[Need advice] Likely consequences of disclosing you have Asperger’s Syndrome—given you have a 2.5 years gap in your resume?


A few years ago I (was forced to) left grad school (halfway into it) be­cause of com­pli­ca­tions re­lated to a set of anx­iety di­s­or­ders (a typ­i­cal co­mor­bidity in Autism Spec­trum Di­sor­ders; I now have a Master’s de­gree in Elec­tri­cal Eng­ineer­ing. I’m also plan­ning to re­turn to grad school next year).

I have a fam­ily (2 chil­dren). Around the same time I left grad school, we re­ceived my daugh­ter’s di­ag­no­sis (she has more of a clas­si­cal form of autism), fol­lowed by my own di­ag­no­sis.

With re­gards to my pro­fes­sional record, af­ter ap­prox. 2.5 years in grad school and 2.5 years com­pletely out of the job mar­ket, I fi­nally be­gan to work at a small con­sult­ing firm. They are aware of my daugh­ter’s autism, but they don’t know of my own di­ag­no­sis.


I’m also vice-pres­i­dent of a lo­cal, small, autism-re­lated NGO who is now try­ing to con­vince me to dis­close my be­ing on the autism spec­trum (for pub­lic­ity and aware­ness rea­sons). They are plan­ning to ar­range an in­ter­view for me at a TV chan­nel. In fact, the de­ci­sion was already made, as I’m effec­tively com­ing out of the closet on De­cem­ber 9th, by means of an in­ter­view on a lo­cal ra­dio sta­tion.

I’m en­thu­si­as­ti­caly in favour of such a move (for both ego­is­tic and al­tru­is­tic rea­sons), but am also afraid of po­ten­tial con­se­quences on my fu­ture pro­fes­sional prospects. Also con­sider that it’s likely that I will need a new work po­si­tion very soon.

In sum­mary, I’m only wor­ried with the fact of also hav­ing a track record of be­ing out of the job mar­ket for quite some time, so that I’m afraid some hiring man­ager could be tempted to nega­tively as­so­ci­ate the gap in my re­sume to my con­di­tion.