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Omitting Autism when Applying for Job Assistance

darkcloak_dragondarkcloak_dragon New Member, Member
I am applying for help from a government organization for disabled job seekers. I listed my learning disability and chronic insomnia, but I don't want them to know I have autism. There's no rule that I have to tell them all disabilities.

But do you think this might cause me problems later on? I think the autism would only be apparent in social situations, and I shouldn't have to face many social situations because I'm asking for a job with minimal social interaction + job placement so that I can either avoid a job interview or have an adapted job interview (meaning I won't be too harshly judged for acting strange because the interviewer knows ahead of time that I'm disabled). I think I could just blame some of the autistic symptoms on the other conditions if I absolutely have to explain myself.


  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen
    Disclosure is really up to you only you know your situation and the culture in your area and field. Though I would say thought you might not want to be retroactively "blaming" you traits on other conditions if they don't really match. You would want the conditions to be suitable even if challenging, and not have to sue excuses which require acting.

    It is is about the culture but at the same time, you employer doesn't have to disclose you medical details to the team or workforce and this can be agreed in advance who might have this information e.g. line manger and boss.

    In terms of legal protection generally anything on record is better, though you could technically do that after the interview if you prefer. It is a protected class but they don't have to provide the reasons for hiring or not.

    There are some autistic friendly  businesses but it is down to if those field are for you. There are realistically some field where there might be perception of suitability, especially pro-social fields.  
  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen
    edited March 2023
    Note in jurisdiction where disability is a protected class, if you later disclose it, if they take issue with it they are then admitting to breaking that law and you would have a case against them for unfair dismissal. There are a limited number of defences for that, and I'm not a legal advisor, but this is what I understand, but you can check that yourself. In addition to that there is usually some legislation, where they have to make reasonable accommodations for a disclosed disability.

    I would never say you must or you mustn't becuase very industry and culture is different, if you are in a field with 0 hours contract, or you are self employed you might have a harder time getting protection. Same for disclosing to client or customers.
  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen
    edited March 2023
    The organisation itself should advise, you can express your concerns over disclosure and discuss options, and that advice should be confidential. They should know the situation where you are.
  • The very best of luck finding a job dark cloak,  from my friend/ex student's experience, who has ADHD, Dyslexia, OCD, HFA he actually was hired for an excellent job in Finance after complete disclosure of his conditions at the first interview for a new position, after many unhappy jobs. 2 years on he is doing very well and is well liked and enjoys his job immensely.

    Previously he had only mentioned his qualifications and previous experience, jobs which had ended abruptly because of meltdowns on the job, over-stimulation and inappropriate behavior on his part under duress.

    He spoke to me before the interview for his present job and asked my advice. What should I do? Should I tell them about overstimulation when talking to clients? About my Autism? I had taught him since 11 years old and have always admired his tenacity and honesty, despite all his disabilities. I taught him English right through till he finished a degree in banking and economics.
    My advice before the interview was to be completely honest about his autism and other disabilities. I had no experience in this but I always believe in 
    full transparency in all areas of my life. The woman who interviewed him was immediately aware of the courage, honesty and tenacity of my friend. He shared that when he is overwhelmed he puts on his earphones and goes out to calm down, specified his triggers and how he deals with them, and he was hired. in this particular case the employer identified my friend's self-awareness and coping mechanisms and found that to be an asset. The staff also know when to give him space and take his time to re-calibrate . He is extremely happy there, the only place of work where he gave complete disclosure of his disabilities. He is my very good friend and I identified this strength of will in him when he was 11 years old, it's important to acknowledge our achievements and not just our disabilities.  I am a R.N. and a teacher and all my students  know I have ADD. Formal studies have always been torture for me but I am not  a quitter either, that counts for something.

    Good luck! 

  • pangolinpangolin New Member, Member
    For employment assistance and any disability support services I would recommend disclosing all relevant disabilities as their services are fully intended to assist you. It is unlike disclosing disabilities in a job application where employers can use loopholes for discriminatory hiring practices despite anti-discrimination legislation being present.

    (...) I think the autism would only be apparent in social situations, and I shouldn't have to face many social situations because I'm asking for a job with minimal social interaction (...)

    The jobs you intend to take on are not completely devoid of social interaction and you may have difficulties in those limited social interactions. Not disclosing your autism despite those difficulties being very tangible in social situations seems like a gamble that is not worth taking. I would treat these services as a safety net for your disabilities as the impacts you may experience can vary overtime and the supports you need should cover you at your worst.

    As you have stated previously, it may not be mandatory to disclose all of your disabilities but it would be wise to evaluate the benefits of not disclosing your autism.
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