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Podcast #22: I've Got a Secret

We all have secrets. But, you have a special one to share--you have an invisible disability. So, when, where, and why do you stop being invisible? These are tricky questions that can change your life. This podcast will help you figure out what to do next.....

The Importance of Self-Disclosure

I need to start this Blog with a caveat and a personal story. Typically I spend a lot of time and energy sharing with you the collective wisdom of updated, multiple sources on a specific topic. However this time, I'm focusing primarily on my own work--and those of my valued colleagues--over the past 35 years. I was originally turned on to this topic back in the 1980s when I heard Dr. Paul Gerber give a keynote speech on adults with learning disabilities. At that point, nobody ever thought about what happens to kids with LD when they grow up, so this was revolutionary stuff to me.

One of the things I learned from Dr. Gerber right away is that self-disclosure is the key to unlock a satisfying quality of life for people with invisible disabilities like LD. Ultimately, all folks with LD will have to confront the obstacle of telling someone else about their disability. It's been truly the elephant in the living room for over three decades as self-disclosure of such sensitive information was NEVER discussed or even thought about. Instead, the primary focus of Special Education in those days was getting kids with disabilities to just graduate from high school and complete IEP goals. What came after that was really up to the family or the individual themselves to figure out. Unfortunately very few people, if any, knew what to do next or how to go about it. That became a focus of my research, especially as a collaborator with Dr. Gerber, for many years. I wanted to learn more about self-disclosure and invisible disabilities. And, of even more importance, I wanted to figure out how to teach others how to do it. So, here's my take on Self-Disclosure--and how it can change your life.

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