Secrecy

secret dogs

So far, I haven’t told anyone that I think I might have AS. Or be AS. Or whatever terminology I’m supposed to use (weird how this is such a social minefield when a major part of the AS thing is that social minefields are a bit of a problem).

Once I tell someone, I cannot untell them. I might not have it anyway (although it’s seeming more and more likely that I do). The question is: what next? Do I pursue a diagnosis? Do I tell people? I’m not sure if people’s reactions and judgements will be worse if I have an AS label or if I retain my ‘slightly odd for no good reason’ label.

Meanwhile, I’m worried. I’ve had a lovely 3 years being a full-time PhD student, where it really hasn’t mattered if I’ve been a bit of a recluse. I haven’t needed to do much in the way of socialising or teamwork. If I want to continue with research, though, I have to look for work lecturing: generally in my field, there’s not much in the way of pure research.

I do actually like teaching. I think I’m OK at it. What I’m not so good at are the trappings alongside: teamwork to develop courses, keeping the right side of department politics, networking, saying the right thing, behaving the right way… My CV is a strange mix of academic success and employment lack of success, which I gather is quite Aspie, and I have a history of not getting the hang of workplace culture.

In a couple of months, I’ll be on the verge of submitting my thesis and the job-hunting starts. Am I going to do better or worse if I get an official label? I’m sure some people must suspect now (I’m in a psychology department), but the likelihood is I’ll be moving on, and having to get to grips with a whole new environment. So what’s the best strategy?

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2 thoughts on “Secrecy

  1. I think you should seek a diagnosis. It doesn’t have to be for everyone: You can just keep it to yourself. However, it will help SO much once you do have a job. You should definitely tell your supervisor/s WHEN you have a job, in order to facilitate working with them on the inevitable social difficulties. It’s also great to work with a counselor/psychologist, and I have a feeling you’re going to need one once you start a job. I got my diagnosis after I started working and had many problems with workplace politics and social interactions on the job.

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