Chloe scripts A LOT!! I mean all day long. What is scripting? It is when a child/adult with Autism recites lines from movies, commercials, books or songs. It is also called Echolalia. I think, in my opinion, Echolalia is a bit different than scripting. Echolalia is where the child will “Echo” what you say. If I tell Chloe “Its time to eat” she would say “Time to eat”. Scripting is the repeating of things they have seen or heard. I hope I explained that right.
Why do children with Autism Script?
I have read many articles where experts say that scripting is a coping mechanism. It is called a stim at times. Some believe the child is trying to communicate and this is the only way they know how. All I know is Chloe does this all day and for different reasons. Stress will bring on a very loud and long stretch of scripting. The Library causes her intense stress. She paces and scripts until she is ready to go. It even stresses me out. I do think it is a coping mechanism and a way they express what they are feeling. Chloe scripts when she is excited, upset, stressed and especially when tired.
What problems does it cause?
Scripting is very disruptive to daily life. It interferes with learning new skills. Sometimes Chloe gets on a roll and I can’t stop it no matter what I try. I feel embarrassed for her when we are in public and she starts scripting and pacing. People just stare and that bothers me. It is a very difficult behavior to control. It has hindered me from taking her to certain places. If we are at the park it doesn’t seem to happen a lot and even if she is singing or scripting no one seems to mind. The indoor places, like the Library, are a bigger problem. She can get pretty loud and will walk right into people if I am not right with her.
What Do I Do About it?
Never punish a child who is scripting. They are not misbehaving or trying to get your attention. This is their way of coping with a situation they don’t like or understand. One thing I have learned to do is to try and redirect her. If she is saying “All Fall Down” over and over I say “No we are not falling down, we are reading” or whatever we are doing at the time. Sometimes this works and other times it makes her mad that I interrupted her. Another thing I have been told to do is try to replace the scripting with another coping mechanism. I have tried fidgets, body squeezes and even trying to get her to blow bubbles. I haven’t really found anything that works for the long term. Just don’t give up. If possible try to see it coming. If you know you are entering a place or situation that you know is stressful for your child give them a fidget or with Chloe I give her one of her stuffed buddies to hold. I always talk to her before we go in and tell her if she needs squeezes or a fidget let me know. Lately, no matter what I try, she goes straight to scripting. Its tough when I can’t stop it, but like I said I keep trying. The research continues.
How do you handle scripting with your child? Let me know in the comments below.
Have a wonderful day