November first is Autistic Speaking Day.
I’ve participated a few times before
Writing the brochure I want to read in the world (https://nightengalesknd.livejournal.
Autistic ear, autistic voice
Speaking from the shadows
Autistic speaking day, 2012
And here goes
I speak. I speak a lot. Frankly, I’ve described myself as aggressively verbal, and I’m not paying myself a complement when I say it. I don’t always know when to stop speaking. I don’t always hear the pauses in conversation. As a child, other children told me I sound like I swallowed the dictionary. I always found that ridiculous because I’d never read the dictionary. I did read the encyclopedia, although after the age that insult mostly wore off. I love words and looking for the right word and making up a new word if there isn’t one.
Most autistic people speak. I’ve seen an estimate that 20% of autistic people don’t speak verbal words, but I haven’t found the study(ies) to substantiate this. I did a chart audit a few years ago of 96 consecutive autistic patients age 3 or older and found about 80% used some verbal language and 65% used verbal sentences. Obviously, verbal people are more likely to be diagnosed at a later age, if at all.
Autistic people who speak often speak differently from neurotypical people in ways that get noticed.
Today I’m going to talk about scripting.
Lots of autistic people use scripts, at least some of the time.
Script (noun): the written text of a play, movie, or broadcast. (google)
Script (verb): to use memorized phrases or larger strings of language for a variety of communication and self-regulation purposes in a way that is not typically used or expected by neurotypical people (Nightengale)
Repeating lines from a TV commercial would be scripting. Coming home from school and repeating sentences spoken by the teacher would be scripting. So would learning to say “I’m OK, I’m OK” as a strategy to calm anxiety.
So would writing out a plan ahead of time before calling a store or doctor’s office to ask questions
So would be coming up with the language from scratch to answer a question or tell a story, and then using that same language many more times whenever the question is asked or the story is relevant.
I don’t use a lot of scripting that is generally flagged as a script. At least, I don’t think I do. But I’m realizing more and more just how many scripts I use.
Context is everything
“Speak the speech, I pray you, trippingly on the tongue”
What does it mean? How will someone respond?
Well, if I’m onstage playing Hamlet, this is expected language. But assume I’m not.
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