The Scripted Talk

Imagine you’re a deer. Your prancing along, you dip your little deer lips into the cool clear water, and bam! All of your brain guts spread out all over in little bitty pieces.

You know, you shouldn’t stand so close to the frozen food section. Because you are so hot you are gonna melt all this stuff.

Safe? Course he isn’t safe. But He’s good.

Somebody tell a joke.

Could you please call me Cordelia?

I did it. I still do.  Sometimes, I use lines from books, movies, TV, shows. I use scripting in my conversations. Sometimes  it draws a laugh. Sometimes I get a “huh” look. Perhaps I know too many scripts. That makes me a real geek. All those phrases and lines listed above are from movies, books, TV shows, etc. Media presentations that made me laugh or remember. Language that, for better or worse, influenced my dialect.

My daughter is another script girl. Once we were in the church restroom, all of a sudden with a voice set in perfect restroom acoustics she says “Hey, have you ever heard of Viola Swamp? The meanest substitute in the whole world. She’s a real witch. ” Some talking from Miss Nelson is missing. Totally unrelated to anything and not at all purposeful. Another time, she decorated and undecorated her Christmas tree. She scripted: “Now, all the decorations are taken off. I know Christmas is over, but there are other holidays, like Easter, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day.” Words embedded in her mind from a Max and Ruby episode. At that time, she was dramatizing. Another time, she covered herself with laundry. I asked “Clara, what are you doing?” She replied, “Don’t ask!” That got me thinking- wow! What a mature response. How did she learn that? Where else? A script. A Davey and Goliath script. ( An old claymation series about a boy and his dog) That time she applied it well to context.

Research says, this is typical of an autistic child. Research says, get them off scripting by not letting them watch movies or television programs. It says,  it makes them stick out as the geek in the conversation that no one will be able to follow.

Sometimes my daughter does it out of  nervousness, or maybe just to fill in some silence. Sometimes, it seems to be a way of communicating feelings that she has matched with the current context. It is as though she has stolen words from somebody else’s story and put them into her own. Sometimes I wonder if this justifies her scripting. After all it IS one building block of her language.

Before she spoke real English, she basically spoke in tongues. She had the perfectly articulated jibber jabber. She had the gestures, the inflections, and even some eye contact and perfect eye wandering. She was in fact talking.Maybe inventing her own script.

I am not sure scripting will ever disappear in her conversation. She may be rehearsing as the lead in some future production. She does have some talent. I owe that all to the script.

And just in case you are puzzled about where the beginning lines of this blog came from:
1. My Cousin Vinny- movie
2. My Blue Heaven-movie
3. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe- book, movie
4. Moonstruck-movie
5. Anne of Green Gables-book, movie

You can always check out the script.

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