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To Tell or Not To Tell- Why it Shouldn’t Be a Question

A Common Debate Surrounding an Autism Diagnosis.

All of our work regardless of whether it is clinical / educationally-based, advocacy-focused, research related, or academic is driven by identified needs within the autism community.  The need for this piece of work is undeniable.  We encounter this debate “To tell or Not to Tell” in pretty much every aspect of our work  AND, we are constantly surprised by the number of people who think it is a good idea to withhold diagnostic information from an autistic person- information about how a their own brain and body work, information essential to their identity, and information that could be critical in helping them find their “tribe / neurokin.”

This support has 3 parts:

1) a brief overview of arguments representing both sides of the debate  

2) the perspective of 8 autistic individuals (and their family members) when asked their thoughts related to the debate and

3) a summary putting the debate in the context of society at large.

We would like to thank the AUsome autistic individuals (and their family  members)  who have leant their voices to this project:  Shadia Hannock, Patti Menzel, Rose, Rose’s mum, Kieran Rose, J.,  and  Mom to a 7-year-old.