Day #291 – Scripting Self

So on Day #43 I introduced readers to the idea of scripting, “I used to refer to Tucker as my tape recorder (albeit not in front of him). He talks like I do. He found a way to memorize the words, phrases, and verbal intonations I use in any given situation.  I also worked with him, tirelessly and patiently.  When he responded with something inappropriate I would simply respond, “Tucker, this would work better in that situation.”  No matter how embarrassing it was [what he said].  I never attacked or shamed or embarrassed him, I simply needed him to learn.”

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Others refer to this phenomenon as ‘delayed echolia.’  Echolia may be more of an official definition of the process.  The delay in speech response is attached to a deeper level of processing language.  He’s able to go into his long-term memory, find what he needs to say, and use it to respond.

Most readers know that I don’t hide much from Tucker…I never have.  Right or wrong I’ve always believed that it’s best if he understands how he is BOTH alike and different.  With that – how important it is that he treasures his differences.

So, yesterday I tackled a bit of a hill.  I decided to tell him about scripting.  Here is how the conversation went.

Me:  Tucker, have you ever heard of scripting?
Tucker:  No
Me: Well, it’s something that we all do – but people who have autism do it even more.
Tucker:  Do I do it?
Me:  Yes.
Tucker:  What is it?
Me:  Tell me how difficult it is to put a sentence of words together.
Tucker:  Pretty hard, they get jumbled before I get them out of my mouth.  Sometimes it’s easier…but yeah, it can be difficult.
Me:  Right.  So, what happens is that your brain is SO smart and SO unique that it has memorized lots of phrases and then you ‘replay’ them.  Kind of like pushing play on a tape player.
Tucker:  Huh.  Yeah.  That makes sense.
Me:  It’s one of the reasons that you sounded so ‘grown-up’ at such a young age.  Like when you were six and you hit the back of Grandma’s car seat and said, “C’mon Bessie, let’s get moving.”

Laughter

Tucker:  Did I really say that?
Me:  Yes, and you heard it in Toy Story, so you replayed it when you wanted Grandma to go faster.  Does that make sense?
Tucker:  Yes.
Me:  Your brain is pretty fantastic, huh?
Tucker:  I think that’s pretty cool.
Me:  Me too.

So – that was the conversation.  Nothing too big…except then this happened.  Every single thing he said the rest of the night was preceded by, “I’m scripting now.  I heard this phrase while playing Madden football in 2013. ____.”  “I’m scripting now.  I heard my friend Dom say this when he was 7. ___.”

What?  Yes.  I’m not joking.  Once I brought scripting to his attention he was able to provide the context in which he memorized the phrase. Amazingly awesome and insanely insane – all at the same time.

At the end of the night he said, “Mom. This scripting thing.  It’s weird.  I can remember learning that phrase from my 4th grade teacher almost four years ago, but I can’t remember where I put my shoes every day.  What’s wrong with me?”

My answer?  Simple.  A big hug while I kissed his forehead and whispered, “Absolutely nothing, Tucker. Absolutely nothing.”

He smiled…and nodded.

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8 thoughts on “Day #291 – Scripting Self

  1. I think it’s awesome that Tucker realized that he was scripting when he was, and openly admitted it too!

    I’m not on the spectrum, (except for SPD) and while I don’t script any more than most NTs do in person, it is extremely hard for me to do a non-scripted phone conversation, especially if it isn’t a close friend. I hate it when I’m talking to someone on the phone, and then they say something that doesn’t work with my script. 😛

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    • THat makes me giggle a bit – Tucker is the same way! He says the exact same thing on the phone.
      Hi
      How are you.
      Okay, goodnight and I love you.

      Keep in mind – even if it’s 9 AM…this is what he says 😀

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      • Lol! If one of my parents calls or comes in while I am on the computer or otherwise distracted, they will say “hello” and I will say “good” without thinking, assuming they’ve said “how are you?” 😀

        And when I talk on the phone with someone other than close family or friends, I will sometimes literally write out a script for myself beforehand.

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