They Have Terrific Memories
How often do typical people forget directions, or fail to take note of colors, names, and other details? People on the autism spectrum are often much more tuned in to details. In many cases, they have a much better memory than their typical peers for all kind of critical details.
In fact, a surprisingly large number of people on the spectrum have photographic memories, perfect pitch, and/or an almost perfect memory for songs, poems, and stories. This skill can be a huge asset in situations ranging from direction-finding to writing a family history.
The Adhd Brain Is Different
Researchers studied the part of the brain called the caudate nucleus. This region of the brain combines information across different parts of the brain. It also assists cognitive functions, including memory. The study indicated that this portion of the brain is smaller in people with ADHD. Other research found that people with ADHD dont use the anterior cingulate cortex. This region of the brain helps focus attention.
As a result, children who have ADHD have trouble with executive functions. Executive functions help a child manage time and pay attention, plan and organize, remember details, and multitask.
But Isn’t Camouflaging Or Masking Lying Too
Scientific researchers tend to call it “camouflaging”, while people in the autistic community tend to prefer the term “masking” the adoption of behaviors that run contrary to an autistic person’s actual self, but that allow them to better fit into a world dominated by people with different neurological wiring. Autistic females are, research has found, especially likely to adopt these kinds of coping mechanisms, often by studying neurotypical behavior intensely, including by watching television.
Some examples might include attending loud concerts when that really makes a person uncomfortable, trying to keep “stimming” to a minimum, or even coming up with socially acceptable go-to phrases to facilitate conversation.
But other examples could definitely fall into the “trying to convince people of something that isn’t true” category. No, I don’t mind that you canceled dinner. Hahaha, that joke was so funny. I’m totally OK that you just touched my shoulder. I am really enjoying this boring conversation.
That, however, isn’t the kind of thing society typically includes in its “lies are bad” paradigm. That is the kind of lie society applauds, in fact, to the point where it’s hardly considered a lie at all. As one study said:
As intense masking can, for the record, be immensely exhausting, as well as a cause of anxiety and meltdowns, it’s arguably better to create an environment where it’s not necessary for autistic people to mask to better fit in.
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He Did It Deliberately Consciously Purposefully Willfully
Most parents have heard their childs behavior described as being deliberate and may themselves wonder whether behavior is done on purpose or not. Often it is a disruptive behavior, such as hitting or throwing. We asked Seattle Childrens psychologist, Emily Rastall for her thoughts on the topic of intentional behavior and what tips she has to offer to parents and others seeking to better understand our kids. Heres what she had to say:
Lynn: Why do you think there is a tendency to describe behavior as being deliberately disobedient or willfully disruptive?
Dr. Rastall: For several reasons: One, the behavior tends to cause a strong emotional reaction to the person or people on the receiving end of it. Two: It is in our human nature to want to know WHY something happens. Three: When the WHY of a behavior isnt clear, our default is to think, It must have been on purpose.
Lynn: What are some typical scenarios where this might play out?
Dr. Rastall: It often happens when kids hit, kick, bite, throw things, or run away. It may also happen when kids are perceived as ignoring us or are non-compliant with a task . Also, if a child takes items that dont belong to him or gives inaccurate information , these behaviors often elicit strong emotional reactions from those who have been victimized. This strong reaction is amplified further when the behavior is something that has happened repeatedly .
Dr. Rastall: Here is what I suggest:
Dont Ever Corner Your Child
Putting a child on the spot can set him up to lie. If parents know the true story, Dr. Brady recommends, they should go right to the issue and discuss it. Instead of asking a child if he didnt do his homework a parent could just say, I know you didnt do it. Lets talk about why thats not a good idea.
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Give Kids With Adhd More Time To Think
Dr. Brady says kids with ADHD, who are prone to giving impulsive answers that come out as lies, need some extra time to think things through before speaking. Impulsivity can be a problem both at home and in school, when a teacher asks if a child has finished an assignment and the child answers yes without even looking at his paper. Thats when he needs to be taught to slow down and check his work.
Fifty Important Facts About Having Asperger Syndrome/mild Autism:
1) The rest of you are weird. We are completely normal.
2) You definitely know a few autistic people. Maybe you dont know it, but you do. Maybe they dont know it either. Were 1% of the general population, which is higher than it sounds.
3) Autistic people arent always similar to one another, for exactly the same reason that non-autistic people arent either.
4) 81% of us arent in full-time employment. Personally Ive spent less than two years of my life being one of the 19%.
