Whether or not to disclose that you are Autistic is an individual decision. Disclosure can lead to positive or negative influences on an individual’s day-to-day life such as their relationships or employment. While non-disclosure may help Autistic adults better navigate their non-Autistic world, it may limit available supports and increase risk of mental health concerns.
There is a lot of research on disclosure for Autistic individuals; however, the information is not easy to understand or use when making personal decisions about whether or not to disclose.
There is a need to provide more objective information regarding what happens when someone discloses to assist others in making an informed decision about disclosure in their own lives.
What happens when an individual discloses they are Autistic? How can this information help individuals make informed decisions about their own disclosure?
Findings from these studies were used to inform the design of:
Disclosure opportunities resource guide for Autistic people
Disclosure opportunities resource guide for Autistic people Easy English
Supporting Autistic people who may want to disclose guide for non Autistic people
Add the disclosure guide to your mobile phone home screen so it's easy to find
- Download the PDF disclosure file (above) to your phone
- Follow these instructions to add a PDF shortcut to the home screen of your Android and iPhone
Disclosure experiences of Autistic adults 2022
Find out more
In this webinar, hosted by Reframing Autism, Dr Chris Edwards and Dr Abbey Love discuss their research on the disclosure experiences of Autistic adults.
- Media release: New research study reveals the complex disclosure decisions faced daily by Autistic people
- Sydney Morning Herald: ‘You don’t look autistic!’ What not to say if someone discloses they are autistic (16 Feb 2023)
- The Conversation: 'Real-life autism disclosures are complex – and reactions can range from dismissal to celebration' (21 Feb 2023)
Autism disclosure - the online conversation: In this study, ARCAP researchers assessed more than three-thousand social media conversations across Reddit and Twitter to gain insights into what people are saying online about autism disclosure.
Making a difference
This is the first research study to gather real-time disclosure experiences from Autistic adults over two months. Findings from these studies were used to inform the content of two resource guides aimed at making the disclosure process more positive and successful for Autistic people navigating this process and to inform those who support them. These guides may be useful when Autistic people are trying to make informed decisions about whether or not to disclose in their own lives.
Dr Abbey Love, Lead Researcher ARCAP
Vicki Gibbs, ARCAP
Dr Ru Ying Cai, ARCAP
Dr Chris Edwards, ARCAP
Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect)