Is delayed echolalia always spectrumy? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 05-08-2011, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This has been worrying me for months!  My 25 month old DS has lots of echolalia, both immediate and delayed.  The immediate echolalia has decreased significantly in the last month.  The delayed echolalia is sometimes in context, for example "We're going down the pyramid!"(a line from a Dora episode) while walking down the stairs in our house.  And sometimes the delayed echolalia is totally out of context - from the carseat he'll start reciting a book we read last night. 

 

He will parallel play with kids his own age, but he prefers adults and children ages 6 and up.  He does have poor motor skills and is a picky eater.  But otherwise, he is a happy, bubbly, social, outgoing kid who says hi to everyone.  He has lots of novel speech and he asks and answers questions.  If someone is crying he will say things like "It's ok, don't be sad"  and "we have to help her"  So I don't think he has issues with empathy.  Could he still be on the autism spectrum?  I can convince myself that he is fine one day, but then my daycare provider seems to be very concerned about the language issues so the next day I am worried again! 

 

Is this normal at 25 months?  Has anyone else had a child like this that ended up on the spectrum?


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#2 of 15 Old 05-08-2011, 01:17 PM
 
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Sounds a lot like DS1. We don't have a diagnosis for him, but he has an evaluation coming up in a few months.


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#3 of 15 Old 05-08-2011, 06:07 PM
 
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I had a child like this who is as about as far from the spectrum as you can get. She just has a prodigious memory and learned in 'chunks'. That's how she learned to talk, that's how she learned to read (by memorizing books, then figuring out the code). Some kids learn by repetition.

 

Neither of the situations that you described would raise red flags in me. In the first, he could be making a comparison (what we're doing is like what Dora did). In the second, he's bored, and so could be entertaining himself by repeating parts of the book.

 

As I understand it, echolalia is only a "problem" when it's used in place of functional communication. So, if, instead of putting his own words together to answer a question or to tell you something, he usually repeats a phrase he'd heard before, that may indicate that he's having trouble generating speech spontaneously himself and is relying too heavily on chunks.

 

The fact that the echolalia has decreased would also be something that wouldn't concern me.

 

What kinds of things concern his daycare provider?


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#4 of 15 Old 05-08-2011, 06:30 PM
 
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I don't know but it's interesting that you mention this because DS (27mos) does this as well. He used to parrot us as well but now it's mostly delayed repetition. I'd say that 50-70% of his speech is repeating verbatim things he's heard us say. He has a huge vocabulary but for some reason if he wants to ask DH for something I have to tell him, "Go ask Daddy, 'Can you change my diaper please?'" and after telling him those things over & over he is much better at communicating spontaneously with DH (not so much with other people though). He also recites books and randomly uses repetitive phrases completely out of context, but I'm not sure if this is just his way of entertaining himself/others or what. He CAN form his own sentences but rarely does and it takes him a long time to get all the words out. And when he's not thinking, he just speaks in perfect English (things like, "Actually, that's not a bird. It's a rabbit, I think.") but when he has to think & express something unique, he more often reverses pronouns or speaks in the third person and omits words ("Baby want that.")

We are in the middle of having him evaluated but for completely different reasons (mostly sensory issues) and this isn't something I even thought of bringing up as an issue. I always thought his speech was funny but never in a worrisome way???

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#5 of 15 Old 05-08-2011, 09:18 PM
 
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Depends on a lot of stuff. You've listed a few traits that kids on the spectrum *tend* to have. Not all kids and the spectrum is broad. So again, it's hard to say. Take a look at some of the other traits associated with Autism and evaluate whether or not you see them in your little guy. If you do, I'd seek out an assessment as early intervention offers the best outcomes for children.

 

Got this info from: http://www.paains.org.uk/Autism/traits.htm

 

This list should not be used for diagnosis.
If you have any concerns, contact your GP or Health Professional.

  • No or little speech
  • Non-speech vocalizations
  • Delayed development of speech
  • Echolalia: speech consisting of literally repeating something heard
  • Delayed echolalia: repeating something heard at an earlier time
  • Confusion between the pronouns "I" and "You"
  • Lack of interaction
  • Lack of eye contact
  • Lack of response to people
  • Aggressive behavior due to anxiety and/or frustration
  • When picked up, offering no "help" ("feels like lifting a sack of --potatoes")
  • Preoccupation with hands
  • Flapping hands/ this may be accompanied by jumping up and down with excitement
  • Spinning
  • Balancing, e.g. as if standing on a fence
  • Walking on tiptoes
  • Extreme dislike of certain sounds / may hold hands over ears
  • Extreme dislike of touching certain textures
  • Dislike of being touched / close contact
  • Either extremely passive behavior or extremely nervous, active behavior
  • Extreme dislike of certain foods
  • Behavior that is aggressive to others
  • Lack of interest
  • Desire to follow set patterns of behavior / interaction
  • Desire to keep objects in a certain physical pattern
  • Repetitive behavior
  • Self-injurious behavior
  • Ritualistic behavior

Remember all children are different, especially children on the Autistic Spectrum.
They may have many, or only a few of the symptoms/ traits above.