5) If you have it mildly, youre at the awkward midpoint of being normal enough for everyone to expect the same from you as everyone else, but autistic enough to not always reach those expectations.
6) The above means that a LOTof things are Your Fault. Theyre not actually your fault, but they are definitely Your Fault.
7) If you dont notice that a girl is interested in you, its Your Fault. Not theirs for not bothering to actually tell you.
8) If someone drops an extremely subtle hint and it goes over your head, its Your Fault. Not theirs for not bothering to actually tell you.
9) If you ask people whether they want the last potato and everyone says no, thats fine, its Your Fault if you take it. You should have read them correctly and interpreted their no as a yes. Because thats what normal people do, apparently.
10) We find it difficult to read people, and thats Our Fault. Meanwhile other people find us difficult to read, and thats Our Fault too.
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Doesn’t Respond To Your Call
Your child interacts with you and others and has normal play habits and sensory responses, but doesn’t respond to your voice when they have their back turned away from you. This may occur in children with autism along with many other symptoms that point to autism.
You may notice patterns of behavior such as those that involve a sensory processing disorder or a lasting and intense focus on objects or topics along with a lack of:
- babbling or use of words
- eye contact
If your child is simply not hearing you, there’s a good chance they are either very engaged in play or have some level of hearing loss. If you find that this is an ongoing issue, it is vital to bring up the issue with your child’s health care provider.
There may be no need to worry just yet that your child has autism.
Positive And Negative Consequences For Behaviour
A consequence is something that happens after your child behaves in a particular way. Consequences can be:
- positive for example, your child gets more time at the park if they get ready to leave the house
- negative for example, the toy is put away for 10 minutes if your child is throwing it.
You can use both positive and negative consequences to guide your childs behaviour. But its always best to focus more on giving your child positive attention for behaving in ways that you like. This usually means youll need to use negative consequences less.
Time-outQuiet time and time-out are useful consequences. Both involve taking your child away from interesting activities and not giving them attention for a short period of time.
Time-out might not work if your child tends to be withdrawn. It could end up being a reward rather than a negative consequence if it gives your child time alone.
Dan Ariely Answers Readers Questions On White Lies Versatile Tools And Modest Expectations
People with Aspergers often dont develop the habit of white lies.
My 19-year-old son has Aspergers syndrome and is incapable of lying. He tends to see the world in absolutes and struggles with white lies. We have urged him to sometimes compliment people to spare their feelings, but he thinks its important to be brutally honest. He says, What if you praise somebodys ugly drawing and they then try a career as an artist? Why tell somebody that their new haircut looks great when you could warn them that they will be teased about it? Have you looked into the ways that dishonesty may be different for those on the autism spectrum?
Rude Things Autistic People Do
There are many things which are unequivocally rude: Being let out on a busy road and not giving a nod of thanks: rude. Resting your sweaty feet over a theatre chair when someone is sitting in front of you: rude. Casually mentioning that someones newborn looks like a potato cross-bred with Gollum yeah, speaking from experience, its probably best to not go there.
However, while in some cases its easy to identify what is and isnt rude, autism can be a different kettle of fish. This is because, whilst autistic people are entirely capable of being purposefully impolite, there are also many aspects to our quirks which can be misconstrued in this way. As such, here are 10 examples where an autistic person might seem rude and how you can help.
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Other Factors That May Cause A Child To Lie
These factors include:
Children may lie if their parents’ expectations of them are too high.
Children may lie about their grades if parents assume that they are doing better in school than they really are.
If a child is asked why he or she did some bad behavior, the child may lie because he or she is unable to explain the actions.
Children who are not disciplined on a consistent basis may lie.
Children who don’t receive praise and rewards may lie to get this attention.
They Are Less Materialistic
Of course, this is not universally truebut in general, people with autism are far less concerned with prestige and status than their neurotypical peers.
As a result, they worry less about brand names, high-end restaurants, and other expensive but unimportant externals than most people do. They are also less inclined to see salary or title as desirable for their own sake.
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What To Do About The Adhd
My angry outburst at my daughters action is a good reminder that I, too, often struggle with an impulsive reaction to things. I would like to be able to react calmly and rationally, but it isnt easy with a toddler hanging off you, another child vying for your attention, and your own shock at your pristine new chair lasting all of five minutes! However, when calm, I try to heed the following:
They Rarely Judge Others
Who’s fatter? Richer? Smarter? Prettier? Does that person have a degree from the right college or belong to the right church?
For people on the autism spectrum, these distinctions hold much less importance than for their neurotypical peers. In fact, people on the spectrum often see through such surface appearances to discover the real person.
