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Scripting (SC)

Scripting (SC) involves creating a verbal and/or written description about a specific skill or situation that serves as a model for the learner. Scripts are usually practiced repeatedly before the skill is used in the actual situation.

Description

Scripting (SC) involves presenting learners with a verbal and/or written description about a specific skill or situation that serves as a model for the learner. SC is intended to help learners anticipate what may occur during a given activity and improve their ability to appropriately participate in the activity. The scripts are practiced repeatedly before the skill is used in the actual situation. When learners are able to use the scripts successfully in actual situations, the script should be systematically faded. SC is often used in conjunction with modeling, prompting, and reinforcement.

Social scripts include written sentences or paragraphs that students with ASD can use in across settings and situations. Research has demonstrated that social scripts and enhance the social interactions, communication, and various other behaviors of those with ASD, especially when they have limited expressive language. Learners who have difficulties in initiating communication or generating language under stress can also benefit from social scripts. In such cases, the learner memorizes the social script and learns when and how to use it appropriately. Social scripts can be taught through modeling, prompting, and reinforcement.

According to the evidence-based studies, this intervention has been effective for preschoolers (3–5 years) to high school-age learners (15–18 years) with ASD. SC can be used effectively to address social, communication, joint attention, play, cognitive, school-readiness, and vocational skills (Cox, 2013).

Brief adapted from

Fleury,V. P. (2013). Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Research Summary

Ages (yrs) Skills Settings Outcome
3–18 years Social, communication, joint attention, play, cognitive, school readiness, vocational Home, school, community
*The information found in the Research Summary table is updated yearly following a literature review of new research and this age range reflects information from this review.

Outcomes:     Evidence-based     Emerging     No evidence     Comprehensive

Steps for Implementation

  1. Outline what steps are needed to model the skill or situation you will be targeting. (Make sure the level and length of steps are appropriate for the child you are working with.)
  2. Practice these steps with the child repeatedly before the skill is used in the actual situation.
  3. Systematically fade the script as the skills generalize successfully in the actual situation.

Fleury 2013

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