Life On The B Side

Taking all that life throws at us one moment at a time

Speaking Script September 30, 2015

I’ve had this draft in my head for a long time.  I have found that 1 of the hardest things for me to write about is scripting.  I want to be able to accurately express how it works – in my home.  I want to do it justice.  The actual words are one thing; but then there’s the tone and the accent and the inflection that accompanies the words.  It’s all important.  It’s all a part of the script.  I suppose I just need to spit it out.

Scripting is confusing for the uninitiated to understand.  But it’s so clever and valuable.  It’s like it’s own language really.  And each person who relies on it to communicate has their own style and hopefully the people with whom they interact on a regular basis make the effort to learn their language.

Let’s see ……..

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One day over the summer, I started to get frustrated because Jay and I were talking but we were going around in circles.  Kind of like … I’m sad.  Why are you sad?  I’m sad because I’m not happy.  But what is making you unhappy?  Because I’m sad. 

Ace jumped in and said “It’s ok Mom, I got this.”  Then he explained things to Jay in a way he understood.  Using scripts he’s familiar with.  I think it was from the show ‘We Bare Bears’.  It’s not a show that I’ve spent any time watching with them.  It was utterly amazing.  Following Ace’s lines, Jay said “Ohhh, NOW I get it.”  Then we were able to get to the bottom of our issue.  The bump in the road was easily gotten over with the use of a script.

I do know a lot of Jay’s scripts and I usually know my parts when he asks me to join him in acting them out but Ace is the real pro.  He’s fluent in Jay’s language.  He frequently comes to my rescue and I find myself wishing he could follow Jay around at school and everywhere else to help him out.  How much frustration would be avoided if we all spoke Jay-ese.

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Another day over the summer I had an emotional break down in the car.  Driving down a busy street in New York City, I  burst into tears.  It was so bad that I had to pull over.  The reason isn’t important but I’ll just say my cup was full and the tension needed to get released.

Jay said “What’s wrong Mom?”  It will all be ok.  You’ll see.”

It was very clearly a script.  I’m not sure where from.  But that doesn’t matter.  He plucked the perfect line from his library of things he’s heard elsewhere.  He felt concern for me and communicated it.

Ace, who doesn’t need to speak in script, picked up where Jay left off and said “Don’t cry Mom.  We’re here for you all the way.”

I assume that was from the same scene that Jay got his line but again it didn’t matter to me.

What mattered was that my boys saw me needing comfort and support and they gave it.

They unbuckled themselves, climbed between the front seats and came to hug me.  It was awesome!!!

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There are a lot of people who find scripting unfavourable.  They think it’s something to break kids out of.  Don’t get me wrong, I can see why it’s important to encourage kids to speak in a way that everyone can understand.  Scripting is not always effective.  Such as when Jay is hungry, but instead of saying he’s hungry he says “I think I might die soon.”

I’ve had my moments when the scripting seems to take over and have an extra tight hold on us and I need to escape from it.  But overall, I am very grateful for them.  They have enabled Jay to share with us and engage with us in a way that’s comfortable for him.  It’s opened up doors to a world that I didn’t even know existed.  It’s given him the confidence and elbow room to take his scripts and add his twist and sprinkle his magic dust on them and make them his own and then expand on them so that now he speaks in a combination of scripts and novel language.

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The benefits of his scripting have far outweighed any drawbacks.

Even when he gets angry and says “That’s it, you’re going cold turkey” which really means “I’m mad at you right now, so I’m taking a break and going somewhere else so I don’t have to see you and where I can gather myself.”

Because later he will come and hug me or hold my hand and I will most likely get an apology which would sound to the untrained ear like “You were mad at Jay” but I will know that what he’s actually saying is “I don’t like when you are mad at me and I’m sorry that I wasn’t being my best self.”  Then I will tell him that I appreciate the apology and that I love him and then we might go over what is expected next time and what would be a better way for him to express his anger and we will both know that we are each doing the best we can and we will go to bed happy and at peace.

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One Response to “Speaking Script”

  1. Deb Says:

    I share your perspectives on scripting, exactly! I think it’s a healthy approach to take…and it’s so awesome that our kids have a way to creatively express themselves, as unconventional as it may be. I always think it’s funny when they use a script and only we know it’s a script, because it sounds like it could be right. My son just did that the other night, quoting something from a book he had read at school, but I didn’t catch it until he pointed it out to me. People who want those on the spectrum to completely eliminating scripting are taking away a very important communications vehicle for them.


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