You are right to be concerned that employers will be afraid to hire you because of your diagnosis, and an unfortunate consequence of the Americans with Disabilities Act (if you are an American) is that they will not be honest about this with you. The worst case from their viewpoint is that they hire you, find you don't fit in, but then are told they can't fire you because doing so would constitute discrimination. To combat this consider offering to first take a temporary part time or internship position so they can get to know you. My guess is that the... (read more)

My autistic daughter is also intellectually disabled. She needs lots of special care, often on a difficult-to-predict basis. It was especially so in the first years following her official diagnosis. Not sure if it's a good thing to mention this, though: I'm afraid the employer could take this as evidence that there's a significant risk that I could some day descend into a poor productivity phase (or even another leave, at no notice). It may also be the case someone could take all this as a positive, by correlating it to a potential underlying disposition o... (read more)

[Need advice] Likely consequences of disclosing you have Asperger's Syndrome - given you have a 2.5 years gap in your resume?

by chemotaxis101 1 min read1st Dec 201410 comments

3


Background

A few years ago I (was forced to) left grad school (halfway into it) because of complications related to a set of anxiety disorders (a typical comorbidity in Autism Spectrum Disorders; I now have a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering. I'm also planning to return to grad school next year).

I have a family (2 children). Around the same time I left grad school, we received my daughter's diagnosis (she has more of a classical form of autism), followed by my own diagnosis.

With regards to my professional record, after approx. 2.5 years in grad school and 2.5 years completely out of the job market, I finally began to work at a small consulting firm. They are aware of my daughter's autism, but they don't know of my own diagnosis.

NGO

I'm also vice-president of a local, small, autism-related NGO who is now trying to convince me to disclose my being on the autism spectrum (for publicity and awareness reasons). They are planning to arrange an interview for me at a TV channel. In fact, the decision was already made, as I'm effectively coming out of the closet on December 9th, by means of an interview on a local radio station.

I'm enthusiasticaly in favour of such a move (for both egoistic and altruistic reasons), but am also afraid of potential consequences on my future professional prospects. Also consider that it's likely that I will need a new work position very soon.

In summary, I'm only worried with the fact of also having a track record of being out of the job market for quite some time, so that I'm afraid some hiring manager could be tempted to negatively associate the gap in my resume to my condition.