Ethan, Queenstown 2015 (photo credit: Christian Espinoza)

My son can’t lie, he is just terrible at it.

From an early age I used to tell Ethan, ‘you have no poker face’, and ‘I can read you like a book’. At first my words angered him to no end, but soon he learned what I meant and why it is not a bad thing after all.

Like him though, I can’t get through a lie to save myself. I recently read Human Lie Detection and Body Language 101: Your Guide to Reading People’s Nonverbal Behavior, by Vanessa Van Edwards. Brilliant book, easy to read, and it has photos to pair with the text (funny photos too). I did feel a bit as though I was an alien who came down to Earth and was learning how to analyze humans… like the family on 3rd Rock from the Sun!

There is no shame in it, I tell him, because lying is not something you should feel you need to be good at. In the book, Edwards explains just how difficult it actually is for us to lie in a convincing way. To stay in congruous, in sync between our verbal speech and our body language, while thinking of a lie (and of course knowing full well the actual truth), and then weaving the intricacies of the lie (i.e. the characters, what they did and didn’t do/say/think, the history of each of them in the false tale, the time of day, the nuances of the environmental factors, and all of this on top of the actual events – or the false events, etc). Now picture an Autistic 13 year old trying to do this!

The innocence of a child is magical. Tap into it and be at peace with not knowing everything.