The Dangers and Risks of being Openly Autistic

Patreon members and YouTube channel members had access to this video on September 7, 2022. The video’s public release will be November 9, 2022.

ID: Lyric, a pale skinned nonbinary person with short green, teal, and purple hair with shaved sides and jet black roots is sitting behind a white microphone in an RV with dark wood panel walls. The words “It can be dangerous” floats in front of them in pale teal and green letters.


Hi, everyone -welcome back…. and if you’re new, welcome! I’m really glad you’re here. My name is Lyric. I am a late discovered Autistic, ADHD, adult. I’m also non-binary, and I use they/them pronouns… and I am openly Autistic.

Being openly Autistic does not come without some risks. If you’d like to know more about these risks, I invite you to stay tuned.

As I’ve said, I’m openly Autistic, and I’ve been openly Autistic since I started this blog, almost six years ago now. At this point I can’t “put the cat back in the bag”, so to speak. It’s now forever out on the internet. If you Google my name, you will find out that I am Autistic, ADHD, trans, and all of these other details, that I can no longer hide from people.

That’s a real thing to consider, about being openly Autistic: how open do you really want to be?

While this has worked out well, for me, there are risks to being openly Autistic.

First, I wanna talk about one of the risks that I, personally, didn’t have, but it is one that many of my readers shared with me. Reasons they either did not feel safe seeking an autism diagnosis, or were trying very hard to keep the fact that they were Autistic a secret was: parenting and custodial conflicts, where child custody might come into question, and a person’s NeuroType might be used against them in a situation such as family court, or when trying to adopt, or dealing with foster care system.

Unfortunately, this is something I have heard from multiple Autistic People, that had their significant other, or another person, use their being Autistic, or NeuroDivergent, against them in some type of child custody situation. That’s a really big fear.

Another one: I have had people tell me that they’re worried about officially getting diagnosed Autistic, because they have parent or guardian who they feel might use this against them, to say they don’t have competency to take care of themselves, and they’re worried there might be ending up in a custodial situation, where they may be denied the ability to care for themselves, if they were to have this diagnosis.

Look at Britney Spears, for example, if a celebrity with that big of a profile, is able to be put into this type of a custodial abuse situation, Autistic People, who do not have the celebrity power, are even more vulnerable to this type of abuse, so this is another consideration some of my readers shared with me.

Another one that is a major concern, is if you’re having a public meltdown, for example, and that is used to call your competency into question by police, or maybe a medical professional, or mental health professional.

Where then, the police are asking, ” You seem very agitated. Are you right?” And they’re asking questions, maybe even making it worse, and then you get, mental health services called on you, and you end up getting locked up for having a meltdown in public.

You better believe that, even though I am openly Autistic, I am gonna dial up the NeuroTypical anytime I am in a police situation.

My medical phobia is so bad, I just don’t go to the doctor, even if I think I might be dying, because… yeah; that’s a whole nother issue altogether, that we could do an entire video on, talking about why I have medical phobia, from just so many bad medical situations.

There is real danger in being in those situations where people might step over you and say, “this person doesn’t know how to take care of themselves, or this person is, is a danger to themselves, or this person shouldn’t be on their own”, where people who have authority might step in use that against you.

Even just acting Autistic… before I knew I was Autistic, as a young person, got me beaten up, and abused, and bullied, and picked on, by other kids, teachers, and even authority figures.

I was punished for not being able to air quotes, “act normal” and I didn’t even know what normal was, or that I was acting any other way, other than how I acted.

I didn’t know I was Autistic and nobody else knew I was Autistic either, and simply displaying Autistic communication, body language, and any kind of Autistic air quotes, “coded behavior” got me picked on and harassed by people.

Even without the autism labels, just being different and standing out in society in itself can be very dangerous.

Fast forward to many years later, when I entered the workforce, and landed what I thought was my dream job.

When I started trying to hold myself to the same expectations of my colleagues and peers, and my NeuroDivergent traits kept coming up on my behavioral reviews, it really started to demoralize me. Add to that, that I was on the recruiting and hiring team, and as a newly diagnosed Autistic Person, had just discovered that all of the traits we were hiring for were basically NeuroTypicalism, and any Autistic trait was scolded, penalized, and what we wanted to avoid in our hiring pipeline.

In addition, I had noticed a pattern, before I was diagnosed Autistic, that anyone I seemed to get along with, or related to, or was a bit like me, would fail in this organization. They would either leave, quit, or be let go for “not being a good culture fit”, air quotes. Those people, I loved the most, were the people that never saw it coming.

That really hurt, because it made me realize, to be successful in the organization that I thought was the dream job I’d always wanted, you had to be not like me. I knew I was not the expectation, and I tried really hard to mask, and compensate, and be what I knew they wanted on their team.

