Confused and need help from my "experts"

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TeDo, May 12, 2011.

  1. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I am thoroughly confused so thought I'd turn to you ladies, my REAL experts. difficult child was diagnosis'd with Asperger's in January and situational depression relating to school issues last month as well as ADHD at age 6. These diagnosis's sure explain a lot of things. Now for the confusion.

    I came home from getting gas tonight and saw difficult child and easy child/difficult child walking out of the garage. They both had an "off" look so I asked what was going on. difficult child proceeds to tell me an elaborate, realistic scenario as easy child/difficult child is walking away slowly with his head down (he CANNOT lie). I tell difficult child he's a terrible liar (trying to protect easy child/difficult child) so he goes into a totally different elaborate, realistic scenario. easy child/difficult child is still looking "odd" so I ask easy child/difficult child if THAT story was true. He looked at difficult child and told him "you know I'm going to end up telling her". difficult child laid on the ground and started crying as he admitted to me that he has stolen things (pocket knives and lighters) from 2 local stores and one out of town when he and I spent some 1:1 time last week. He went to his "hiding spot" and gave them all to me. He says he feels safe when he has one of the knives in his pocket and the lighters are for his friend's fire pit because they don't have one so he needs them to light the fire when he is there (2-3x a week).

    What confuses me is: Are Aspie's capable of lying to this extent to avoid getting in trouble? I was under the impression that they are bound by rules of right and wrong and are usually very honest. This is VERY new behavior. Do we have the wrong diagnosis? Is there another diagnosis I don't know about YET? Is there more to Asperger's that I just don't know yet? He says he can't help himself when he sees one he wants. This just doesn't sound "right" to me.

    Any suggestions or comments are very, very welcome.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I really don't know the Aspie side of things - so someone else will have to chime in here - but I can tell you that ADHD has an "executive function" component - and if that is part of this child's problem, then the scenario you describe would fit that part of the diagnosis.
    However, at least around here, Asperger's overrides ALL other developmental diagnoses - which would mean he can't have both labels, as the Asperger's label covers more developmental issues than the ADHD does. So, how this all fits together is hard to say...
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Nope, Aspies can lie. You will meet lots of people who claim they can't but they most definitely can.

    Aspies lie in a different way than non-Aspies. Eeyore's lies usually fall into one of two categories (1) he tells the story that way he feels it SHOULD have happened rather than how it really did or (2) panic-lies where he knows that he is going to be in trouble and he just blurts out craziness to try and delay the inevitable.

    The SHOULD HAVE lies are hard to detect because they truly believe that is what was suppose to happen so it doesn't feel like a lie to them.

    The PANIC lies are often easy to detect cause they aren't usually good at lying and will often confess eventually because the cognitive dissonance caused by the lie bothers them so much.

    It sounds like difficult child gave you the PANIC lies. With Eeyore, I have found that it is best to ignore the lies and deal with the issue (stealing, having knives and lighters). If you try and deal with the "lying" then the "stealing" and "how to be safe" will get lost to him.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Aspies can not only lie, they can be really GOOD liars. Wiz was a genius at lying. There were times he got ALL of us to believe him and then it was only fingerprints that told us the real truth. My dad, who taught kids for almost four decades and is the best I know at spotting lies, was fooled by him several times. That is why we started taking fingerprints. my dad learned how to years before from some cop friends. It isn't hard to get them, cocoa powder or kool aid powder or cornstarch or baking soda will work. And clear tape to lift the print. Not a big deal. Comparing them is harder, but not that bad, esp not when you are just using one or two sets of prints.

    Aspies ARE often very rigid about rules but NOT the spoken, listed "these are the rules" sorts of rules. They follow rules that make sense to them.

    Marg's son heard that it was not okay to hit and not okay to be a bully. Then he was bullied, badly for quite a long time, by kids at school. They would hit him, do all sorts of mean things. So first he learned that it was okay to hit. After all, if it wasn't then someone would have stopped the other kids. They didn't get into trouble. So he got mad and hit someone. HE got into trouble. He then learned the rule is that it is not allowed for him to hit but it IS allowed for others to hit him. It is not allowed for him to defend himself. That last is because the other kids would hit him when no one was looking and when he hit back the adults were again watching them. They were in a school that did NOT like him because he was different and the teachers allowed all sorts of awful things to be done to him. It took a lot of time for Marg to straighten them out. Used to be he got attacked any time he went into their town or was out walking around alone.

    Wiz also made up his own rules. We have things and rules taht are adults only here in my house. My kids do NOt get soda with-o asking, esp not with caffeine. That is an adult privilege. That has slid now that they are older. Now it is energy drinks. I don't like them. husband does, but not the cost. If the kids want one they must ask first. If they buy one and bring it home they must ask before they can drink it. Wiz felt this was WRONG - grievously and horribly WRONG. He should be our equal and able to do what we do, no matter what. We battled this for a LONG time. Then he also had rules like "I can hit Jessie and break any toy/book/thing she has but she cannot even LOOK at anything that is mine." He was a teen before he stopped trying to force us to follow that rule.

