Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Aspie honesty

Joseph really doesn't understand the concept of white lies. Lying is a pretty black and white issue for him. To him not telling the complete and total truth about EVERYTHING is a lie.

We went out to eat the other night and as we were looking at the menu I remarked to Jesse that I was totally going to blow my diet with what I wanted to order. When the waitress came Joseph waited until I placed my order and blurted out "My Mommy is trying to lose weight!"

After the waitress left I asked him why he said that and he looked at me with eyes wide as dinner plates and said "I didn't want to lie! You are trying to lose weight!"

This past school year a lot of kids were playing Transformers on the playground and Joseph wanted to play too but he couldn't because he had never seen the movie (and why had all those other kids seen it when they're in first grade and it's a PG-13 movie?) and he didn't know what to do. This was a cause of a lot of stress for him so Jesse offered to tell him about Transformers so that he could play too. We then told him that if anyone asked he could just say he had seen the movie so that they would let him play along. Joseph was dead set against this. That would be lying and it didn't matter that it was a tiny, harmless lie. A lie is a lie is a lie and Joseph will not lie.

Now don't get me wrong. Joseph is like any seven year old and occasionally he'll fib a little bit to get out of trouble. Where he differs from other kids is in how he lies. For example, if he goes to the bathroom and doesn't wash his hands I'll say "Did you wash your hands?" and 90% of the time he won't say anything, he'll just turn around and go back into the bathroom to wash his hands. The other 10% of the time he might try to lie. His mouth will scrunch up and he'll look off to the side and say "Yeeeeees. Yes. Yes I did. I mean, yes. I did wash my hands." and then he'll run off to avoid further questioning. If for some reason I don't call him on his lie he'll eventually confess to it anyway. Two hours later we'll be sitting on the couch together and he'll suddenly cry out "I admit it! I didn't wash my hands that time!"

It's like this with everything. He simply cannot lie. I'll probably be thankful for that as he gets older. I just hope that eventually I'm able to teach him that we don't need to tell everyone everything there is to know about his mother's weight loss attempts.


Summer said...

I was like that as a kid too. And actually, my conscience still works really well. I can't do anything wrong, or if I do it eats at me until I make it right.

Alison Wonderland said...

Maybe work on the volunteering information but go with the inability to lie. It'll make your life so much easier.

it's funny how some people can just lie and some can't. Me, I'm a horrible liar and I do feel really bad about it. That's not to say that I've never lied but I really almost never do and when I do (even if it's something stupid or something I said just to be nice) I feel bad about it for days.

Givinya De Elba said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog to comment! You know how we bloggers love comments. :)

Loved your story of Joseph, he sounds like a great kid!

My heart broke a little though as I read your recent post about the early days. I think, when it's all said & done, Joseph is lucky to have you.


Lala said...

Once upon a time we got back from a comping trip to find our cable had been cut off. My ten year old son ran out into our street to tell all our closest neighbors that mommy hadn't paid the bill. It's five years later and he still has no filter although he has tried to lie, he just hasn't learned that I'm smarter than he is. PDD-NOS has held my son at about a seven year old level for the past eight years and drained the crap out of me.

Laggin said...

My Aspie can lie like an evil demon. And she's damn good at it. All those social skill classes taught her emotional neutrality.

Her version of Joseph's honesty is that she feels the need to tell me everything. She keeps no secrets from me (unless she's actively lying) and will ask me pretty much anything about any topic. While it sounds good (and usually is), it's lead to some very odd conversations. Sometimes my brain silently screams with TOO MUCH INFORMATION.

Jen said...

summer - Joseph will confess to the smallest thing that I don't even care about. It's kind of funny sometimes.

alison - I guess I'll probably never have to worry about him lying to me about big things when he's older if he can't even lie about little things now.

givinya - Thank you , he is a great kid and I think we're all lucky that we came together the way we did.

lala - Raising a child with special needs can be very draining. I understand.

laggin - Isn't it funny how Aspergers can affect two kids in totally differnt ways? I think in Joseph's case he just hasn't learned to fake being cool and calm like he would need to be in order to lie to me.

Crunchy Carpets said...

Find the old Transformers cartoons for him to watch....

Jen said...

crunchy - We were going to do that but thenhe kind of lost interest in the whole thing. I'm hoping that next year the kids want to play something he's more familiar with.

Eile said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eile said...

I know this is an older post, but I had to say it. My son- also Joseph (Joey) is an aspie. He is 7, and he does the exact same thing!

He can not lie and if he tries to lie through avoidance he will eventually come to me tearfully and confess EVERYTHING that he has ever done wrong. Its SO SO sweet.