Saranda, Asperger's is a known condition, and I don't understand why you feel it would be a stigma to let people know you have it. Once people know, they'll take that into consideration when dealing with you.....
SR- Unfortunately this is not always the case. It depends on where one lives. My son also has AS and the battles I have had to deal with in the school district have been absurd as well as the general sigma where we currently live.
My son was clinically diagnosed and has been in therapy (mostly sensory and OT) from a young age, however many school officials and personnel continue to add to the problems for spectrum kids to the point where children have to be removed from a particular school.
The principal at my son's last school refused to implement his IEP (Individual Education Plan) as written, which is a huge no-no, and told teachers and staff I had Munchausen by Proxy and my child just need spanking on a regular basis.
(My child really is the sweetest little boy who rarely does anything wrong and anyone who knows him will vouge for that.)
It was the kind of stuff you read about or see on 20/20 and the effect on my child was damaging.
I boldly (and loudly) came forward in the school district (as well as threatened a personal slander suite to spur action) and she was investigated and found to have treated many special needs children the same way. It was also found that while some of the teachers at that school didn’t agree with her or like what was happening, they feared for their jobs so they kept their mouths shut. Other teachers agreed with how she treated or instructed them to treat the kids and saw nothing wrong with her actions.
She was reprimanded and dealt with and my son was moved to another school where it is much better, but I still hesitate to divulge the information about him and have really only told a very few close family friends. And of course now all of you guys.
Saranda- it takes courage to navigate the world in which you function because many many people can’t understand anything beyond how they comprehend things in their own world.
As a parent I have tried very hard to educate myself and to look at things through my son’s eyes so that I may support him as best as I can. I’m sorry you didn’t have that growing up, but it seems that you have adjusted well and are quite capable.
I think if your friend is a good friend and you are comfortable writing and explaining yourself and AS to her then it may help tremendously. So far, with the few people I have been able to explain AS and my son to, it has indeed helped them and him function together better.
But again, I judge the quality and depth of the relationship first before explaining.
I hope your friend really takes in the information you give her and that it makes your relationship better.
There are some people who really do want to know and understand.
While they are not always easy to find, when you do find them they are gems.