My son wants to script conversations

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seekingtruth
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22 Dec 2011, 12:18 pm

anyone else have this problem?

My 6 year old seems to have the conversation already played out in his head before he engages with us. He know's what he want's us to say and when we don't say what was in his head he freaks out on us.

Then I get him to calm down, take a deep breath and tell me what he thought I should say. He tells me and then says I have to say it.

Sometimes I say it and he's fine and moves on. But sometimes I tell him something along the lines of "Well, you asked ME the question and that may be your answer but it's not what's in my mind as the answer." He doesn't care, it wasn't the right answer and that's all he focuses on.

So how far do I push this? The rest of the world isn't going to let him script their conversations so I feel the need to help him out of this pattern. But I worry about how far is too far to push for his age, and keeping in mind how teachable they are younger before patterns get set too firmly.

On the bright side, he's got an amazing talent for remembering lines of a script and could have an acting career possibly. He was in a play when he was 4, the other kids were all older and they were all amazed at how fast he had his lines down, how much body acting he put into it as well and how he'd memorized the lines of everyone in the play. Although if a director said "we're going to change that line up" he'd freak, lol.


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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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22 Dec 2011, 12:42 pm

Please note: I AM NOT A PARENT. I do live the life of a person on the spectrum :D and try and be a pretty good guy.

What if he scripted the beginning of conversations, such as 'Have you seen this book? or 'Have you played this game?'

And what if you're able to sell him on the idea that the rest of the conversation is improv?

And the art is, I make the overture in straightforward fashion, and the person might respond positively, or he or she may not, and either way is perfectly okay. I have done my part. The second art is to reciprocate if someone makes a positive overture to me. And your son has plenty of time to learn all this.

====

PS I also have an ability to remember movie plots and lines of dialogue. If it's a movie I like and take "ownership" of, I really only need to see it one time. And I can discuss the movie with someone who saw it this week and I saw it five years ago. And I don't always get the lines of dialogue exactly right, which I actually like. It means I'm remembering the thread of the plot and not just the specifics.



seekingtruth
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22 Dec 2011, 1:02 pm

that's what's so hard for him, improv. He's very rigid and actually gets frightened when things are different then he planned them to be.

He is always comforting himself by acting out movies and/or being a character instead of himself. It's like he's more comfortable being so controlled and he's trying to keep his anxiety down by knowing ahead of time what will be said and done. So for him to stay in fantasy land of a movie he's seen is comfortable for him because he know's what will happen next.

So it seems to go beyond the talent of a great memory, he's using it to hide from reality.

I guess this is the blend of Asperger's and anxiety disorder. the getting stuck and needing the pattern to replay until it's just right is another way this comes out.

Then there are times when he can breathe through it and realize his 'tricky thoughts' are keeping him stuck after patience and verbal cues from me that we've worked with.


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SylviaLynn
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22 Dec 2011, 1:05 pm

I think you're on the right track. I script conversations in my head, but I don't remember ever insisting that other people follow it word for word.

My daughter used to do something similar, but different. One time she got very mad at me because I wouldn't take her to a race her big friends invited her to. What big friends? What race? Huh? She was about your son's age at the time.

Her theory of mind has gotten better over time, thankfully. She still doesn't always realize that I am not thinking the same thing she's thinking, but it's better.


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seekingtruth
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22 Dec 2011, 1:18 pm

That's it too, he doesn't understand that we don't know what's in his head and gets so mad when we 'mess it up'.

Like he's got his world and he want's us to be in it, but on his terms only.

and then he comes back into our world and it's so nice to have those moments.

When stress is high it's much worse, school season things are pretty difficult, school stresses him out so much.


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Looks like I'm most likely and Aspie myself, must be why I can understand my beautiful Aspie son so well.
Your Aspie score: 168 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 39 of 200
You are very likely an Aspie


AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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22 Dec 2011, 1:23 pm

One thing that has helped me is to make a conscious decision to turn my internal censor down. (We probably all have this, both those of us on the spectrum and those in the broad 'neurotypical' range)

So, a conscious decision to turn down my internal censor so that the default setting is that it's probably okay to go ahead and say it. (unless it really jumps out at me as being clearly inappropriate)

This along with studying a little zen in my own casual way and accepting that 'imperfections' add to the texture of life.

======

These are probably adult level skills and I don't know how to translate them for children.



SylviaLynn
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22 Dec 2011, 1:23 pm

School is incredibly stressful. I had to pull my kid out a couple of times because it was so stressful she couldn't deal, they weren't willing to take the steps to make it less stressful, and she wasn't learning anything anyway. It doesn't help that she likely has dyslexia on top of the ASD. All of this is still in process of being diagnosed finally. She's in an ED class which isn't ideal but 10 kids are better than 20+.


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seekingtruth
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22 Dec 2011, 1:34 pm

He's finally getting a second eval for an IEP and EBD classes/help.

Advarkgoodswimmer brought up zen and it being helpful. Yay! Excactly! I was told when my son was 3 that he needed to be medicated and wouldn't make it in main steam school. That's when I started teaching him yoga and meditation and he took to it like a fish to water. :D

I'm actually a Buddhist and practice mindful meditation daily myself, so I've been working with him on how to watch his thoughts come and go and it's been so helpful for him. he actually brought his neurologist to tears at the changes in him, she couldn't believe it.

