Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Super Scripting

I wish that the word "super" in the title for this posting meant "fantastic," but it actually means "an extraordinary amount." Samuel, and all my boys for that matter, really love The Upside Down Show. I let them watch it on the afternoons when our in-home helpers aren't here, and once they get ready each morning they run outside to play it in the back yard for a few minutes before we drive Samuel to school. Getting to play is a great reinforcer for Samuel to do the finishing touches on getting ready.

I'm seeing signs now that it's getting out of hand. Samuel had a behavioral incident in school yesterday because he just wouldn't snap out of a scripting spell. His teachers didn't know what he was talking about, but a fellow autistic classmate was able to tell them it was from The Upside Down Show. He also scripts an awful lot at home. While we did some homework late yesterday afternoon I also couldn't get him to snap out of a scripting spell.

It's a constant struggle to maintain some kind of balance with the things Samuel enjoys. They quickly turn into obsessions that cause him to tune out. I went through this a few months ago with his videos. When I see this happen I have to create some kind of regulatory procedure. He now has to "earn" videos. I will give him a few each day to look at, after he does something required of him on his schedule. The tricky part is remembering to gather them up at the end of the day and put them away. Samuel now takes them up to bed with him! I try to discourage that and have him keep them downstairs where I can easily put them away. If I miss getting them before bedtime then I just put them away while he is at school.

Looks like I am facing that now with The Upside Down Show. It is going to be harder to regulate this because the other boys like it also. At school the teachers are talking to Samuel about not scripting during class time. I should make sure they have a social story for this, and perhaps see if there is some kind of free time where they would let him do it for a short spell. I'll probably come up with something at home where he can script for a few minutes when he gets home and then I'll have to try to come up with a way of making him understand that "scripting time is finished, time to________" Maybe that scripting time could be turned into a reinforcer.


farmwifetwo said...

My 5 yr old has these issues.

The moment it even starts to become an obsessession it goes missing. And it goes missing while the little one is at school. It's just not here when he gets home. Or with the computer I shut if off immediately. He plays the game, not start and stop the game.

Then it surfaces a few weeks later.

The scripting I expect is the echolalia. It's a hard one to stop. We break it using the "do this" that the ABA/IBI therapists did. High five, cool, clap. Something to snap him back out of it. Mine doesn't have the comprehension at this time to use a social story to explain that it's not correct.

Mom Embracing Autism said...

That is something else we need to get a handle on, the computer. Usually Samuel plays on it without my watchful eye and I'm sure he's doing all kinds of stims with the sites he goes to (mostly WGBH that takes him to PBS kids, Nickelodeon, and Noggin).

farmwifetwo said...

I shook my head one day back when I was on the autism bb that a Mother was upset b/c IBI/ABA got her kid to stop watching movies on fast forward. The therapy ran out and he went back to it.


Why would you allow it in the first place??

Or is that just me??

chrisd said...

My son is really into Disney Radio and singing the songs.

Because he's in 4th, I want him to listen to the music of that culture, but the songs he's choosing is, well, a little inappropriate for a boy.

Now that you are talking about it, my son has very similar issues, all though he's an aspie.

Mom Embracing Autism said...

Regarding the Mom allowing her child to watch the movies on fast forward.. I think sometimes it's easy to let our autistic children fall into doing something because it makes them happy, and we might forget to be objective about considering the behavior they are undertaking. My first reaction to my son doing something, whether it's looking at his videos, or "playing" The Upside Down Show is to think "Wonderful! Something he likes!" I need to monitor what he is doing and try to prevent it from becoming an obsession. At the same time, however, I want him to be able to explore the things he likes to a certain extent! Also, do you think maybe some parents fall into the trap of letting therapists deal with a problem and they never take the strategies and attempt to apply them themselves? I have to admit that every now and then I might get a little lazy.

Please excuse my ignorance, but what is IBI?

I forgot to mention earlier, social stories have been good for my son the past 2 years or so. Within the last few months we have found that TALKING to him about what is expected of him is starting to help him behave appropriately. His speech therapist found that when she talked to him before their session about expectations, he was less likely to stim.

Leisa Hammett said...

Hi there. Found you on Google. My daughter is 15 and never scripted, which is probably why I had to Google the term. But upon reading ur blog, I knew instantly what it was. I'm writing a black-and-white art documentary photography book - From Heartache to Hope: Middle Tennessee Families Living with Autism and one of my interviewees used this term. Hence the search. Just wanted to say hello there. Thanks for the help. And, really LOVE the name of ur blog. RIGHT ON!!

LAA and Family said...

Hi Leisa, Thanks for your comments. Wow, so someone else used the term "super scripting" too? Interesting! Well, if Samuel was "super scripting" two years ago, he is "super duper scripting" now! His scripting has gone up and down over time, and right now we are in an "up" swing again. I allow him to do this in his free time, but will stop activities we are doing together at other times and wait for him to be quiet. I don't tell him "don't script." I say things like "you are not ready to work yet," or "we will continue when you are ready."

Anonymous said...

My son is 5.5 and scripts a LOT !! to the point it drives us all nuts! we do the same "disappearing " tactic and try to discourage him from seeing videos which cause him to script..but now a days he just scripts all day and about anything...recently its advertisements.He is not able to understand social stories.I am exhausted..someone please tell me what does the future hold for us...will this stop/ worsen/stabilize or will he able to teach himself to control his impulse to script?

LAA and Family said...

I wish I had a simple answer for you, but I don't. Five years after posting this, we still have this challenge. I have come to see scripting as a coping mechanism for my son ( this view of it is held by others too.) Our tactic for right now is to let him script at home, but with the understanding that there are times he needs to have a "quiet mouth". I am not sure how this is being handled at school. I will find some things I have come across online and post them here soon.

Be hopeful for the future ! Our kids can be taught socially acceptable behavior, it just takes perseverance and patience!

Phaedra said...

Have you read Ron Suskind's book, "Life, Animated"? They used scripting as a means to engage and interact with their son.