I tried so hard to be NeuroTypical it broke me. It broke my mental health. It broke my physical health. I wasn’t sure how much longer I’d be able to survive at that point. Everything was beginning to feel so incredibly hopeless. Then I was diagnosed Autistic, at the age of 29, when I hit this crisis point.

I had to hit this crisis point, where that mask, that camouflaging, because I had been camouflaging for so many years, and so hard, it just broke. It cracked, and I couldn’t do it anymore, and people around me expected me to be able to do it, and those skills that I had built, were just failing.

Being openly Autistic, as far as your career and employment goes… I used to get many calls back, because I have a decent resume, and since coming out openly Autistic, only one thing on that resume has changed, with the exception of also having more work experience, which means the resume is stronger than it was before… is that, when you Google me, you can now see that I am openly Autistic, openly ADHD, openly trans all, of those things I mentioned in the beginning of the video, that I cannot take back.

Now, when I apply for jobs, it is much harder to get a call back from someone who doesn’t already know me and my capabilities, because they see Autistic, and they don’t really understand what’s needed to support me, and instead of asking, they just rather hit, skip and move on to the next candidate.

In addition, some of my readers have told me that being openly Autistic in the workplace has led to them either being discriminated against, pigeonholed, or even locked out of certain careers, that they wanted to go into, because those careers wouldn’t allow an Autistic Person into the training required to get into those careers.

So these are real risks, and considering that Autistic People are statistically more likely to be under or unemployed, we don’t need to add anymore risks for a lot of us. It’s a really major thing to consider.

Now, if I was going through the job interview process with someone, most likely, wouldn’t disclose the fact that I’m Autistic until after I had a job offer in hand, or we were much further along in the interview process… but now people see it before I even get a chance to explain myself.

I’m openly Autistic now because I can’t hide anymore. I started to lose that ability six years ago, and I suspect that many of us lose those abilities as we age. I can no longer hide the way I once could, and being open, for me, is now my only choice.

Now that I look back on it, I actually suspect my mask wasn’t as good as I think it was, because people seem to always cloak me, even if they didn’t have a word for what it was that they were spotting. When you’re made to stand out, it’s really hard to blend in, and the effort that blending in took me was a lot.

All right, everyone, thank you so much for hanging out with me this week.

This is the end of the video. So if you made it this far, hit that thumbs up. Let me know. I didn’t lose you, because as an ADHDer, it’s really hard to go from point A to point B. My brain wants to go B, C, TREE, 5, 9, 9, 7.

It’s going all over the place, so let me know if I kept it on topic, cuz that’s really hard for me, and that’s one of my biggest goals right now, when I’m doing these videos, is to keep it on track, Lyric. It’s easier said than done.

Thank you so much, everyone who watches these videos. I put out new videos each and every Wednesday. So if you’re one of the ones who is new, please subscribe, follow, and turn on notifications, so that you never miss an update.

Thank you so much to everyone who is here watching, giving feedback, sharing your own experience.

I’d love to hear if you have any thoughts about some of the risks of being openly NeuroDivergent, or openly Autistic.

Obviously, if you have personal experience with that, you might not be able to share in an open public forum, unless you have an anonymous screen name. That’s not tied to you, yada, yada.

Safety first, be careful. Don’t out yourselves here on my account, but if you are able to share, I’d love to hear your thoughts and perspective, as always, I am grateful for those, because I never want this to just be only my story and my experience.

I like to tell my story, and share my experience as a launching point for other NeuroDivergent and Autistic conversations. I like to show that we have a vast variety of experiences,, as Autistic and NeuroDivergent People, and we’re not all the same.

Thanks everyone. Also, of course, before I go, thanks to the Patreon subscribers, YouTube channel members, Facebook supporters, and now the Twitter super followers… and also I think I’ve got someone who subscribed on Anchor. Thanks everyone; for that, for that little monetary subscription.

You make this blog possible… transcriptioning software for the laptop, close captioning software for the iPhone, the technology with what this blog is filmed on… the website hosting that I use, so that I can post transcripts for all of these videos.

None of that would be possible without the help and support of you, the readers and viewers, so I am always eternally grateful for each and every single one of you.

I will see you all next Wednesday. Bye!


Help me get the word out!!! – If you like what I do, and would like more, please consider subscribing on Patreon. This blog is made possible by support from readers like YOU!  (Sharing my content is also, equally helpful!)

Support on Facebook or Subscribe on Patreon to get access to more unreleased videos NOW. (It is Feb when I am scheduling this, and I have videos scheduled through the first part of April already). Subscription is “pay what you can” starting at $1 a month (less if you subscribe annually). I would love to have you. 

