Echolalia – “Do I hear myself?”
Echolalia is the stereotyped repetition of words or phrases of other persons. Echolalia is present in Autism, Tourette’s Syndrome, in disorders in growth, schizophrenia, and occasionally in other forms of psychopathology. If echolalia is not made voluntarily, then it is considered a tic. It is also known as echopraxia. First time we mentioned echolalia in 2 years old was in our article about coprolalia.
Previous studies indicate that this disorder occurs in 75-80 percent of children with autism, and there are two types of echolalia, echopraxia:
- Immediate echolalia – when a word or phrase is immediately repeated. In some cases of autism or Asperger Syndrome it can be a way of getting the time to understand the language. So, for example, if you ask a child, “Do you want to eat?” First response is echopraxia, and the child repeats: “Do you want to eat?”. This is followed by a short pause, and then the child replies: “Yes, what’s to eat?”
- Delayed echolalia – described as repeating words or phrases after a while. It means the repetition of words or phrases that the child had previously learned, and which fits in normal speech or repeats without any sense. The child can repeat an advertising on television, favorite lines from movies, parent’s warnings…
Echolalia Definition – Echopraxia Definition
Echopraxia doesn’t always indicate a disorder in speech and language development. But if parents notice that their child speech differs from speaking of its peers, or a child without any meaning repeats their questions rather than to answer, or repeats the whole phrase or sentence from the cartoons – which disrupts the normal flow of communication, or seem to speak only to itself, etc. – it is essential to consult a therapist as soon as possible.
As already stated, echolalia is an integral part of speech and language development until the second year, when repeated or echolalic sentences should be increasingly replaced by independent kids thoughts. If this does not happen, but the number echolalic symptoms increases or does not decrease, parents should seek the advice and assistance of experts.
Echolalia Treatment – Echopraxia Treatment
As soon as parents notice the slightest changes in the speech of their child, they should contact the speech therapist. If echolalic speech perpetuate after the second year, it is necessary to turn to the help of experts at the Institute for Experimental Phonetics and Speech Pathology, where echolalia treatment is organized on the principles of treatment of the KSAF system. It is important to note that echopraxia rarely occurs as an isolated disorder, but as a part of other disorders (such as autism, in most cases). Therefore, it is essential that the problem is diagnosed on time and as early as possible to begin the treatment of echolalia.
Dear parents, we know how hard it is to be objective when it comes to your children, and how often you are able to “close your eyes” before any problem. However, listen to the advice of well-intentioned friends and seek help if you notice in your child any deviation in speech and language development. For healthy and happy children will tomorrow be happy and prosperous people. Better to be safe than sorry.