In case you haven't gotten teh news, April is Autism Awarenes Month, but for someone like myself, every month is Autism Awareness Month. There will be several more blog posts from various Walfasers about autism throughout the month of April, and maybe even beyond that.
Today's topic is disclosing your diagnosis. Now obviously there is a stigma of letting just about anyone know that you have a mental illness. It's going to be hard telling people you're autistic, because of when it should eb appropriate to do it and how people will react. let's break this down:
The biggest issue: People overall don't know the first thing about autism. Maybe they've heard of it in a PSA or something, but otherwise, they think nothing of it. You're going to have to educate them. What you will need to tell them is what exactly you being autistic entails. Don't simply say, "I'm autistic." Say, "I'm autistic; that means..." For example, "I'm autistic; that means I can't tell thing from looking at your eyes." and "I'm autistic; that means this building is full of strobe lights to me."
Disclosing it at school: All faculty at school have to know that you have autism. That way, if they start anything with you, you can consult their higher-ups or find a good prosecuting attorney to counter it. Disclosing your diagnosis to students is the real hurdle. It's likely to be fodder for bullying. With that in mind, disclose your diagnosis to your closest friends. They can readily muster themselves as backup for when you spead this disclosure throughout the school.
At the workplace: Your boss is not going to care about your autism unless there is an occomodation that you need to do your job better. Then it becomes a legal issue, and they must provide your with that accomodation. The law's called Americans with Disabilities Act, and you can take them to court if they harass you about it in any way. Disclose it to your superior first, that way, disclosure to co-workers is safer. If your co-workers have a problem with your autism, then you have someone to lean on who can demote, cut wages, or even fire people.
In your personal life: There should be no reason for relatives not to know about you being autistic. Period. Your friends should know, too. If they show disdain for you for being autistic, then they're not your friend. Your lover should know that you're autistic, hence why rock concerts and bar hopping turns you off, and you'd rather spend time in a quiet, dimly-lit setting where you two can be alone.
In the Station Wagon: So you're afraid to let the Station Wagon know that you're autistic. Puh-lease. I'm autistic. TobiObito4ever is autistic. MrHeart24 is autistic. Wilhiemthe2nd is autistic. According to my old Average Walfaser survey, a third of the Wagon is autistic. The only place where autism is less of a stigma is at a Weird Al concert, so sure, let the whole place know.
P.S.: If you're wanting to disclose yourself as "self-diagnosed," I have a bone to pick with you. I'll save it for a later post, but for now, just don't bring up your self-diagnosis.