But when it came to the school, he looked so good and 'normal' last year because of his meditation calm attitude that they said he didn't need extra help last year during his first eval.

But now things are getting tougher for him, he's noticed he's different then the other kids and his self esteem has plumeted as did his ability to keep up academically so they are finally doing another eval.

Like someone said in another thread, in school they white knuckle it, then they get home and relax and that's when things get difficult and that's where my son goes into the scripting of our conversations and needing everything to be completely structured as there are so many 'unknowns' that happen in school. It's just too much for him.


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Looks like I'm most likely and Aspie myself, must be why I can understand my beautiful Aspie son so well.
Your Aspie score: 168 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 39 of 200
You are very likely an Aspie


AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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22 Dec 2011, 2:28 pm

seekingtruth wrote:
. . . Advarkgoodswimmer brought up zen and it being helpful. Yay! Excactly! I was told when my son was 3 that he needed to be medicated and wouldn't make it in main steam school. That's when I started teaching him yoga and meditation and he took to it like a fish to water. :D

I'm actually a Buddhist and practice mindful meditation daily myself, so I've been working with him on how to watch his thoughts come and go and it's been so helpful for him. he actually brought his neurologist to tears at the changes in him, she couldn't believe it.

But when it came to the school, he looked so good and 'normal' last year because of his meditation calm attitude that they said he didn't need extra help last year during his first eval. . .

That is really cool with the yoga and the meditation and the mindfulness and good for you! :D

With school, I don't understand why teachers and other officials have such a hard time understanding, good in some areas, need some help in others.



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22 Dec 2011, 10:58 pm

Have you tried the superflex program with him? It is all about being flexible...it is fun and kids seem to like it. I think the more you play into it, the less opportunity he has to learn to be less rigid. Create opportunity for flexibility, and catch him when he is flexible!



seekingtruth
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22 Dec 2011, 11:29 pm

No, haven't heard of it, where do I find it? I'm very interested!


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Looks like I'm most likely and Aspie myself, must be why I can understand my beautiful Aspie son so well.
Your Aspie score: 168 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 39 of 200
You are very likely an Aspie


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22 Dec 2011, 11:39 pm

seekingtruth wrote:
No, haven't heard of it, where do I find it? I'm very interested!


Here ya go :)

http://www.socialthinking.com/books-pro ... gory_id=37



ASDMommyASDKid
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23 Dec 2011, 6:30 am

My son is 6, also, and he has started to be more flexible, pretty recently. I think after me explaining it a bunch of times, that he understands that I can't read his mind. I think it is hard for him to really understand that I have different things in my head than he does.

Sometimes he lets me improv, but even when he doesn't, he is more patient with me and will say something like, "No, Mommy, say, ...." or "Don't do that mommy, do/ask me/say this..." I think he thinks I am stupid for not knowing, but at least he does not get aangry because he knows it is unintentional.

I don't use any program or anything, I just try to interject a little managed chaos into his scripts occasionally, to see how he reacts, and run with it when he reacts favorably. I will have to check out superfex thing and see what it entails.



seekingtruth
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23 Dec 2011, 9:07 am

Thanks for the superflex link, going to check it out after answering this.

ADSmommyADSkid - yep, sounds just like what I've been doing but my son still gets angry/frustrated he says "Your not listening" or "no one understands" or "your being bossy". The last one cracks us up as he's the one that's being so bossy trying to make everyone answer as what's in his head.

I'm very patient with him and soothing as I tell him, "Sweetie, my head has a different idea for an answer, that's all. It's okay to have different answers." Then I get into explaining how different is good using analogies such as how great it is that there are so many different animals around and not just the same one to look at over and over.

He can calm down after a bit, but sometimes it takes so long and the same thing over and over.

But I have to say sometimes he really surprises me and there have been moments where we're at the beginning of a 'stuck' and he'll suddenly stop and say "But it's alright, we can just wait and see what happens." then I'll smile and be so happy and then he'll say "right?" and if I don't say "yes" if I dare nod or say "uh-huh" he goes into a panic, with his face right in mine repeating "yes?!" over and over until I say "yes".


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Looks like I'm most likely and Aspie myself, must be why I can understand my beautiful Aspie son so well.
Your Aspie score: 168 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 39 of 200
You are very likely an Aspie


KakashiYay
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23 Dec 2011, 12:54 pm

seekingtruth wrote:
But I have to say sometimes he really surprises me and there have been moments where we're at the beginning of a 'stuck' and he'll suddenly stop and say "But it's alright, we can just wait and see what happens." then I'll smile and be so happy and then he'll say "right?" and if I don't say "yes" if I dare nod or say "uh-huh" he goes into a panic, with his face right in mine repeating "yes?!" over and over until I say "yes".


My 24-month-old does this- you *must* say the word she's saying, lest she scream it at you for, I kid you not, the rest of the whole damn day and sometimes the next. She has a speech delay which makes it even more fun, as I often have no idea what she's saying.

There's such a big issue with needing to feel understood and know that you're understanding others, I think, as an aspie. We get really used to having people not understand us that we absolutely get stuck. It's very stressful to feel misunderstood most of the time, and the younger a kiddo is, the harder it is, as they simply lack the emotional maturity to know what's going on in their own heads.


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