I recall an episode of Red Dwarf – Camille – where Lister is trying to reach Kryten to lie. Lister says, “Lying is part of your psychological defence system.” Sometimes in an effort to protect ourselves the first thing we do is lie. Often is a little lie that won’t get caught out. We’ve got the capability to expand the lie to make sure it keeps quiet, although sometimes it can get out of hand, and we are caught. Sometimes, with drastic consequences.
Matthew and Daniel in some ways are regular little boys. They know sometimes that something will get them into trouble, but often won’t think to lie about it. With Matthew in particular, his ASD wired brain makes him almost incapable of lying. When he’s done something wrong, his mannerisms make it obvious something is up. If you ask him about it, he will get highly agitated and will start saying, “emm, emm, emm” over and over. He won’t lie directly, but will choose to omit the truth. Give it a while though, and let him calm down – studies show that autistic children, while it meltdown (or similar emotional states) even when the initial outburst is over, the adrenaline rushing around their system will still make communication difficult – we will get the full story from him.
Daniel on the other hand can lie. He does it without a second thought. It would be worrying that he can lie so easily if it weren’t for the fact he does it so badly! He can’t resist the urge to make up such outrageous lies that its so obvious he’s not telling the truth, despite his denials. Like Matthew, the truth will eventually come out. Add the fact that D is psychologically incapable of keeping a secret, you know you will get the truth from him in the end.
Last night though, he managed to excel himself. Daniel likes physical contact when being put to bed, which involves me or Jane getting in with him for cuddles. He’s a chatterbox, and last night was no exception. His stomach has been poorly the last few days, so yesterday he was farting for Britain! This then gave rise to one of the best lies he’s told. Well, when I say lie, I mean work of fiction! I said don’t dare fart at your teacher, which of course was the wrong thing to say.
D: “I already have and it knocked her out.”
Me: “Oh? She didn’t say.”
D: “She doesn’t know I did it, and it made her forget.”
Me: “What about the classroom assistant?”
D: “She was knocked out too.”
Me: “I’ll ask one of your friends.”
D: “They were all knocked out. And Miss W (depute head). And Mrs C (Head Teacher).”
D: “Yes. The whole school was knocked down.”
Me: When was this?
Me: “That was when I picked you up, it looked ok.”
D: “It was the Monday before Lent”
Me: “Really? Mummy didn’t say.”
D: “They built the school again”
Me: “Just the same as before, with all the marks on it etc?”
D: “They used the same bricks because they weren’t broken.”
Me: “Ok then.”
Safe to say, its fairly clear he was telling a lie! The only concern we have is the ease at which he can tell one. So far, he’s not capable of telling a lie that’s even remotely believable. Its one “bonus” of the boys having an ASD – they’re failure at lying. We know that eventually they will tell the truth, particularly Matthew, who only sees everything at face value. There are the events, and that’s it. He doesn’t see that he can make up an alternative version. Its omission that is his problem. When he’s confronted, he is too frightened to tell the story of what actually happened, but with patience, the story will come out. Daniel can lie, but is so awful at it, he’s waving a big red flag to let us know he’s telling fibs.
At least though, D’s latest whopper ended the weekend on a amusing note!