One of the most common concerns when working towards employment, interviewing and accepting an offer is the decision to disclose your disability or not. This a very personal decision, and one that you should feel comfortable with.

Many concerns the employment seeker has can include:

Will it affect how I am perceived at work?

Will others judge me?

Who do I disclose too?

When do I disclose?

In the next few entries I will discuss answers to the aforementioned questions. I will address the different types of disclosures – such as full disclosure, partial disclosure and not disclosing – as well as what to do after you answer yes to the question: “Can you do this job with or without a reasonable accommodation?”

By: Maggie Cromeens

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  1. cc6Nathan is 14yrs old he was diagnosed with Aspergers at 8yrs after spnindeg 3yrs of Primary School in a Behaviour Support Unit seeing things he should not have been exposed to.The nightmare to come started at Secondary School, he was sent home on the 4th day because the staff could not cope, he was regularly bullied, verbally and physically, he would run off and try to come home. Luckily one special Teaching Assistant (Rob) formed a bond with Nathan and gradually by the end of the first year there was an improvement. Starting the second year, unknown to me they drastically changed the support, replacing Rob with a new T.A. Nathan’s behaviour deteriorated over the term and he was blamed for his behaviour, culminating in him being excluded. Nathan hit back at a pupil who had hit him and when a teacher tried but failed to restrain him Nathan was accused of pushing the teacher, the school did not believe Nathan had been provoked and took no action against the other pupil, when i told the Headteacher of a dozen incidents where Nathan had been bullied/assaulted, he suggested i move him to another school. I took the school to a Disability Discrimination Tribunal, the Judge decided that Nathan’s deterioation was to be expected because of his disability and the school was not at fault as it was not expected to have any expertise in Aspergers ! So we moved Nathan to another mainstream school 5 miles away with a new Autism Centre attached, we thought he would be better understood, WRONG! One day he became so stressed that he tried to leave, he was physically restrained by two teachers, he went berserk so they locked him in a small room, he had a meltdown and trashed the room, he was excluded for his behaviour! (later retracted) I told the staff not to restrain or confine him again as it makes him worse but they did it another two times, he shattered a panel of safety glass in a panic to get out (they sent me the bill for repair.. later retracted) i told them it was barbaric, i kept him off school and threatened to home school him, the psycologist advised against this. Nathan went back after Christmas, the staff backed right off and left him to make his own choices, he chose not to go to any lessons (although in advanced Maths, top of Science and good at Technology and Media) they thought boredom would change his mind, a wasted term later WRONG! he became dissafected and frustrated, i was called almost every day to go and pick him up. I had kept in contact with Rob the T.A. from the previous school and he came to our rescue. Such was his commitment to Nathan, Rob changed his job and went to work with Nathan at school, now 6months later Nathan is back on track and doing well, he only does mornings at present and does not access all of the curiculum, although reports say he will not fulfill his potential he is a lot happier thanks to Rob, i cannot imagine where we would be without him.In two years time Nathan will leave this school then i see only more problems ahead, The Education System and The Disability Discrimination Act have been no help to us in my opinion, in later life Nathan may well be haunted by his experiences and i fear he does not stand a chance in the real world.24

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