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#6 of 15 Old 05-09-2011, 06:00 AM
 
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I would just keep an eye on it.

 

 

One of my DDs had echolalia a LOT from age 18-3.5. She did get a PDD_NOS dx at 2.5, but really I dont think she would qualify at 5.5 now.Back then, we dealt with  tons of sensory stuff , gross motor delays, and social delays. She is quirky sure, but she is also very likely gifted academically. Professionals (OT, PT, PreK teacher, IEP team) have told me that sensitivities, quirks, and emotional concern for others are simply a part of her intelligence and are often found in bright kiddos.

 

Looking back 3 years- that is how she processed things. She still does it now and then (repeats what other people say back before answering) and simply it is how she processes information and then needs some delay time to answer. She talks to herself at times as well and it is how she thinks. When she was younger, sometimes the echolalia and direct quotes from books/shows made little sense unless you knew the context- but often I could find a correlation if I thought about it. Now at 5.5- she has fantastic conversations, can initiate questions, elaborate stories, retell books,etc....so it is no longer a concern, just a quirk.

 

Same with the sensory stuff-- it has greatly improved. She dealt with motion and auditory sensitivities--- her brain had a hard time taking all the input and making it make sense. She is very logical, methodical, and likes to think things through. With verbal explanation and exposure the sensory stuff has gotten better (as has her coping with it).

 

Socially- she is friendly and outgoing. She still struggles with interpreting social cues, is incredibly gullible (even for a 5 yr old), very trusting, and talks to everyone. Incredibly empathetic-- she is a 'helper' and comforter to her friends.

 

BUT she is doing GREAT in PreK and is off to K next year. I love her compassionate heart, her logical thinking mind, and her joy at life.

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#7 of 15 Old 05-09-2011, 06:25 AM
 
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Random but funny -- I was talking to DH about this last night after reading your post, and he turned to DS & asked, "Do you like to mimic?" DS's response: "Like to mimic?" lol.gif

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#8 of 15 Old 05-09-2011, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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winky.gif  I remember a similar conversation once where DS was repeating me and I said "Are you mocking me?"  DS of course replied "Are you mocking me?"  and then laughed like he knew what I meant.  I'm sure he didn't. 


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#9 of 15 Old 05-09-2011, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

I had a child like this who is as about as far from the spectrum as you can get. She just has a prodigious memory and learned in 'chunks'. That's how she learned to talk, that's how she learned to read (by memorizing books, then figuring out the code). Some kids learn by repetition.

 

Neither of the situations that you described would raise red flags in me. In the first, he could be making a comparison (what we're doing is like what Dora did). In the second, he's bored, and so could be entertaining himself by repeating parts of the book.

 

As I understand it, echolalia is only a "problem" when it's used in place of functional communication. So, if, instead of putting his own words together to answer a question or to tell you something, he usually repeats a phrase he'd heard before, that may indicate that he's having trouble generating speech spontaneously himself and is relying too heavily on chunks.

 

The fact that the echolalia has decreased would also be something that wouldn't concern me.

 

What kinds of things concern his daycare provider?



The learning in chunks sounds like maybe what's going on.  It will be interesting to see if he learns to read that way too.  He is very close to reading now I think.  He has lots of sight words and will say "Bubble, Bubble, Buh,buh,buh" (repeat 3 times) then "B starts Bubble!"  He used to answer questions with a few words that he had heard together in the past, but now he comes up with his own answers almost every time. 

 

I think the babysitter is concerned that he talks non-stop throughout the day, narrating his activities and the actions of others and repeating the things they say sometimes hours later.  Mostly it's the talking and chewing random things that worries her.



Quote:
Originally Posted by KCMichigan View Post

I would just keep an eye on it.

 

 

One of my DDs had echolalia a LOT from age 18-3.5. She did get a PDD_NOS dx at 2.5, but really I dont think she would qualify at 5.5 now.Back then, we dealt with  tons of sensory stuff , gross motor delays, and social delays. She is quirky sure, but she is also very likely gifted academically. Professionals (OT, PT, PreK teacher, IEP team) have told me that sensitivities, quirks, and emotional concern for others are simply a part of her intelligence and are often found in bright kiddos.

