Hi fellow people.
I'm looking for work and have decided to test the waters and disclose my diagnosis to prospective employers. I figure if I'm honest about how I work, what my strengths and weaknesses are in relation to ASD and they decide not to hire me, it's probably for the best anyway. I'm tired of being in the wrong job because I'm not the preppy, engaging socialite they wanted (the unspoken and hidden rule I find frustrating) but not required for the actual job role.
I was wondering what your experiences are. Did you discuss your diagnosis at the interview/after getting the job? How did you go about it? What traits did you highlight and why? How far do you go with honesty?
And more importantly.....how well was this information received? Did you regret it?
Thanks in advance for your feedback.
I have disclosed my diagnosis to my current employer, but I received my diagnosis shortly after getting the job, so I had nothing to disclose at the interview stages.
The only reason I told my employer was on the advice of a Psychiatrist and that I am struggling with shutdowns and other problems as a result.
My experience has been mixed in this instance in that I have only told those who have to know (senior manager/HR) and they are struggling to understand what it is all about. Occupational Health have been involved on two occasions now and their feedback is they 'just don't get it and expect me to take a pill and it all goes away'.
My boss is sometimes understanding but other times can be hard on me and it is usually when I need the support the most. I find people struggle to grasp that some days I can cope with things, but other days I can't and if the 'natural order' of the office is disturbed in even the slightest way, this sends my anxiety into over drive. My boss just thinks I am being negative or over reacting.
It can be a roller coaster, but like you say, it is better to work with someone who is willing to accept you and also work with you.
Starbuck said:Occupational Health have been involved on two occasions now and their feedback is they 'just don't get it and expect me to take a pill and it all goes away'.
It seems that is quite typical... Several people seem to have got that sort of reactions. When I told one in UK that a counsellor had suggested ASD he said there's nothing wrong with me and it will all work out (maybe because I had told him that I don't drink and his specialist area is alcohol problems in the workplace). Later, after being sacked, I told them about the diagnosis I had got by then and suddenly he hadn't suggested at all that this can't be the case and he said this would of course best be left to experts... Now I've been to an OH doctor in Norway (everybody got sent there) and wanted to ask what they think about this, disclosing or not, and if so how and just generally if they had some advice perhaps. There was also a questionnaire where I listed mental health issues (which are all related to this last job) and ASD. The doctor completely ignored all of this and told me I'm very healthy except for some indication of a mild urinary infection which I really should get checked again in a week (it turned out everybody has this, so the instrument probably wasn't clean). She repeated this at least 5 times. I tried to ask about the head stuff but she totally refused to go anywhere near it. She just said "ah I don't understand what makes you anxious". The language was a bit of an issue too, but I think the biggest barrier was that she didn't have the slightest clue about ASD.
Maybe I'm not doing them justice but I think there is a reason why occupational health doctors don't work as doctors people go voluntarily to when they are sick.
So I still haven't got a clue. Anyway, had a bit of a look on google today and found this talk by Sarah Hendrickx
This is probably the closest I ever felt someone has described what it's like inside me. Think if I ever get chance to explain this to someone in order to try and make things work better (or not go wrong in first place) I'll ask them to watch this video. I'm not really good at explaining that sort of stuff myself, while she does an amazing job. Maybe that can also offend people (to ask them to watch a 43 minutes long video, to not bother to explain it myself... who knows) but it may be worth trying.