People with autism rarely judge other people with disabilities. Where a typical peer might steer clear of a classmate with Down syndrome or a physical disability, people with autism are more likely to be accepting of differences.
Can Children With Autism Spot A Lie
Just like children with autism are less likely to deceive others, theyre also less likely to realize that theyre being deceived.
Williams et al. had adults watch videotaped interactions and guess whether someone was lying. The participants with autism were much less able to identify the liars. This isnt surprising, given that they had to correctly interpret body language, facial expressions, and other cluessomething many people with autism struggle with.
Van Tiel et al. also studied whether adults with autism can tell if theyre being lied to, but they wanted to see if people on the spectrum have more trouble with deceit itself, or just the social norms around deceit.
They had participants play a game against a computerized opponent. In the first rounds, the human player needed to trick the computer player to reach his/her goal in the next rounds, the computer player was programmed to try and trick the human.
The players with autism were initially less likely to try and deceive the computer. In the next rounds, they were slower to pick up on the fact that the computer was tricking them. But as the game went on, they grew better at both until their skills were almost equal to the neurotypical participants.
The researchers concluded that people with autism are less adept at perspective-taking, which would help them lie and detect lying more easilybut they may be able to compensate by using a strategy of logic and learned behavior.
Emotional Regulation And Adhd
My daughter with ADHD also struggles with tolerating big emotions hers and mine. If she said she didnt do it, then she had a shot at convincing me it was true and thwarting the potentially angry mom. But she was unsuccessful. Seeing my anger, coupled with her own frustration and disappointment in herself for her inability to control her actions, created a storm of feelings that were hard to manage. So, she erupted herself, letting it all out. And ran away to avoid having to manage it further.
Lying Can Be More Than Bad Character
Society has always thought of lying as a character flaw. For the most part, I agree. Willful lying to deceive is not acceptable and could be an indicator that someone lacks integrity. But what about when that individual has ADHD? Is it still a character flaw? Not exactly.
There are many reasons that individuals lie. To avoid negative consequences and to impress others are the top two. When the individual has ADHD, though, lying just isnt that simple.
Responding When Your Teen Lies
Helping teens understand why they tell frequent lies and the consequences of their lies is crucial for their well-being and success.
You probably wont be able to stop teens from lying altogether. But you can help them understand that lying will only make their challenges worse. Learn why teens with ADHD may take more risks. Discover ways to reduce risky behavior.
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Why Kids With Adhd Are More Prone To Lying
Do your kids lie? Any child will tell a lie from time to time. But, if your child has ADHD, he or she probably lies more often than others. This problem is frustrating for you and for your child. The more you understand about why kids with ADHD lie, the better you will be at helping yourself and your child.
Develops Symptoms After Early Childhood
Your child developed and behaved like most children until they reached the age of 6 or older. Then symptoms that seem to point to autism sprang from nowhere.
In order to for be diagnosed with autism, your child must have first shown symptoms at an early age, even if those symptoms only caused problems in later years. A brand new symptom at age 12 or 14 may look a little like autism, but the likely cause is something else.
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Oh And Rather Incredibly
I wrote this back in April 2015, back when I got anxious and failed interviews for a living. These days, writing for Autistic Not Weird is actually my job. This fairytale twist is entirely due to those who support me via Patreon in exchange for perks and rewards. As a thank you to these amazing people, they get exclusive content including extensions to my more popular articles.
Therefore, facts 51 to 75 can be found here. They are available to anyone who supports me at any of the bonus content levels. If you would like to help me continue my work as an autism advocate, please take a look at the Patreon page and if there are any rewards you might like!
Can Children With Asd Tell White Lies
Previous research has shown that individuals with ASD have impairments in recognizing and understanding others white lies and affective states . Accordingly, we hypothesized that children in the ASD group would not tell a white lie however, this hypothesis was not confirmed. The two groups did not differ in their propensity or ability to tell a white lie. Because the questions asked in the undesirable gift paradigm were unable to inform us about childrens understanding of when and why people tell white lies, we could not be sure that children were lying to be polite to the experimenter or to spare the experimenters feelings. Therefore, a subset of participants who told a white lie were asked a follow-up question: Why did you say that you liked your prize even though you dont really like soap? Responses to the follow-up question revealed that neither children with ASD nor TD children could articulate why people tell white lies, which suggests that children who told a white lie did not necessarily lie to be polite or to protect the experimenter from feeling hurt. The most common response from children from both groups were, I dont know and I forget.
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