    I am glad your son told you about this stuff. I would leave the lying for another time. Praise your other son for telling you. Let him know that this is not just about stealing or lying, but about SAFETY. Growing up my parents didnt' want us to tattle but did want to know if we saw each other doing anything that was unsafe or dangerous. Having knives and lighters is unsafe. It is something that you NEED to know for safety. So let them both know this, praise difficult child for giving you the items and easy child for letting you know. You do need to find a way for difficult child to feel safe that does not include having a knife. What makes him feel unsafe?
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Aspies can lie, but they usually are bad at it. When they are bad at it, they get caught and cop the consequences. over time, if this happens, they develop a conditioned response to not lie.

    BUT - if they are more skilled art lying, or they are (for whatever reason) getting away with it, they will become more skilled and also will not be put off rom lying.

    There is another subset of Aspie that cannot lie because it involves stating something they know to not be true, and the conflict (not fear of being caught) of "I am saying one thing, and the reality is something else" is too confusing for them to cope with. They tend to be more severe in their Asperger's or autism.

    The simplest lie is "I didn't do it". That was the level of lie that difficult child 3 would tell. He currently sometimes tries to lie with "Yes, I did do my work," but when challenged to produce it, he readily admits he lied. I can leave difficult child 3 to do a test, for example, and know he will not cheat in any way. I gave him a test last week, and set the timer on the microwave oven. he is permitted to take rest breaks and would come out, pause the timer then get a snack or go to the bathroom. On his return he would, if I was there, inform me and ask me to restart the timer. I could see him (he didn't know this) and I could see him NOT look at the paper or pick up his pen until I said, "Timer back on."

    A young man in our village, a former friend of difficult child 1 and a year or two younger, split from difficult child 1 when he got in with a bad crowd. Easily led. They became his role models and involved him in their crimes. They first split him off from his "goody goody" friends like difficult child 1, those who might influence him away from the thugs, and made the boy dependent on them socially. They then implicated him in their crimes to such an extent that they could say to him, "You can't dob us in, you're in too deep." The leader of this group comes from a family of thugs with a reputation for violence. One Halloween about 5 years ago, the thug beat up another kid and got the Aspie guy to hide the weapon in his backpack (along with the cartons of eggs they were throwing at people's houses, including ours). The cops came out, their first search was the thug who was of course weaponless. Then they searched the rest of the gang and found the eggs and the baseball bat with blood on it. So the Aspie guy now has a criminal record, for a crime he did not commit. The cops know the truth but the Aspie guy won't talk because his loyalty is tied to his "friends".

    I am certain the parents could have prevented this if they had

    1) understood in enough time; and

    2) acted more forcefully to remove him from the influence of these problem guys.

    But I think they were happy he had friends, and did not dig as hard as they should have when there were problems. The warning signs were there, people in the village warned them and they failed to act. The boy also had too much money available to him and so got involved in small amounts of drug trafficking.

    The problem here, is that for this young man, he is still following rules very strictly. But instead of these being society's rules, they are the gang's rules. he has learned, over time, what these rules are and which rules are more important in his life. Sadly, it's the gang.

    difficult child 1, on the other hand, has gone the other direction. He and daughter in law attend a very conservative, almost fundamentalist church in our district. Not our local church - I think our mob is too liberal! It's a bit like that Groucho Marx joke - "I don't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member", our church is too liberal because it has someone like me sometimes getting up and giving the lesson. difficult child 1 gets a lot of social support form his church, they need what he and daughter in law do with keeping the kids occupied in Sunday School. They are emotionally supported, there is informal counselling - the social network there is vital for them both. And the price - accepting the high level of conservatism and actually embracing it. I have learned to not debate it, to shut up and accept that this is where they need to be right now. I am also very grateful that they get their social support at a good place and not the dark place his former friend is now in.

    I endorse what Susie said - don't stress about the lying. Focus on the underlying problem that he is lying about. Also make it clear - if he lies, you WILL know. That is the one thing we used, we really worked hard to keep the eyes in the back of our heads and maintain the myth (for long enough) that we are omniscient. Use everything you can, keep it light and friendly, and never reveal your sources!

  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    JJJ explained it very well. Her description matches what difficult child does to a T.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Yes they can! They don't do it very well and usually fess up, but, sure. They can lie.

    I almost laugh when my son tries to lie. He is so transparent, but he does try to lie to get out of trouble. My son once took $10 out of my purse then came home with a bagful of junk food that he tried to h idea under hi coat (which, of course, we could see). He fessed up as soon as we called him in on it and we made him take everything back to the gas station, get the money back, and give it to me. I asked him how he thought we wouldn't find out and he blushed and said, "Well, I didn't think so, but I thought I'd try anyway."

    Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) honesty for ya.

    He lost the use of his beloved videogame systems for two weeks and walked around the whole time saying, "I'm so bored. I will never lie again."
  8. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Thanks so much for the responses. I have been further educated by you and am glad I don't have to look further than the current diagnosis to explain some of this. You guys are so awesome!!!