With gratitude,

– Lyric

5 thoughts on “The Dangers and Risks of being Openly Autistic

  1. About a year ago when my former employer made the announcement that anyone who identifies as autistic must declare it with an official diagnosis from a doctor. I’m not diagnosed, and I wasn’t about to begin that process under their thumb, so I kept it to myself knowing that it wasn’t going to benefit me in any way. If anything, I would be pigeonholed in an “under the magnifying glass” way that would be uncomfortable. Although they claimed that it would open the way for people like me to benefit from their employee assistance programming, I didn’t trust their offer of help as their past track record when it comes to a disability for an injury that I had to have physical therapy for, their “help” is a form of harassment that is within the law, supposedly looking out for my well-being. When I left on stress-related medical leave just before I retired, it was painfully difficult just getting the paperwork completed. (I’m so glad to be out of there!)

  2. My personal experience with being openly autistic:

    When I unmasked as autistic (it felt necessary at the time), many people who’d been coming to me for professional advice in one of my areas of expertise (I’m a copyeditor) suddenly decided that I can’t know anything about it because “people with autism” can’t do what I’ve been doing for more than two decades.

    This has had a serious, negative impact on my livelihood. What novelist wants to hire a “person with autism” to correct their manuscript’s grammar and punctuation, when they could instead hire someone with perhaps less skill but at least a “normal” brain? Knowing that one’s copyeditor posts selfies on Facebook like a normal human is more important than knowing that they’ll polish one’s manuscript to perfection without interfering with one’s unique writing voice — I know this because I’ve been told so by writers who said they couldn’t work with me anymore after finding out that I “have autism.”

  3. I’ve been let go, because I was read as autistic. I don’t know if they specifically realized it was autism. My work itself was rated by the customers as excellent. I’ve been forced to do a lot of temping, and I think it’s because I don’t mask well in interviews. This created situations where I felt my work was valued, but not my well-being as a person. I’m on physical disability now and might be on it until retirement age. I wasn’t able to stay insured during the temping and it wrecked my health.

    We desperately need the public to learn about autism from autistics and not from our professional enemies. I think the public stigma has gotten worse from negative campaigning.

  4. I am openly autistic at work and on LinkedIn. It’s true that I can’t take it back, but I’ve always been horrible at getting callbacks from jobs anyway. I likely got my current job because I interviewed over Zoom (less body language in view, no handshakes, and eye contact is not an issue? Sign me up!)

    At work, I help run a neurodivergence/disability advocacy network for our employees. The passive ableism and micro-aggressions are definitely visible–I get treated like a hero for being myself, which is a little weird to me. But my “open book” approach is working for me, I guess. One of our VPs recently came out as autistic and he credits me with helping him work up the courage to do so.

    The one thing that’s been hard lately was my previous manager, who would congratulate me whenever I behaved like a neurotypical (she outright denied it was offensive when I told her it was). She supported the person who bullied me on the team and tried to backstab my reputation with HR and my new manager (and thus potentially destroy my career) when I transferred teams.

    New manager is awesome, by the way, and is reading up on neurodivergence. He doesn’t believe a word my previous manager told him about me.

  5. Yes, coming out as autistic was almost lethal. I was excited about knowing this, many people I admire are. I just focused on the positive but my family focused on the negative and they have increased my difficulty in getting work. I feel very blessed for all I have done and I don’t see how they see me now as just an incompetent burden and don’t believe anything I say, or care about how I feel or even see me as a full human like them.

    What they did has had implications I still struggle with today and their lies are a part of my permanent health record. They didn’t want to believe I was autistic. Someone convinced their elderly selves to take a drastic, illegal and damaging action. In my state all they need to do is fill out a form and write the criteria to get the result they wanted which was to Brittany Spears me. They didn’t just petition to have me get an involuntary psych exam they were trying to get me involuntarily committed to be vindictive because I was going no contact for a while.

    I was laying in my bed and Jericho, my donkey, allergies me to a danger. I went out my front door and in front of my porch door were 5 men in full riot gear pointing their guns at Jericho and he was rearing up to attack and I know he would, I jumped in front of him and pushed him back into a pen. I latched the gate and one of the brute squad came at me from behind and twisted my thumb, I fell to my knees from pain and my thumb knuckle was tweaked sideways. I have a high tolerance for pain and this hurt bad. I thought I was being arrested but worse. It was the most unethical, dirty insurance scam for a nut house. They did take me to the hospital after signing me in and my knuckle was fractured, obviously tendons ripped. I spent 3 days in that excuse for a hospital in the most pain I have ever been in. I didn’t eat for the three days and didn’t drink for two because access to bathrooms was limited access. I was told my thumb was broke from punching holes in my wall and the resident psych said that was true because two people said it and I was delusional because I wouldn’t admit it and pressed me to admit it many many times. The psych also tried to get me to sign my life away on a form that said it was for my parents to have gaurdianship and completely eliminate my freedom of choice on anything. I would sign a thing there. My drug test unfortunately came up clean so that excuse went nowhere. The staff didn’t acknowledge my broken hand and wouldn’t even give me ice. I didn’t sleep for three days there or two days after in super hyper vigilance.

