Many people speak about autistic people and their use of scripted langauge. I know I've read a lot of content in the past. Yesterday I tried to find a blog that wrote about such an instance, but couldn't find it. My next step is to go through the archives of two of my favorite autism bloggers: Bloggg and Autismland. I'll be looking for their perspective on this issue and will get back to you.
In the meantime, let me tell you why I am curious about the subject. I wrote previously about how two of the boys hid in the minivan to avoid the consequences of the dreaded washing dishes chore! After discussing their consequences and the severity of what they did, The Little One came over to them. In each of his little hands, he held a hand of his older brothers.
He looked at them and said:
No TV. No Phone and NOOooo friends. Now go to your room!
Then pointed upstairs!
Now, we were all shocked that he understood what was going on and what he said was even more surprising. That is...until we mentioned it to The Diva. She told us that it was the script on one of That's So Raven episodes. Three days later, I watched the episode with him. He got up and acted the part, just like the father did on TV. He recited all the right words with the right gestures. I know that he memorizes a lot of content. He announces the next shows on The Disney Channel before the announcer does! He's pretty funny because he tries to deepen his voice!
Not too long ago, I had a conversation with another special needs mom. She told me she doesn't let her son watch TV because he memorizes everything and repeats it over and over ...with no reason. He will have outbursts of scripted language and for that reason he doesn't even watch movies. I don't have that problem, he memorizes scenes from movies and uses them in appropriate scenarios. I feel that he learns a lot from interaction with his siblings, his classmates, educational videos, movies, TV, radio and even computer games. Since he is like a sponge, we try to feed him as much knowledge as possible. Ok, I confess. I even take the chance every now and then, to teach him the periodic table. Hey, he loves Jimmy Neutron! Anyway, I understand why she does what she does. Although they are both on the spectrum, The Little One is diagnosed with PDD and her son is diagnosed with Asperger's. Her son speaks fluently and mine has a hard time with his speech. There are times he doesn't experience dificulty (like when he sings that the words just flow. Other times, he loses consonants.
In the end, every autisitic child is different. I will continue to allow my child to surprise me with all the knowledge he has stored in his mind.
Last night, he colored a Crayola wonder markers poster his father bought him. The poster was hung up in the hallway, after he went to bed. This morning he was surprised to see it hung on the wall. He stopped, pointed and exclaimed:"Oh! It's so BEAUTIFUL!" and he beamed with pride wearing a smile from ear to ear. Those are the moments that make parenting a special needs child "special"....