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In the context of applying for an assistant professor position, should an academic with autism and adhd disclose that to the university during the hiring process? If so, and the application package includes a diversity statement, would the diversity statement be a good place to raise that issue?

About a year ago, whilst in the midst of a mental health crisis, I asked a related question. This question from 12 years ago is also sort of relevant. One important detail: Asperger's syndrome was removed from the DSM-5 in 2013 (actually, it seems the medical profession understands autism very differently today compared to just 10 years ago).

The argument for not bringing it up is simple. Autism and adhd are seen as negative traits, so it would be a detriment to call attention to them. It seems to me that not bringing it up is the "correct" answer.

The argument for bringing it up is also simple: I see the world differently than a "neurotypical" person, and that can be a good thing. Specifically, I'm better at coming up with creative ideas, focusing on small details and seeing subtle patterns. It's clear how those traits could be useful for a research heavy position. More generally, it seems that autistic and/or adhd people (and more generally, people with mental health issues) are underrepresented in academia, so I could be an example of academic success for those types of people. This answer feels more "right" in the sense that it is closer to reality. I would prefer to write a diversity statement involving this idea, but frankly, I feel like actually sending out an application package with that diversity statement would be stupid.


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    The top answer from the question you asked a year ago answers your question here, too. Just sub in "adhd/autism/Asperger's" for "mental illness." Especially relevant is the discussion of whether the point of the DEI statement is for you to show how you are diverse vs for you to show how you will encourage DEI in their program. Commented Apr 9 at 17:45

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Unless you are required to do so by law, I wouldn't volunteer such things. Your responsibility is to deal with the issue using medical help and such.

I think that in the US it isn't required and can't be asked.

Accommodations are needed for some things, but that is an issue for later.

FWIW, quite a lot of high functioning academics, some at the top of the field, are "on the spectrum". They find ways to deal with it and many others don't know recognize that these folks have such issues.

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