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Re: Go public, or keep it a secret?

Re: Go public, or keep it a secret?2011-01-12T23:08:28+00:00

The Forums Forums I Just Found Out! Other Go public, or keep it a secret? Re: Go public, or keep it a secret?


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I’ve got NO problem bringing it up with anyone, no matter WHO they are, if bringing it up seems appropriate.

I mean, if I’m introducing myself to somebody for the first time I don’t come right out and say, “Hi, my name’s MrXxx, and I have ADD and Asperger Syndrome!”

I just stick to my name at first. I will bring up my AS and/or ADD whenever and if I think it’s appropriate, and without shame.

It’s part of who I am, but like anything else integral to our personalities, there are some things nobody really cares about, some that don’t matter to the relationship, and others that do affect how I relate to certain people. It’s that last category to whom I am not silent, even if I don’t know whether they really care. If it affects our relationship, it matters, so I’ll tell them.

Employers are one in that last category. Therapists and doctors are another. Educational professionals, who deal with my kids are another.


It depends on how close they are, but ADD and AS are so much a part of who I am, it’s highly unlikely that anyone who gets to know me to any depth won’t notice there are some things “different” or quizzical about me. It’s only fair to them as far as I’m concerned that they know there is a reason for it. It’s only fair to them to know that I know I’m different as well. I think it helps them to know I’m aware of it, and helps them to be more comfortable around me.

Most of them, that is.

There ARE some out there for whom terms like “Autism” and “ADD” causes them to squirm a bit, or even a lot. Occasionally I’ll run into a person who “recommends” to me that I shouldn’t “talk about [my] mental health” to others.

Honestly, I don’t worry too much about them. It’s they that have a problem with it, not me. I don’t just bring the topic up randomly. There’s always a reason for it. If, say, I’m talking with someone thinking of working with me, or advising me about something, I probably will bring it up because ADD and AS are likely going to affect our relationship, and if it’s someone advising me, I think it’s a good idea for them to be aware of it so they can take my FULL personality into account when offering advice. Some advice doesn’t work well for people with ADD or AS.

Experience has shown me that few people ever have any real problem with it.

Those that do?

Well, as I said, it’s their problem, not mine. It’s not likely that someone who has a problem talking to me about it will get along well with me anyway. In fact, NOT talking about it with someone uncomfortable with it is highly likely to cause even worse problems because we just end up avoiding the real issues behind any problems we have with each other.

I look at this issue the same way I look at the issue of whether or not to tell someone I’m black (I’m not, but the analogy works). If they’ve got a problem with my skin color, they’ve got a problem. I don’t.

Of course, one can’t hide skin color, and ADD and AS aren’t as obvious, but the problems they cause with people who have a problem with them are real, and will surface sooner or later.

Talk about it.

Let those who have a problem with it fade into the woodwork. There are plenty who have no problem at all with it.