By Stuart Burns, 8th October 2013
Shortly after being told I have Asperger's syndrome, I stood in front of 30-odd people, my work colleagues, telling them I have Asperger’s and what it means to them and to me. Some were like: "Meh, whatever!", some were busy looking their watches: "Is it lunchtime yet?" I could feel my job slowly ebbing away.
It was like crashing your car, in slow motion. You can see it coming but it takes its own sweet time. It wasn't my idea to make the disclosure, I hated doing it, and I really don't know what HR were thinking. (Does anyone, ever?)
My diagnosis had come about via a very non-standard route. During a course I attended I scored off the chart on a personality test in certain traits. At the end of the class and the teacher and I got talking. There were lots of questions along the lines of "Do I do this? Do I do that?"
Then she dropped the bomb. "I only do this as a stand-in for when the lecturer is not available. My day job is working with people who have ASD and I think you may have it."
On further questioning, as to her validity to make that call, it turned out she is one of the UK’s few specialists in the field of diagnosis. Fast-forward two months and I had more offers of help than I knew what to do with.