Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Should you disclose your ASD condition?

An often asked question by those on the Spectrum is "should I disclose my condition to my employer". Almost always the answer posted by the blogger is "it depends".

Disclosure is up to you but if you are reluctant then may I suggest asking for specific reasonable accommodations during the interview process? For instance ask if they can provide noise canceling headphones. As with any work equipment it would stay with them after you leave.

If during your office tour you noticed that their open floor design would be more than a little distracting. See if they can find you a desk with one or two of the sides against walls to help shield you from being surrounded by distractions.

It is very common for people to complain about the lighting in a place. Consider asking that one of the bulbs in the fluorescent lights be removed.

You can even do this while tied into your tasks. "I find concrete instructions work best with me. How would tasks be presented?" "I am much more effective if I have a recording of meetings that I can review later on." "How does the team resolve conflicts?" All of these force the conversation towards the work and how you can perform best without announcing "I have Asperger's!"

Speaking up ahead of time and making reasonable demands will go a long way to resolving any workplace accommodation issues that you might have without revealing private information.

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