By Clara H
People watching is something I am constantly doing without even realizing it. In the school cafeteria I enjoy sitting alone so I can look at people. When I watch movies and TV shows I tend to look at the extras in the background. I do this because I live life off of mimicking behaviors so I can blend in.
This is what many people with autism who may refer to their condition as Aspergers do. It’s why they come across as high functioning. A lot of us do not get diagnosed on the autism spectrum until later in life because we become professionals at coping behaviors. Some of us don’t even know our true selves sense we’ve done it for our whole lives. The name for this behavior is called, masking, meaning to hide your symptoms.
Before I was diagnosed, I thought everyone used masking. I don’t understand how things can just come naturally to people. It made me question all of reality. What else do people on the spectrum do that NTs don’t?
Scripting is another one. It is very similar to masking, but it is with verbal communication skills. It’s when we use lines from TV, movies, and songs to have conversations. Some things are obvious we got them from somewhere. If I say “to infinity and beyond” most people will immediately know that’s from Toy Story. Others are not so recognizable, like when I say, “please let me in”. No one has ever assumed that I got that from Pixar’s Up when they hear me say it.
Why do we script? We need stories that we enjoy and have visuals. Having a day to day conversation can be confusing. We may not be able to understand what the conversation is about. Movies and TV shows and help us keep it going with out getting frustrated. For example: if someone says to me, “please let me in” I will mentally watch that part of the Pixar movie Up. I then place myself in that same situation as in the film. In the movie Russel is outside on Carl’s doorstep. I know from the story that he wants to be let in. I then go back to reality and know what is going on because I got the visual I needed.
Sometimes a scene does not come to mind right away. That’s the reason we can take a while to respond. When we can’t think of a story we may ask you to rephrase your words so we can possibly find one quicker and avoid getting upset.
You can also state yourself using your own visual. You could remind us of a movie where there is a similar situation or you could even draw it out for us.
Yes, not everything we script is from TV. Some things are from our own experiences. As long as the experience has visuals and a story we find interesting. We love it when you create new scripts for us!
But remember, It’s very important to only rephrase when we ask you to. You could be interrupting the clip in our head.
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