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About to lose my job: should I tell them about my AS?

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About to lose my job: should I tell them about my AS?

Postby oldalien » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:19 pm

I recently realized I've got AS and now know why I've lost so many jobs in the past. It's about to happen again, but this is the first time I can actually explain my behaviour. There is another thread/poll here called "Should I tell my boss?" and the overwhelming opinion was "no". My circumstances are a bit different: I didn't go into this job knowing I had AS, and I work for a small tech firm, not an immense fast food company.

My technical review is this Friday and I know it's not going to be good. I certainly have the ability; for example, I just put together my own Linux distribution which I now use every day. I simply have absolutely no self-esteem and no confidence when I am faced with a problem to which I don't have immediate answers. This triggers my avoidance behaviour and I freeze for days. I try SO hard to do the things asked of me, but I always settle back into my self-destructive patterns.

So the question is, do I tell my boss and the HR person? At this point my opinion of myself is so low that I believe I'm not employable in my field, so a job search is terrifying to me.

Help!
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Re: About to lose my job: should I tell them about my AS?

Postby mvic » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:27 pm

If you feel like you need to then do. They can't fire you for it now (i assume, depending on your country).
I think this would be an easier path than searching for a new job and disclosing the AS.
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Re: About to lose my job: should I tell them about my AS?

Postby shock_the_monkey » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:38 pm

i agree with mvic. also, if you disclose your employer will have a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments and you may be able to claim compensation if they don't and fire you. if you don't disclose you'll have no such protection as your employer can't be expected to know you have such a medical condition and can't therefore be expected to take account of it. if you do go down this route, put it in writing so you can prove they knew. most of law hangs on you being able to prove things and them seeking to deny they did.
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now i'm on my knees
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don't like it but i guess i'm learning

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Re: About to lose my job: should I tell them about my AS?

Postby sunstone » Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:50 pm

Agree with the above: it could help you. If your employer/manager understands why you're not meeting your deadlines they may look at things differently as well as having the DDA protection to fall back on if necessary.
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Re: About to lose my job: should I tell them about my AS?

Postby oldalien » Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:05 pm

Thanks to all repliers so far. I think I will talk with HR first. Problem is, she's also a very good friend of mine (one of VERY few), which, to me, makes it much more difficult to broach the subject. However, I do plan to do so today, whatever the anxiety level. Time is running out.
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Re: About to lose my job: should I tell them about my AS?

Postby Nitty » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:49 pm

Hello oldalien,

I worked at a shop for a while. I wasn't good at customer service and nearly got sacked after having a disciplinary.
I felt I needed to tell them about AS, so I did. They were very supportive and so I got better at my job because they gave me more confidence in my ability and probably just laid off a bit.
I stayed there for 10 months and left when I returned to education, so they didn't sack me.
My feeling is that you should tell them, because you have nothing to lose. And your friend should surely understand, if it were me, I'd rather her know I have AS then seem incompetent at work.
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Re: About to lose my job: should I tell them about my AS?

Postby oldalien » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:51 pm

I just had a meeting with the HR person and she strongly suggested that I get an official diagnosis. Without it her hands are tied with respect to what she can do for me at work.

Of course, from what I've read here it's very difficult for an adult to get diagnosed. I guess the first step is to tell my spouse about it. I can't be running off to doctors without explanation! Then I need to visit my family doctor for a referral to someone who might be able to start the process.

Thanks again to all respondents! You helped me get up the nerve to approach HR. It wasn't easy, believe me. Before today I hadn't told anyone in real life.

-- 2011-07-02 11:08:36 am --

A belated update: I had my technical review and it seemed to go very well. A month later I was fired. I did mention Asperger's in the review, but there was no negative reaction. Apparently, the company had a very bad experience with someone who had ASD in the past, and I think my revealing my (self-diagnosed) condition was the proverbial last straw with me.

On the bright side, I got another job - on my first interview! So my fears of being unemployable were just that: fears. I absolutely love where I'm working now. So it might seem that revealing my ASD was a bad move, but it forced me to go somewhere that was immensely better for me.
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