Coming out of the “autism closet”

A couple of days ago I came across Processing in Parts, “musings and writings by a young autistic adult.” The most recent post, simply titled Parents, raised an interesting question – How do you tell your parents that you are autistic?

When I am with my parents, things tend to go fine as long as we stick to concrete, neutral topics. Computers, science fiction, facts about nature — these are all ‘safe’ things to talk about, that do not tend to lead to confusion and argument. However, occasionally someone will bring up one of those ‘shinyrobot, why are you like this?’ topics…and these tend to prompt some rather uncomfortable exchanges. I know my parents only want to help me, and that this has been their goal from the very beginning. However, I would dearly love to find a way to bring up the subject of my neurology / diagnosis with them. I am not ashamed of who I am, but since I have absolutely no idea how my parents would react, I have hesitated.

I can hear some of you already shouting at the screen, “How could her parents not know she’s autistic?!?!?”

Read the whole post, you’ll get a bit of an idea. It is encouraging to know that even in the face of such a terrible situation, shinyrobot is making her way in this world. Gives me that much more hope for Z.

On a slightly different aspect of this topic…. If I had read this post out of the context of an autism blog, my first thoughts (as I’m sure would be true of many others) would have been to think that shinyrobot was trying to figure out how to tell her parents she was gay. (Hence, the title of this post.) I guess there are some parallels, in that both ‘conditions’ are seen by some (many?) as neurological dysfunctions that should be ‘cured.’

Am I equating the two – not by a long shot. But I couldn’t help but notice, and comment on, the similarities of the situations.

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