Today Nathan woke up with a bit of a fever, a very congested nose and complaining of an upset tummy. Since his stomach had been bothering him yesterday, I let him stay home. I told him we'd have a nap in the afternoon so he could get better.
Just before lunchtime, he came and cuddled up to me, sounding very sick and pitiful.
"Mommy, did I miss school? Is it over?"
I gave him a hug and told him, "Yes, honey, school is over."
Immediately he perks up like a jack-in-the-box, all big eyes and smiles.
"I feel much better now. I don't need a nap."
This will sound strange, but this is an excellent sign for his development. It was a fairly elaborate deception to sound sick at first. Lying requires the liar to realize that other people don't automatically know what they know. This can actually be a challenge for some people with autism.
There's a great anecdote about a husband with Aspergers who could not understand why his wife got upset when he went out without telling her. After all, he knew where he was and what was going on.
As pleased (and amused) as I was with his performance, I still got the last laugh.
I insisted on a quiet time after lunch with him curled up on the couch to watch a movie on TV. Ten minutes in, he was sound asleep. So clearly, his acting abilities weren't stretched too much to claim he was sick.
But he's still going to school tomorrow.