A friend and fellow ASD parent, Tina, brought up a very good point today in a comment she made about how the rest of her world handled "knowing". She mentioned that some of her friends seemed to drift away, while others don't really mention it at all.
How, when, and why do we let the world in on our diagnosis? Obviously, when behaviors get to a point, the subject cannot be avoided. Like when Olivia starts stimming over her favorite Ni Hao Kai Lan book (which she is doing right now), it is a good time to explain that she isn't having a seizure. This is just her little way of processing a big day. Such stimming has ended more than one trip to Barnes and Noble, but these days I can snap her out of it if I have to by distracting her with something else.
I will admit it. When Isaac was first diagnosed, we hesitated to tell anyone outside of family. I think we were afraid that our friends would look at us differently. FEEL SORRY FOR US. Was it pride? I am sure a little. But beyond that guttural reaction, it was because we didn't feel sorry for ourselves. It sucked, there were some tears, but by the time Isaac was finally labeled, it was more of a relief.
Okay. Now we know what is going on. What can we do now?
Now we freely talk about it. What changed? Not sure. Maybe we grew beyond our hang-ups, maybe we realized that it wasn't the end of the world. Just a minor gravitational fluctuation.
I think I will start asking, those friends of mine that I think will answer honestly.
Will post about that later.
Curious to those who are reading this...what was your experience?