20044847 tn?1539205032

10 year old with Level One Autism constantly lying

My step-son has been diagnosed with Level One Autism. Since he was little, I always felt that something was different with him. He finally has a real diagnosis from a Psychologsit after being misdiagnosed 2 times. I am very confident in this diagnosis. I mentioned Autism to our whole family when he was about 5 and everyone thought I was crazy! Well now here we are.
He has always had a really difficult time at school (beind disruptive, defiant, getting into trouble, etc). He is now in 4th grade and honestly, the year has started off great. Which I am very surprised about.
Yesterday he came home and I could tell something was wrong. He admitted to me that he got a "think time slip" for being asked multiple times to stop disrupting the teacher. I asked him multiple times if that is all that happened and he said "yes". I knew something wasn't right. While we were all at the Halloween store, I got an email from his teacher and it read:

Mrs. Beck,

Today Jeremy had an incident that we felt we should let you know about. Jeremy started the day out well, but about 30 minutes prior to lunch, right at the end of Writing Workshop, things went horribly bad. Jeremy was being disruptive and then defiant to the teacher, Miss Grant, when told to stop.  When he was told to return to his seat, he threw his writing book against the wall. Jeremy was then asked to come to the carpet to participate in math, but once again was being defiant and disruptive. Jeremy went back to his seat and continued this behavior, so he was sent to our buddy room to take a break and cool down. While trying to discuss what had happened before lunch Jeremy was not responsive, leading the counselor to get involved. Once he visited with our counselor and ate some lunch, Jeremy returned to the class during P.E. and then was able to have a good second half to his day.
He was never able to explain to any of us what triggered this behavior.  I was out of the classroom when all this was happening, so maybe it had to do with Miss Grant being in charge.  None of us know.  He has been pretty good when she’s been teaching, prior to today.

If you have any insight for us, please let us know.

My son did not tell me any of this and when I confronted him about it, he shut down. He was super mad and being so mean to me like it was my fault he got in trouble. I asked him if he was mad becuase of the way he acted or getting introuble and he said getting in trouble. He tells me he never thinks about the consequences of his actions and he doesn't ever feel bad about things he does. He just never wants to get in trouble. So he lies.

A few weeks ago I got a text message from the neighbor saying her son came home and told her that my son was teasing him about a girl he had a crush on and he was telling the neighbor child that him and this girl were going to have sex!!! (I have never even spoken to my child about sex and he does not watch TV unsupervised or have access to any internet). I talked to my son about it and he swears up and down that he did not say that and that he said they were going to have a baby. I gave him about 10 chances for him to tell the truth and he stood by his word. When I spoke to the neighbor about what my son told me, her kiddo told me that was not true and he WAS saying him and another girl were going to have sex. When I confronted my son with the evidence, he finally admitted to the truth..
This type of stuff has been happening for the past 4 years. I don't know how to teach my child that lying is not ok. Punishment doesn't seem to help (if it does, it's only for a few weeks).

Can anyone give me any advice? Does your child with autism do this too?
1 Responses
973741 tn?1342342773
Don't punish him for what happened at school.  My son has a developmental delay called sensory integration disorder.  Your son has high functioning autism. That means his nervous system can get out of whack like my son.  He probably can NOT explain why he was triggered. The point is that he WAS.  If the school is aware of his autism, they need to have accommodations for that rather than thinking he will respond as typical children will.  This is not condoning the behavior but making him say WHY is a bit ridiculous.  Who knows?  He may have had someone being mean to him, may have had trouble understanding the material and been frustrated, had trouble with hand writing during writers workship which is frustrating for kids on the spectrum, etc.  Look to teach him coping mechanisms in these instances.  He's likely doing the best he can and his punishment was the buddy room and all that at school.  No kid likes that.

And the thing about a neighbor boy.  I'm empathetic but will say this.  I have a 13 and 14 year, both boys.  And I hear all kinds of things.  And your boys teasing was TAME.  And that a mom called upset about it is surprising. That mom may need to grow a thick skin for what will unfold in the next 4 years in school for what her son will endure and hear.  I'm not even kidding.  I am no longer shocked with the teasing that goes on and things these kids say and do.  Making fun of a crush in elementary school is pretty common place and your son may not even know exactly what sex is specifically but has heard the word as he doesn't live under a rock.  :>)  In 5th grade, there was a boy in my son's class who had a cell phone and showed man on man porn at recess. I about died when my son told me this!  I didn't give my son's cell phones until last year!  things like this did not help my comfort level in doing so!!  
Kids lie when worried they'll get in trouble.

I think I'd express that lying is unacceptable and as your trust is broke, his privileges are revoked.  Now he'd be warned of this for next time.  But you also have to tell him that he CAN talk to you and tell you the truth even if he thinks you are going to get mad.  You have to make it encouraging for him to tell you or to confess.  Then a broader discussion about not 'going there' and making friends or other kids feel bad or uncomfortable with your words or making them feel humiliated as he did by making fun of the boy and his crush. (which like hey, if I were that mom, I'd not be super thrilled my 4th grader was starting to be girl crazy, yuck and ugh).

Anyway, food for thought.  Let me know what you think!
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