 

Looking back 3 years- that is how she processed things. She still does it now and then (repeats what other people say back before answering) and simply it is how she processes information and then needs some delay time to answer. She talks to herself at times as well and it is how she thinks. When she was younger, sometimes the echolalia and direct quotes from books/shows made little sense unless you knew the context- but often I could find a correlation if I thought about it. Now at 5.5- she has fantastic conversations, can initiate questions, elaborate stories, retell books,etc....so it is no longer a concern, just a quirk.

 

Same with the sensory stuff-- it has greatly improved. She dealt with motion and auditory sensitivities--- her brain had a hard time taking all the input and making it make sense. She is very logical, methodical, and likes to think things through. With verbal explanation and exposure the sensory stuff has gotten better (as has her coping with it).

 

Socially- she is friendly and outgoing. She still struggles with interpreting social cues, is incredibly gullible (even for a 5 yr old), very trusting, and talks to everyone. Incredibly empathetic-- she is a 'helper' and comforter to her friends.

 

BUT she is doing GREAT in PreK and is off to K next year. I love her compassionate heart, her logical thinking mind, and her joy at life.



Good to know!  I talk to myself too - I think that is normal - at least in my world it is winky.gif

 


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#10 of 15 Old 05-09-2011, 11:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pranava View Post

winky.gif  I remember a similar conversation once where DS was repeating me and I said "Are you mocking me?"  DS of course replied "Are you mocking me?"  and then laughed like he knew what I meant.  I'm sure he didn't. 


 

Does he have a sense of humor? Most kids on the spectrum, even high functioning ones, have a really hard time with humor. My DD's dx used to be PDD-NOS and now it's Asperger's and she has a sense of humor, and at her eval they said that it was the one thing that didn't fit.

 

He sounds a bit quirky to me (the speech combined with motor issues and food issues), but I don't have a clue if he would count as being on the spectrum or not.  For high functioning kids, it's a bit of a gray area. The line between "gifted but quirky" and "Asperger's but gifted" is, IMHO, partly defined by how well a child is able to cope with the demands of their age and life situation.

 

You might check out the book "Quirky Kids: When to worry and when not to worry" by Klass. You are pretty much the target parent for this book, and it's  wonderful book. Kinda like getting a hug from a friend who has BTDT.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#11 of 15 Old 05-09-2011, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Linda on the move - Thanks!  That makes me feel much better!  Yes, he is quite the clown, always doing and saying things for a laugh.  He especially loves language based humor - puns and rhymes and certain words he finds just hearing or saying them hysterical.  All you have to do is exclaim "Oh, Barnicles!" and he will crack up.


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#12 of 15 Old 03-08-2012, 04:31 AM
 
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Hi

 

I dont know if you are still on this post, my DD is 4 yrs 2 months and showing exactly the same issues that you picked up but also appears to be academically gifted as well as artistically. I just want to hear from you about how your DD is doing and whether she progressed well from the echolalia stage?

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#13 of 15 Old 03-08-2012, 04:35 AM
 
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I dont know if you are still on this post, my DD is 4 yrs 2 months and showing exactly the same issues that you picked up but also appears to be academically gifted as well as artistically. I just want to hear from you about how your DD is doing given that she is older and whether she progressed well from the echolalia stage?

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#14 of 15 Old 04-18-2012, 07:46 PM
 
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My, now adult, son has Aspergers and yet he has always exhibited sympathy towards those clearly in emotional distress.  His problem has always been reading the more subtle (i.e. eye rolling, impatient tapping, dirty looks etc.) signs of distress.  This led to a very lonely childhood as he was not correctly diagnosed until he was in 8th grade.  Looking back, I saw signs of Aspergers but I didn't know what I was seeing.  He occasionally flapped his arms, he had a narrow range of interest, and he could recite whole scenes of  favorite shows. He is highly intelligent and was a bit of a "Little Professor" and yet he has always had a quick wit, which is not a trait "normally" seen in those with Aspergers.  My point is that not every child will present with every symptom or symptoms to the same degree.  That is why we are such a "problem" to the medical community.         

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#15 of 15 Old 04-18-2012, 08:29 PM
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Echolalia can be a symptom of several different neurological conditions and developmental disabilities.  It is also associated with visual impairment.  Here is a blog article that explains echolalia.

 

My DS1 did not seem to fit the usual profile for ASD when he was a toddler, but he definitely meets all of the diagnostic criteria.  It's a big spectrum.


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