The Wholistic Truth About Autism & Lying

Developmentally, children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDDs) like Autism typically view the world from a single, concrete perspective: everyone shares exactly the same thoughts and feelings. Lying requires an awareness of several abstract perspectives:

·      the cognitive realization of the true details of the event as it actually happened


·      the creativity and imagination necessary to change those details to create the ‘lie’


·      the autonomous realization that each person’s thoughts and feelings are separate and cannot be accessed by other people


·      the moral realization necessary to distinguish between different levels of positive or acceptable social behavior (telling the truth) vs. negative or unacceptable social behavior (lying)


·      the internal initiative necessary to choose to engage in a negative social behavior, with the realization that doing so may result in a negative consequence.

Therefore, lying can be viewed as reaching new developmental milestones… and a real reason to celebrate!