4 comments on “His choice to disclose

  1. I enjoy your blog very much, but I’m having some “I don’t get it” moments with this one. I get that it’s Nick’s choice to disclose, but not getting why it’s a great thing that he got through the dentist appointment without disclosing that he is autistic. There are many situations where disclosing isnt necessary (“Hi, my name is Joe and I’m autistic. I’d like fries.”) But, first time at a new dentist is a situation where it would be reasonable and appropriate to self-disclose. Not disclosing, especially since a reason isn’t given, leaves the reader to infere that since he no longer wants to go to the pediatric (read: child/baby) dentist) that he didnt want disclose to avoid being treated like a child at the adult dentist. Getting necessary accommodations isn’t being treated like a child, and asking for them is self-advocacy. Not disclosing in that context comes across as hiding and being embarrassed to self-advocate. I don’t mean to denigrate his choice not to disclose, which is completely his decision, but I just dont see why that decision is necessarily one to be applauded as the result we parents are hoping for our chikdren as they grow into adulthood. My goal for my kids is to be a person who is confident enough to self-advocate by disclosing where reasonable and appropriate.

    • Perhaps I should have titled my piece “It’s Not About Me” because that is the point I was trying to make, not that it was necessarily great that he succeeded without disclosing. I completely see what you are saying, and if it were me (and it is, often, with my ADHD) I would freely disclose and advocate. And I think (but don’t know for sure) that he may indeed be embarrassed to disclose–though I must point out that he did advocate for himself, even if he did so without invoking a diagnosis. But the point is that at this stage of his life, it MUST be his own choice for whatever reasons are there. He doesn’t owe it to anyone to be “out” if he doesn’t want to be. He is making his own choices and I am learning to let go and allow him to do so–not so different from most teenagers and parents but perhaps exceedingly more difficult for us. 😉 I will continue to treat autism in a matter-of-fact way and not as something to hide, but his feelings and choices about his own autism will always be valid, and no doubt changeable, and I will honor them because it’s not about me. 🙂

  2. That’s right… It is ALWAYS the person with the disability who decides about disclosure. Obviously when a very young child or otherwise these is danger that rule can be broken but AS A RULE it is not about anyone but him.

Talk to me.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s