Aspie Expectations: when social scripts need revising
Aspie Social Script: Adults will honor their commitments
If you’ve seen our post Autistic Savant, you’ll know that Abby is an aspie musical savant, who has been singing since before she could actually speak in sentences. On the encouragement of many, we recently decided to have her record her very first vocal single! She waited in anticipation of her recording date, only to be delayed by the company – but then her day finally came! She enjoyed every bit of the hours that she spent recording – pure bliss. Then the waiting began…and lasted…and lasted. Finally our fears were realized when we our production company admitted it wasn’t going to have a produced recording to provide us. Only they know the reason.
That square peg does NOT fit in that round hole!
ANYBODY would have trouble with this! For an aspie, it’s unbelievably difficult. As concrete, literal thinkers, aspies are very “black and white: We went to record a song in a studio, so the sound producer will provide us with a recorded song. Period. Abby has the ability to understand that there is room for variation in the quality of that production, but there is no gray area for the possibility that someone will completely drop the ball and quite simply not DO the job – particularly, if no substantial reason can be provided. She can certainly understand that people have emergencies and other situations that interfere, at times, but when the reason is not provided, it’s hard for any of us to understand – it’s intellectually painful for an aspie. A square peg to be put in a round hole. It isn’t logical and it doesn’t make sense.
Aspie Social Script – revised: Some adults do not share our value of honoring commitments
Part of raising an aspie involves a lot of social stories where various social situations and scenarios are scripted out and rehearsed. Carol Gray created the concept of “Social Stories,” and has written an excellent book about it.
So, over the years we have scripted with Abby everything from exact phrases to use in certain situations to the expectations to have going in to a scenario. This more recent experience with the sound producer has provided us with a new opportunity to do some important social rehearsing. Unfortunately, life is full of disappointments and disappointing people. It’s important for all of us, and especially aspies, to understand that people will not always do what we expect them to do – and not what they commit to doing. The reason? Their own expectations are different from ours. Those who don’t follow through with commitments don’t value keeping their word. They don’t value their relationships with whom they break their commitments – whether personal or professional.
It’s a hard lesson to learn, and revising this particular script won’t prevent Abby from disappointments, but it can hopefully help her remember that commitments don’t mean the same thing to everyone. Now to teach her how to figure out how to spot people who are more likely to disappointment! She’s already gotten better at this amongst her peers, but adults are another realm….sounds like a blog for another day!