Echolalia

Ee

Elves don’t do magic. And we’re elves!”

Clever are we – studied in astronomy.”

Help me light up the moon like a giant torch so we won’t be afraid of the dark.”

One Sunday morning the warm sun came up and –

pop! –

out of the egg came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar.”

Listening ears, kind hands, walking feet.”

And the sheep go: Baa-Baa, Baa-Baa-Baanaanaas!”

Let’s do it in Makaton, Mummy.”

If you jump in muddy puddles, you must wear your boots!”

And remember, Mummy – a dishwasher will change your life – or your money back!”

Mid-Morning Moon

Echolalia is a verbal behaviour common in autism where the child repeats chunks of language that he has heard uttered by others. It can be immediate (child echoes something that has just been said to or near him), delayed (child repeats something he heard in a recent, mid- or distant past) or perseverative (child repeats the same phrase or question over and over again)… Having  a means of functional communication, whatever it may be, is what’s truly essential to any child, but even more so to the child with autism… Language in all its vivid, wonderful and infuriating complexity is pervasive… it is not something learned in a speech therapist’s office thirty minutes a week… [His] penchant for echolalia proves his proficiency at absorbing language imitatively. Use it…  Don’t try to go around, go through it.”

Ellen Notbohm, Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew; (Future Horizons, 2005).

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