Being Autistic in a World of Watchers

“I deeply regret sharing my diagnosis. My coworker thought Aspergers was an extremely awful disability that makes people uncomfortable. He had no reference point. And nothing was ever the same again. It resulted in the end of our working relationship. If I was ever to go into another job, the last thing I would ever do is tell them I was autistic . . . No. I wouldn’t want people to know I am autistic or have Asperger’s Syndrome because they are just going to misinterpret it. I mean it’s a deal breaker for all NTs; they are never going to look at you the same. It’s not that I am afraid of what they think. I just know that once I tell them that it can never be undone. That’s not just in the workplace. It’s with doctors, family members, even my own parents . . . I don’t know what’s worse being judged because no one knows you have autism or knowing that if you tell people  you have autism that action alone is going to come off as extremely strange. In theory, I won’t only be judged for my autism, but for the mere action of disclosing . . . Non-autistics don’t process the same as me. Telling them I am autistic made them look at me like I told them I like to wear pink girl panties. I never could wash away that initial expression of shock, and, to this day, I am not the same person in their eyes, even as nothing about me has changed.” ~ an anonymous autistic adult who confided in me.

Please note: This article was rewritten and published in a magazine. Original content removed.

Disclosing on the Job? Yes or No? article by Marcelle Ciampi

Bio:  Marcelle Ciampi, M.Ed. (aka Samantha Craft)

Marcelle Ciampi (aka Samatha Craft) is a respected autistic author and community advocate, is best known for her writings found in the well-received book Everyday Aspergers. A professional educator, she has been featured in various literature, including peer-reviewed journals, Autism Parenting Magazine, The Mighty, Project Aspie, Art of Autism, and Different Brains. Marcelle works as the Recruitment Manager and Outreach Specialist at Ultranauts Inc., an engineering firm with a neurodiversity-hiring initiative, and is a consultant for Uptimize and Spectrum Fusion. A contributing author of Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism, Marcelle speaks globally on the topic of neurodiversity. She also serves as the founder of Spectrum Suite LLC, the co-founder of the Spectrum Lights Inclusion Summit, co-executive of LifeGuides for Autistics (neuroguides.org), and a contributor and advisor to autism organizations and conferences internationally. Some of her works, especially The Ten Traits, have been translated into multiple languages and been shared in counseling offices around the world. She resides in the Pacific Northwest U.S.A. with her sons and life partner.

“Everyday Aspergers is an unusual and powerful exploration of one woman’s marvelously lived life. Reminiscent of the best of Anne Lamott, Everyday Aspergers jumps back and forth in time through a series of interlocking vignettes that give insight and context to her lived experience as an autistic woman. The humor and light touch is disarming, because underneath light observations and quirky moments are buried deep truths about the human experience and about her own work as an autistic woman discerning how to live her best life. From learning how to make eye contact to finding ways to communicate her needs to being a dyslexic cheerleader and a fraught mother of also-autistic son, Samantha Craft gives us a marvelous spectrum of experiences. Highly recommended for everyone to read — especially those who love people who are just a little different.”

~ Ned Hayes, bestselling author of The Eagle Tree

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2 thoughts on “Being Autistic in a World of Watchers

  1. Excellent post.
    This made me cry Sam. I have told so few people. My own mother doesn’t know. I have regretted telling every one I have told except for my husband and my sister. I wish this wasn’t true. I think I am hiding too much and not being brave… I feel like a chicken because I should be out there showing the world myself , advocating for others on the spectrum and help pave the way for others..but I hide. I mask…
    I still have thinking to do…
    Thanks for posting this. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

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