November 04, 2013

Coming Out Autistic

I decided to come out at work. My blog is listed on my LinkedIn profile. Most people probably don't bother to click, but I'd rather just be open. People keep saying they've never met an autistic adult. I'd argue they have, but never knew it because they don't realize when they're staring one in the face. So here's my face, for all to see!

I also figure, especially after reading Asperger's on the Job, that I have a lot to gain by informing my boss and team how to best work with me. I'm giving them the operating manual to my brain. I wrote out traits about myself and the way I prefer to work. 

We recently had a restructuring at work, and I have a completely new boss and team. I took it as a new beginning and opportunity to work differently. I don't have to hide parts of myself, or at least I hope. 

I told my boss first and gave him the book to read. On the plus side, he is dyslexic, so he was very understanding. However, it will take him a long time and a lot of effort to read the book. I should see if there's an audio version. 

Today I told one of my co-workers. He said he was surprised, but not totally. He said he had his suspicions, but I didn't get to ask him in detail. Not that it really matters, I'm just curious. Sometimes I wonder how obvious it is to others.

There's only one more person on my team to tell. I've dropped hints to others here and there, and then there's Nikki, who I went to the disability fair with who knows. 

So far everyone is cool and wants to know if there's something I need to make my job easier. I say I don't want any special treatment, but I do require some patience in some ways. For example, when I blurt out really blunt things, I need to not have people take it personally. I also am specifically telling them that I want to be included, but I need their help. I also rely on them to temper my honesty when dealing with other departments, so I don't divulge too much info, for example. I'm not great at the diplomatic business talk, so I need to write my ideas down, then have someone else filter through it and present it.
I'm totally ok with that. Things will just work more smoothly if we help each other out.

I'll keep you up to date with how things progress. Are you "out "at work? Why or why not?

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