Understanding Dr. Sheldon Cooper: Episode 4

Sheldon loses his job in episode 4 of the first season. The university highers a new department head, with whom Sheldon does not make a good first impression. After a rude remark, Sheldon is fired by the department head. Later in the episode, Sheldon’s mother visits to help him make amends and get his job back. Sheldon’s mother comments “it’s fine to be smarter than the other kids, but you can’t go around pointing it out.” “Why not?!” Sheldon replies. “Because people don’t like it!” is his mother’s retort.

Many people find with autism find it difficult to navigate social communication and interaction. They have difficulty reading body language, figurative speech, and knowing what information is appropriate and inappropriate for the different types of social gatherings. Individuals will often tell you exactly what is on their mind, with little to no forethought as to whether or not their comments are polite or appropriate. Social skills training and scripting can help teach individuals with autism how to interact with others in social situations.

Scripting can help individuals with autism learn how to socially interact with others in certain settings and environments. The idea is that after practicing the script enough times in both clinical and real-world settings the individual will be able to independently recognize when and how to use the skills taught in the script. Scripting can be incorporated in social skills training and need not be an exclusive practice. Social skills training refers to a broad intervention practice that incorporates other practices such as scripting, modeling (i.e. video, peer), and/or roleplaying to teach functional social skills for a variety of circumstances. Many autism centers provide excellent instruction on how to use these interventions at home or in the community. Monitor the resource page for links to websites on these interventions are posted as they are found.

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