Fabrication and the Developmentally Disabled

Fabrication is defined as a person making a deliberately false and improbable account of situation. Almost every adult in the world will say lying is wrong and inappropriate. Moreover, the same adults will tell children that they will be punished for lying. However, when it comes to protecting someone’s feelings, evading trouble or using imagination, some people can find themselves lying unconsciously. Whether male or female, occasional lying can be considered harmless depending on the situation. Due to the fact that it is a human trait and primarily used to influence the way a person is viewed by others, fabricating stories are very common in today’s society. Fabrication is deceptive but not always meant to hurt other people. Specifically, when a person fabricates they are protecting themselves from any consequences or embarrassment from telling the truth. A person may fabricate a story to avoid looking irresponsible, avoid conflict, to shift blame to someone else or for selfish reasons.

In society, individuals with disabilities have to manage limitations of physical ability, cognitive ability and IQ level. Conversely, some individuals with disabilities show a tendency to fabricate for similar reasons as other people. Furthermore, fabrication by individual with disabilities can be characterized as a defensive mechanism due to their ailment or environment. Another reason why an individual with disabilities may fabricate would be to make an allegation of abuse or mistreatment. Those individuals with an extensive history of fabrication may not think of lying as being inappropriate and commit the act out of necessity. Quality of care, choices, adaptable environment and the circle of support are essential components in the life of an individual with disabilities. For those reasons, there are many policies and regulations implement to not only protect but monitor that person’s life. In essence, a person with a disability is entitled to the best care that can be provided. It is important for healthcare providers not to discriminate against these individuals however it is also important for these individuals to be aware of the difference between right and wrong. Within organizations specializing in developmental disabilities regulated by the state government, fabrication incidents are to be investigated without prejudice regardless of the person’s history.

The rationale for fabrication by individuals with disabilities can be somewhat disputed. In some cases, the individuals feel they deserve special treatment due to their circumstances and anything less is unacceptable. In other cases, individuals can be deceptive, vindictive and relish the opportunity to get others in trouble. Moreover, there are techniques that can health professionals manage fabrication allegations. In order to encourage the truth, a health professional should initially teach the person through social skills training about the importance of honesty and how being dishonest can affect a reputation. It is also imperative that the individual learn not to justify their actions due to circumstances, manipulation, and dislike of staff, peer or family members. Accountability is also a human trait but not a common trait therefore lessons of responsibility should also be the focal point of the social skills training.

In any case, an individual with disabilities should not be made to feel guilty or ashamed for fabricating but educated about the social consequences of their actions. It is not the position of a health professional to initially determine if the individual is lying but rather what is the reason behind the lie. If fabrication is considered to be a challenging or problematic behavior for the individual then counseling should be implemented immediately. Fabrication can become an area of concern but not a crisis issue if controlled with a proactive psychological approach.