What is scripting?
Scripting is a form of social camouflage.
It’s something that some autistic people engage in to support themselves with social situations.
Scripting is something that is done when we aren’t socialising to prepare us for social situations. It helps us to know what we should say in response to another, or what to say next to keep a conversation flowing.
Scripting happens in loads of different ways!
For example, if you’re going to a job interview, and you practice introducing yourself in the mirror – that’s scripting! Not all scripting happens quite like this, though.
Some scripting happens just in your head. Perhaps when you’re sat alone or lying in bed, you might imagine different conversations with different people and how they might go, and what you might say and how they might respond. That’s scripting too.
A good example is when you were in school and the teacher was calling the register, practicing saying “here miss” in your head is an example of scripting!
“I usually also think up stories and how whole conversations might go before I have them so I have responses practiced as well as potential things to say if the conversation ‘dries up’.” (Female, 20) Hull et al, 2017
You might have developed some scripts through actively using them!
For example, you might feel more comfortable with talking to strangers who approach you while walking the dog, because you know how that conversation will go. You’ll tell them the dogs name and age, they’ll say the dog is beautiful and probably pet them a little. And then the conversation will be over!
And that’s scripting!