Saturday, January 9, 2016

Scripting: The Good, the Bad, and the Smelly

     "I mean it!  Bath time is over!  It's time to get out of the tub!"  I was getting annoyed.  He could tell, and he was delighted.  He wriggled his bare butt on the bottom of the now-empty tub, and shouted, his voice echoing against the tiles.
     "If you make one more move, Mister!  If you put one fin on that boat...Nemo!"

And then it was my turn to be delighted.  Yes, he was scripting, but it was quasi-appropriate.  He was telling me that I was being a nag, that I sounded like Nemo's scolding dad, Marlin.  He was communicating and joking with me.  Teasing me, if you will.  I loved it.

Yesterday was a different story.  When I picked him up from aftercare, the director pulled me aside.

     "There was an issue on the bus," she whispered.  "He was being fresh."
     "Oh, no.  What did he do?"
     She lowered her voice even more.  "He said shut up.  It's not a phrase we use here."
     "Nor do we," I assured her, stifling a laugh.  We say just about everything else, but we don't say "shut up."  He was probably scripting off a YouTube video, but it could have been so much worse.
     "I had him apologize to the bus driver," she told me.
     "OK," I said.  "But that will probably just make him do it more.  It's best to just ignore the unwanted behavior."
     "I understand.  It's just that the bus driver was upset."

If the bus driver was upset by "shut up", it's a good thing she wasn't in my car that time the Boy finished his ice cream and asked for more.

    "No more ice cream," I told him.  "You've had enough."
     "Fuuuckin' SHIT!" he shouted in a pitch-perfect imitation of my husband, and spiked his empty ice cream cup on the floor of the car.
     "Don't react.  Don't laugh.  Don't say a word," I muttered through clenched jaw as Big Bro quivered with silent laughter and real tears ran down his face.  I don't know what was funnier--hearing my autistic son curse like a pro or watching my 13 year-old struggle not to laugh.  I'll admit, it was entertaining as hell, but you know what?  We didn't react, and that particular expletive wasn't repeated.

The bus driver probably wouldn't like to hear my son script entire conversations in all of our voices, especially those of a personal nature:

     "Oh my gawd!  What is that smell?"
      "I'm sorry!  I couldn't help it!"
     "What did you eat?"
     "Dad, you FARTED!"

Yep, she probably wouldn't approve.  That script keeps happening because we're awful people and we laugh at it.  Can't help it.  The kid does great impersonations!

But the key is to ignore the unwanted behavior.  If you tell my kid not to do something, he will do it just to mess with you.  It's just his way.

So I wasn't at all surprised to hear that he was yelling "shut up" on the bus again today.  Duh.  Since I don't see the driver, I contacted his case worker and asked her to give the driver some strategies for dealing with this.  I'm glad I've got a go-between to deal with these complaints, because if this keeps on, I may have to give her a number of informative pamphlets on autism.

Or maybe I'll just tell her to shut up.  ;)

(I won't do that, of course.  She's lovely and I'm too polite.)


  1. Love this!!!, My son is 14 and randomly scripts inappropriate words in public, "shut the F### up" or even better yet, "HOLY S***" he got this from a video off of youtube, and yes probably me too,,,lol! it's the way he says that makes it so, so, so hard not to pay attention or laugh after he says it. One day at the grocery store, we were in the check out lane and all of a sudden he drops the shut the,f***,, up script, without even looking up or paying any attention to the script that my son just said, I burted out, I'm sorry, your probably going to hear some swear words for a minute and the more we react the more you'll hear.. As I looked up to see the cashier's reaction, she smiled and said, Oh it's fine, he's just fine. I love people like that, even if they talk crap about me after leaving the store at least she didn't make me feel bad at that moment!! I really don't care anyway what people say or think but in those moment's as a mother a friendly smile goes a long way! Like you said, he does great impression's, lol! My son does as well, it's hard not to laugh. It's so true,, they are communicating through scripting weather it being obscenities or not. :) I love there honesty!!! :)

    1. Not laughing is almost impossible sometimes!!!

  2. I really needed this! My 14 year old is developing quite the colorful vocabulary. I'm afraid my reaction (after ignoring didn't seem to do anything-probably because the family wasn't consistent in the ignoring) has made it worse. I thought I could tell him that we don't use those "bad" words because they are rude and make some people upset. His reply? "But I like bad words!" Now what?

    1. Tell him I like bad words, too! ;)

  3. I have so many feels from your blog! Today I stopped by because I needed to see your picture of normal family...normal for you...because I'm struggling with my normal for us...which involves a big pile of poop on the side of the tub after a long bath. I just needed to hang with my tribe for a sec. Okay. Now I'm going to go finish cleaning up. Thanks for sharing the ugly truth!

  4. Both my sons script but sometimes, it's not a bad thing. Like yours, mine can repeat what someone else has said down to the tone. Very helpful when one day, he kept standing up on the couch and I said "(....), sit down!" to which he replied in an almost screechy voice "(......!!!!!) SIT DOWN NOW!!!!" it wasn't a very nice tone but I knew right away who it was - the bus escort. So I asked her the very next day "does (...) stand up on the bus?" and she said "how did you know?" to which I replied "he scripts" - she blinked - "yes, if he hears something, he'll repeat it word for word" pause, innocently, "right down to the tone". Pause.

    Yep, I know exactly how you're talking to my kid.

    She wrote him up eventually, only to have the office staff be completely and utterly not believe her. No, not him! No, there must be a mistake. Apparently, he's an angel in school but I have no doubt he was doing what the escort said he was doing but whatevs. Nobody liked her anyway. :-)

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  8. I died laughing reading this to my daughter. The ice cream part nearly made me pee my pants. Love it