of you afterwards...
I guess I am not writing anymore upon this Thread, now...? I apologise again for confusing you. Fair Play to you.
Ah ok thank you for making it clear, no worries at all we all have similar misunderstandings I guess :)
I thought it sounded like Schrödinger's cat.
Thank you I will try and tell them one at a time when possible :D
Endymion said:The fact that your colleagues haven't mentioned anything to you, and yet also haven't made any effort to get to know you more, makes it even more likely that they already know about your ASD (and they probably assume that ASD means that you don't wan't to get to know them).
This is what I kind of thought as well and feel slightly annoyed that they assume things like that. I just wish they understand aspergers more and that don't want to get to know them isn't always the case for everyone on the Spectrum, I'm sure for me and majority of other people it's struggling to get to know them and also the effort required to maintain the working relationships/friendships etc after you get to know them.
I know there are companies who provide autism training for companies but still thinking whether or not it's worth it to ask about doing this because I do get worried easily and it might cause more problems
It certainly wouldn't be easy to start, or have, those conversations.
It's something I would struggle with too.
It might be easier just to choose two or three people that you feel more comfortable with to talk to and tell them about your ASD, perhaps also (depending upon how the conversations go) mention that you'd like to get to know people better but that your ASD makes this difficult? That way you'd be able to explain a little about ASD and, hopefully, dispel some of the myths and lazy assumptions.
If I were to choose that option I would probably choose someone in the office who's a little older than the others, probably a woman with children or grandchildren. It's a lazy assumption on my part and completely relies on stereotypes (DISCLAIMER alert!) but she's probably going to be more chatty and more likely to ask questions rather than shy away from a difficult conversation. She's also likely to have some influence over how younger / more junior colleagues treat the news once it's 'out there'. A female boss maybe?
Alternatively, if you can't think of anyone in particular that you feel more comfortable talking to, choose the office gossip / loudmouth (there's always one) and tell him / her, that way you can be certain that the entire office will know by the end of the day - although probably not with much sensitivity or understanding. (Pretty much the same as with the e-mail option really.)
I'm more of a mass email person rather than letting everyone know individually. I'd find it excruciating going around and speaking to everyone about this. If you feel an email would be better you could create a draft and then post it on here for people to amend. Once you have a draft you feel comfortable with then would be the time to discuss it with them and to see if they’d suggest any amendments. If I worked with you I’d prefer it if you emailed me as it would give me time to process what was happening before I reacted.
It sounds like applying to A2W would be helpful for you. They could provide a workplace mentor and pay for someone to come into deliver a session on autism awareness for your colleagues. If you ask your assessor they may also recommend the Brain in Hand app, which could help you to develop coping strategies for work.