Related to this but when on a due circumstance autism diagnosis requires to be disclosed. Such as workplace bullying or public transport or an abusive work environment or to claim a government facility such as a transport fee concession etc. Unfortunately people tend to say some or some form of the statement

"You don't look autistic"

It hurts. Because it dismisses a life evading experience which is difficult to explain in brief, is very tricky, and unfamiliar. Not only hurts, it imperts a forceful belief of vague positivity that don't match my life experience.

Sometimes this is so extreme that I feel like there should be an entire subject on how many ways people react when they meet a disclosure of ASD diagnosis. The variants of the statement includes like

  1. You don't look disabled.

  2. You must not have the percentage of disability otherwise you wont be able to argue with so much sharp logic/ clear language/ cunning wit/ interesting analogies .

We accept you are just a little bit childish or eccentric/ yes you look a little bit autistic but you do not face as much disability as your prescriptions/ test reports say. They must be fraudulent or erroneous.

  1. Since you have achieved difficult academic degrees so you cannot be autistic.

  2. Since you are so friendly and cooperative its not autiism.

  3. Stop giving these weird scientific explanations, we know you enough so we don't believe it.

  4. You are not trying hard enough/ you have not tried hard enough to learn this norm/ you are pampered overnurtured/ torture of real life will make you prepared. Its not your ASD but its just you who are choosing to be pampered this way.

  5. Since some people told/validated you that you have difficulty in those social understandings, so you have not worked hard enough on it.

  6. Shame on you how you dare to disclose such negative? You might be seeking sympathy or being help vamp without triying hard yourself.

Et cetera.

This single repeatitive experience made me very much afraid of disclosing the official dx. My question is; is there really any appropriate or nice way to disclose asd dx? (if necessary). My terapists recommend disclosure at least for safety reasons but destructive criticisms keep coming.

As I saw; telling people to google it is being considered as sort of offensive and revolts with reactions like you should not google about medical conditions and medical matter, though therapists encouraged me and parents to google about research article.

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    Hello and welcome to Interpersonal Skills. Since we're here to help you with your part of this interaction (we can't force others to be nicer, sadly), can you add some details about your part in this? Can you include in your question how you've gone about disclosing your autism so far? Do you always use the same approach, or is there something in common for all the times you've got the hurtful replies? Do you always get these answers, or have you had successful disclosures too?
    – Tinkeringbell
    Sep 1, 2019 at 14:29
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    Including what you do and how you do it will prevent answers from just suggesting the same thing you've already tried, and will help us focus on helping you. Right now, there isn't much we can help you with included in your question, as it seems to focus on the replies you get (and want to avoid), but you haven't told us what you do that's getting you those replies. So can you add how you usually tell people?
    – Tinkeringbell
    Sep 1, 2019 at 14:35
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    You mention therapists... Have they ever given you any guidance on how to have these conversations and trying to avoid the wrong replies? Have you tried any of those tips, and did they work?
    – Tinkeringbell
    Sep 1, 2019 at 14:48
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    Hi there! Welcome to IPS. I'm sorry you have to go through this, as an autistic person myself I know how hard it is when people dismiss your diagnosis. I struggle to understand how this question differs from the one you linked, and from your conversation with Tinkeringbell I believe there's some information missing to make it clear how your issue is different from the one linked. I closed your question so that you have the time to include info about how you usually disclose your diagnosis (what you've tried so far) and what outcome you'd like to achieve with telling people about it.
    – avazula
    Sep 2, 2019 at 12:14
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    Feel free to reach out if you need help, and have a great time around!
    – avazula
    Sep 2, 2019 at 12:15

1 Answer 1


In this matter my own effort does not help but if someone else say it on behalf of me such as my parents it get more weightage. Perhaps because when it comes about an invisible disability; people tend to disregard the patients' own claim as if the patient's own views are biased or fraudulent. But if a parent or similar person adds voice it works like "witness". It do not necessarily wor effectively, but outcome is better and somewhat more long lasting.

There lies a second pathway which can be done only by the medical authority and government, who need to update their old propaganda containing picture and description of only the visibly extreme autistic. Because interpreting such stereotypic description promotes a view as if autistics have to have totally no language development or very delayed language development, very dominant hand-flaps/rocking, extreme motor disability, extreme intellectual disability, no motivation to work, no joint-attention, visible disfigurement as seen in Down's syndrome, saliva oozing out of mouth, no understanding of homonymy and synonymy, no understanding of proverbs etc. But this stereotypic view must be go away. Yes some of the autistics face the extreme and prominently visible level of disabilities, yes that is pathetic condition undoubtedly, and that easily rises national worry; but they need to include in their description the autistic population whose conditions are mild or moderate and totally invisible. They need to train all their personnel, officers and administrators about invisible forms of autism, and to provide the milder autistic population more safety and security. People also need to learn that being even in a very mild end of the spectrum is not something easy or casual. There are enough of disabilities, often very large in number, tend to remain completely hidden or unnoticeable to people other than the sufferer.

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