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Today I want to blog about scripting, however from watching Ask An Autistic-What is scripting , I have learnt that people refer to scripting to mean two different types. Today I want to write about social scripting.
I have a bank of replies to certain questions, I also have a bank of things to say in certain situations which I know will happen.
Every week I have to go to the GP surgery and pick up my prescription, every time I will say “I am here to pick up my prescription please” some of the reception staff know me and don’t need to ask my name of date of birth and will get my prescription, I will then respond with “thank you” and leave. If a receptionist asks for my name or DOB I know how to answer. Each time is the same in terms of voluntary speech (obviously my tics are different each time and interrupt)
Having this script in my head reduces my anxiety a little, I know I have the words I need to get what I need.
It doesn’t matter to me that I say the same thing every single time, as it gets the job done and I feel a little less anxious.
Obviously this is one situation out of many.
The above situation is obviously a long term situation which happens every week and doesn’t alter much, however often I can be told I need to talk to someone suddenly and I have no idea what to say. So I may need to take several minutes to make a script in my mind, to plan what I first need to say.
I am well aware that obviously others are unaware of my scripts and that often the responses I imagine they will say are not what they do say. This is when I panic the most, when I stutter and take longest to reply.
Often I am accused of responding too quickly or taking too long to reply. However if someone asks something that I have a scripted response for then I will answer straight away and maybe with a bit more confidence, which I think people have told me or have taken to be abrupt and that therefore I am lying. If however someone asks me something that I do not have a scripted response to then yes it will take me a long time to reply.
I have to process what you have said, understand it and make sense of it, put together an answer from all my various scripts and then get that answer which I am extremely anxious about to come out of my mouth as words.
So yes often many parts of my life are scripted and maybe to you they sound robotic, but to me they are a way to get through this strange world that makes no sense, they are a way to communicate, a way to reduce anxiety and a way I can have a voice.