FASD Fact #14: Confabulation is not lying
Confabulation is when the brain fills in gaps of understanding or of memory.
To the outsider, it sounds like lying, fabrication, or fantasy.
To the person who is confabulating, it seems real.
Confabulation can lead to suggestibility, misunderstandings, false confessions, and victimization.
Confabulation is NOT purposeful deception.
Confabulation is common for many people who have an FASD.
Strategies to help with confabulation: stop blaming, accusing, and shift your understanding of the false information from lying to a brain-based symptom.
A positive, trusting relationship can help when the person who is confabulating needs support. Educate the person with an FASD about confabulation as well as his/her support system.