Off late Ramam has began saying many a things that happened in the recent past, or something he has done in his school. Sometimes he talks about something a week old, and starts talking about it out of the blue. And since his articulation is not clear , we have a difficult time getting to understand. Yesterday he was all excited about the Christmas tree he had decorated in his school. It is in his recent memory, but I am not too sure if the event happened on the day he related it to me.
He spoke of the decorations , he wanted to build a house with blocks and put a roof top .[This was the first time he build a house and wanting to put a door , windows and particularly a roof for the house]. Despite this positive trend , many a times he gets stuck with some words and phrases and repeats them over and over again. His favorites are colors and shapes. Pink triangle, blue circle. Again we have devised strategies (as always) to deal with this, we ignore what he is saying if he repeats himself over and over again or say something like talking about shapes over. I just happened to chance upon this post on Emma’s hope book Scripts – A communication bridge. And then I felt it might just be his need to communicate or his need to say something and not coming out in the intended way.
“In the past I would have gotten all tangled up in the specifics of what she was saying. I would have sought to reassure her about whatever it was. But now, I understand that these scripts can serve as so much more. They can serve another purpose. They are less about the words spoken and more about the emotions that are attached to them. So when Em is happy she will often speak of some of her favorite people. She might reference something that happened more than eight years ago, but that made her feel safe, or a specific time when she was really happy. I’ve always thought these memories were nothing more than that.”
One blog led to the other and soon I was reading “Echolalia and scripting : straddling the border of functional language”- Musings of an aspie. Functional language that we speak refers to the social function of language or pragmatics. She speaks of an incident when she had gone to a restaurant,
Me: I’d like an iced tea, please.
Waitress: Would you like sugar?
Me: No, I’d like it . . .
Me: [can taste what I mean but the word is nowhere to be found]
Me: [wow, cannot even produce a word that is close or any word at all]
Waitress: . . .
Me: [clearly, this flaily hand gesture is not conveying what I mean, is my mouth stuck in this open position now? will this silence go on forever?]
Scripting can grease the social wheels and I think those of us who have trained ourselves to pass will often unconsciously default to scripting or echolalia simply to conceal the fact that we can’t find the right word or we’ve lost the thread of a conversation. After all, there’s often subtle, unspoken social pressure to keep a conversation moving along.
Scripting becomes nonfunctional when an incorrect or inappropriate script is offered up automatically by a brain pressured to respond.
It is a must read post as she brings forth the difficulty they experience in producing the right words to say in social situations. Most of the time you ask Ramam , the usual social questions, how are you, how is the food, how are you feeling, how is the program , his answer is always the same ,GOOD. As I now understand that is the default script, his brain has settled on.