What it came down to was that I rarely talked to anyone at church about being on the autistic spectrum. I could jeopardize my reputation by getting merely close to talking about it. I could hardly avoid telling the first Bishop I had after being denied missionary service. Our main conversation on the subject happened because he found me and talked me down when I was stressed out in a fright nearly to tears because I was afraid rumors were spreading around the ward about me. After that, I don't think I ever explained it to a church leader even once. Having always been bad at making friends or sustaining real personal relationships, maintaining a good reputation was always very important to me as if somehow that would make up for my lack of social abilities.
With our son now being diagnosed on the spectrum, I've felt a need to be more open so I can advocate for my son. For the first time in years, I haven't tried to hide who I am to a church leader. I was able to be open about it. Somehow, this feels like it has healed a gap in my soul. For the first time in the decade since I was denied serving a mission, I don't have to worry about whether some unexpectedly bigoted self righteous person will make assumptions about me because of who I am.