    I am/was a blacksmith farrier and metal artist now if I hammer for more than an hour my thumb swells like crazy 2 years later. I love shoeing horses and I have made some huge and highly visible public metal sculpturep( dragon Nashville).

    Working for myself got harder, moving to Florida is isolating. I felt my inability to show supervisors my value was because of my lowered self esteem but it may be cuz I am different, kinda queer and a woman. Welding is my most profitable skill but I wasn’t a male and I was harassed out of that job. I tried house and industrial painting cuz I have done it before and it’s not as hard but I offended that grumpy supervisor too and I was fired the first day I called in sick. They obviously don’t read the co. manual I was given. Kinda same thing in the paint job before and after that but those two didn’t even pay me my last week of work.

    Florida seems to be anti community and the mental health here sucks. I can’t find a therapist to treat the PTSD I got from that first brute squad which got worse cuz the cops tried to take me to that place again last month cuz someone totally misunderstood what I was saying. I really had no idea what brought them their on that day but my brain is a bit fuzzy still, but even clear it isn’t logical, legal or ethical. I was really observant and calm because I had one thing on my mind; my animals hadn’t been fed or watered. I identified 2 possible escape routes but had to wait for an opportunity. Distraction I occured and I saw their eyes divert and I ran out the door and kept going. Walked 15 miles in my socks got home and had to go get more hay. Got everyone set here and called my trusted psych. She said I could hide or go to this place she recommended in the city. I did what I thought was right but when they gave me an evaluation I didn’t qualify to be in there til the other place called and tried to drag me back. But the director said “if you don’t behave I will send you back to life stream. You can stay as a voluntary admission.” I slept for two days a drove myself home.

    Why does it have to be this hard? I guess it wouldn’t be worth it if it was easy. I think of my ancestors who died in Auschwitz and this isn’t close to that bad. When I was declared “missing” those cops showed up at my gate where I had just put a camera and now a video recording of them saying derogatory things and one bragging about how he could shoot me “with just a helmet from 100 yards away” umm, this really kinda freaks me out. I have never been violent, or threatened anyone by voice or gun, never been in a fight and at my age I have been hit a few times and my reaction is something like shame, I don’t have a hit back reflex. I am a pacifist served in the peace corps and have nothing on my record even though others associated with my mother have tried. I am queer, an autist artist, ecologist, tattooed woman and my evilgelical neighbors think that’s a crime against God but that’s not a crime so they make up shit. Surprised I haven’t been arrested for exposing my hairy naked ass… My donkey/ass. It’s that stupid in Florida.

    This is not a story for people to feel sorry for me. I am sorry for those who resort to lies and guns and are such chicken poops they need huge guns to have any power. Telling my story, let’s me believe I still have a voice. It shouldn’t matter whether people believe me or not cuz I have proof. And if anyone questions the validity of what I say I don’t care cuz I have the proof, I wish people would ask to see my proof before just dismissing me as a liar. And my mother’s old cell phone had all her communications during the time she was committing a felony against me.

    My inspiration for this struggle is Maya Angelou’s. and still I rise!

    I am usually the one that sticks up for justice and find it harder to do for myself but I am trying. I am alone here though, I don’t even have anyone reliable to put as an emergency contact here. So I am very relieved by my decision to leave Florida. I do think it’s beautiful here on the happy ass ranch.

    The sad part is that it’s only a couple of really bad intentioned people but I have always had some community with the LGBTIQ, autists and artists. It’s hard to see these supposedly good people stay silent and do nothing when they here of this type of injustice. I have a supposed community member in an older autism group who is a Florida psychologist and because I have had mistreatment by mental health people she thought my issue was a hated all people in that field and this was talked about without my opinion. There is a high probability that she is one of the NT therapists looking to gain insight on autism because that plays really well and there are very few who know. I met with one who had it on her list but obviously is ignorant about it. This happens and autistics really need to form a sense of solidarity and community but maybe we project this shame that auti. Spea.s disemenates. Theory is that shame can’t survive being spoken. Telling my story now I am not ashamed of anything I did. I am still working on it, and seeing if I can find a therapist from another state.

    I will get this or die trying cuz I am over being scared of the lake county brute squads guns. If I could have one wish posthumously is that you autistic influencers learn about community and solidarity.

    If you got this far, your amazing! Thank you for giving me a place to put it out there. Let’s all be the rainbows in each other’s clouds

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