Friday, November 14, 2014

Honesty is the BEST policy....or is it?

We teach our children (or in my case child) never to lie, and always be honest and truthful..yet everybody lies. Whether it's a little white saying you only had one donut for breakfast when you really ate two (guilty). Or a bigger lie saying you spent the whole day cleaning, when in fact you waited until the last minute while the rest of the day you spent watching prank videos on youtube (guilty again) ..Maybe you aren't truthful when someone asks if the shirt they are wearing makes them look bigger. So you're lying to spare someones feelings. Or your friend got a new haircut and they resemble Justin Bieber, but you tell them they can totally pull off a bob like Rihanna and look like her too. But when our child(ren) are bluntly honest, like they've been taught, we reprimand them. Children who are on the Autism Spectrum communicate differently. If I ask Brock how my hair looks in the morning, I'm not surprised or offended anymore when he tells me it looks like the poodles on Animal Planet we watched the night before. It really does too, and so does his. This morning I drove Brock to school, and he was bluntly honest to two other students, and I never wanted to spontaneously combust as much as I did in that moment. First he saw a student wearing some sort of pajamas and Brock asked if said student was sick, they said no, so he continued to tell them it then wasn't acceptable school attire. Which is one of my rules, no pajamas outside of the house unless you're sick. The other students clothes were horribly mismatched, and Brock had to point it out to them. Again, I'm a stickler on matching clothes, everyone always comes to me for clothes matching advice, Brock knows this and proceded to tell the student that. I pulled Brock aside and told him what he said wasn't ok, because it was very hurtful. He got upset because he was telling the truth, and there was no getting through to him. He wouldn't appologize because I always tell him not to lie, be honest, and always be truthful. Having ASD he can't process proper social etiquette. I don't know if I can fault him. Another time where I hoped the ground would swallow me up my dad had come to stay with us for a few days. He had put on some weight, and the first thing Brock said was 'wow you've gotten bigger.'' I told Brock that was not a kind thing to say, and he replied ''well it's true.'' To the outside world it may sound like Brock is being rude, and disrespectful, but I know my child. He is one of the sweetest, most kind people I know. I've always instilled the importance of manners, and being respectful. I have to look at things from Brock's perspective, and figure out a way to teach him how to control the verbal diarrhea. Because while I think honesty is best, I don't think it always is at the expense of hurting someones feelings. Communication development happens differently and more slowly in children with ASD. Like Brock, who is high functioning, he has an extensive vocabulary but lacks social skills. He only has a few facial expressions, he can't hold eye contact (it's physically painful) and his voice is monotoned. Although his voice increases, and decreases in volume the tone is always the same. So to end this here, I truly hope Brock's social skills and empathy improve by the time he meets his future wife. Because I can only imagine all the tears he would cause her. Like when he's 30, because at this point he insists he's going to live at home forever. Yikes!

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