Re: Discrimination in the workplace?
I'd be less inclined to hire someone who had written Asperger's Syndrome at the top of the CV, mainly because I don't 100% believe in it and in so far as I do, I regard a diagnosis of it as more of an excuse than anything else.It's a very mild form as autism as far as we know. Too mild to treat someone much differently because of. I interview based on who has the best formal qualifications and the best experience / demonstrable ability, with the latter usually taking precedence. If someone shows up to the interview and they're not very socially aware, then it can be a factor depending on what role I'm hiring for (i.e. sales), but I'm hiring on ability and sociability is only one factor in that - and sometimes it can even be a negative one. If someone gives the impression they're super-highly strung and difficult to work with, that's a mark against them. If they show up in trainers, combats and a Britney Spears UK Tour T-shirt rather than a suit and tie, I'm unlikely to care (might even count in their favour). Gay, white, black, into model trains - couldn't give a damn. It's their business. So someone who says "Hi, I'm Gary and I have Aspergers" (or the CV equivalent in this case), isn't necessarily off my list, but it's a mark against them. Not because I (depending on the role) rule off the socially awkward, but the immediate in-your-face introduction indicates to me that either this person defines themself by it (e.g. "Oh, I have aspergers - I'm supposed to not try to understand how other people feel") or it's a warning.
If I had a quid for every time someone who was a bit odd either labelled themselves, or were labelled by someone else as Asperger's Syndrome, when they have no clinical training, I'd be a very rich person. For those (far fewer) who have an actual clinical diagnosis... Well it wont disqualify you from being hired by me, but defining yourself by it doesn't help.
Asperger's Syndrome is a clinical label for something we've all known and been familiar with for a long time: people who don't quite get the non-verbal social interaction, lack empathy a bit and are sometimes a bit physically inept. It's not really a disability, imo. It's just a personality type. I can live with and hire that personality type. I don't like it being enshrined as a label on someone. Most people grow out of being that type of person to a large extent over time. Adopting the label as a descriptor of who you are probably retards that process, imo. Making it the first impression on someone is a negative. Tell me that you're brilliant with C++ and I wont care that much if you're a bit awkward. Tell me that you're an insensitive arsehole to people and then that's the first information that goes into my head, not: "okay, great, how's your coding?"
And in my fifteen years working in technical fields, I've met a few people who fit the bright, socially inept stereotype. But I've also met plenty of people who are not very bright and socially awkward. It's called a confirmation bias. If you're working in a technical field and someone is there *despite* being a problem in other areas, then the reason is probably that they are better than average somewhere else. Some of these personality types may develop obsessive interests in, say computer programming, which is beneficial. But you can hang out at a train station and see train spotters who are just the same but went along a less employable path. I've met more very bright socially adept people than I have very bright socially maladjusted.
My serious advice to the OP? Drop it from your CV. Not because it's something you need to be ashamed of, but because it's the quality you should be defining yourself by. A CV, a resumé, covering letter, whatever - I don't have a lot of time. I expect you to put forward why I should hire you. That's your programming skills, or your sales experience, or whatever. You shouldn't be leading with your flaws or weak areas. Your application is your one and only chance to tell people why they *should* hire you. Don't waste it on irrelevant things like you're a bit awkward at reading people.