Verbal Scripting

Does your child repeat phrases or even whole movies, commercials or books?

Verbal scripting can be defined as repeating a word or phrase multiple times. Verbal scripting goes hand in hand with echolalia. Some children repeat TV shows, commercials, movies, books, sounds, or phrases they have heard someone else say.

Some children interact with other people using “scripts” appropriately while other children have no interaction while scripting.

Does your child spend 50% or even 80% of their day scripting?

Verbal scripting is a barrier for children. Verbal scripting interferes with learning as well as social interaction.

Verbal scripting is generally socially unacceptable.

I have had countless parent and teacher interviews where verbal scripting is never mentioned. When I mention that their child/student is engaging in verbal scripting 75% of their day, the response I get is this, “Oh, they have always done that.” Verbal scripting may not seem like a problem in the home or in a self-contained classroom however it is a problem at the playground, in church, at the store, or in a general education classroom.

Children can learn not to engage in verbal scripting.

The first step is to figure out if the child knows when he/she is engaging in verbal scripting. Children must become aware of their own behavior.

Once children know when they are engaging in verbal scripting, they should be taught that it is not appropriate.

Words are used for communication. Words have meaning.

Children should be taught that words have meaning. A replacement behavior should then be taught, conversation. Children should learn that when they want to talk, they should talk to another person.

Positive reinforcement should be given in the absence of the inappropriate behavior.