Advanced search

Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

echolalia - question

(10 Posts)
littleElif Tue 16-Nov-10 10:44:35


I have a DD (2years 9 month) and she is a bit delayed in her speech/language (many words but no sentences yet; growing up multilingual). we are on the waiting list for a SALT assessment.

she is able to follow instructions when kept simple, she is also communicating well what she wants by pointing and saying the word (e.g. apple if she wants to eat an apple) and asking for "more" etc...

however, she is having quite a bit of delayed echolalia. she doesn't repeat things back to me but echos mainly things (little sentences) she heard at nursery (we do not speak English at home but all her echolalia is for some reason in English only). we have echolalia quite a bit over the day.

just wondered if in your experience, echolalia is always something that goes hand in hand with ASD (I have googled it and virtually all pages seem to link it to ASD) or can this also happen in NT children/children with a SLD? DD seems to be apart from the language issue quite "normal"...


working9while5 Tue 16-Nov-10 10:53:27

Hi Elif

Echolalia can be a normal part of speech and language development. See here

How long has she been exposed to English? It may be she is at this stage in her L2 development but, being a typical language learner, she has superior language memory so is relying on some echoed phrases in context.

This, in and of itself, is nothing to worry about if her language development is appropriate in your home language. Just carry on. If you suspect there is any delay in his home language, speak to your PHN and have him referred to a SALT for a full assessment of both languages.

working9while5 Tue 16-Nov-10 10:54:18

Sorry, I changed your dd to a ds midpost! Consequence of having a ds myself! blush

littleElif Tue 16-Nov-10 10:57:28

yes, she is also a behind in her mothertongue (and she has a fathertongue as well - in addition to English - so quite a lot to take in). will probably first wait and see what SALT says...

working9while5 Tue 16-Nov-10 11:02:19

Sorry again, just read your post again. I am a bit dozy today. Go ahead and have the SALT appointment when it comes up. As your dd is experiencing delay, you should have an assessment in both languages - if this doesn't happen, push for it (though I see no reason it wouldn't). In the meantime, don't worry too much. Continue to use simple, clear sentences and spend time talking to your dd in your home language. There is no need to change which language you use at home or use more English etc.

Usually, a delay in the first language will result in a delay in the second. The delay in the first (home) language needs to be targeted as priority. If you are speaking a number of languages at home, ensure that all languages are taken into consideration during assessment.

To show how dozy I am, a PHN is an Irish health visitor! I will stop posting this morning I think blush

working9while5 Tue 16-Nov-10 11:03:27

Cross posted with you there, good luck with it!

blueShark Tue 16-Nov-10 11:21:28

DS was growing in a multilingual environment too (DH and I speak different languages), nanny was foreign and spoke an additional language on top of English.

Things started progressing when we only started speaking English to him and mostly English between us at home.

Ineed2 Tue 16-Nov-10 11:27:19

IME... children growing up speaking more than one language are sometimes slightly slower in both or all languages than children only using one language. However this does not automatically mean that there is a problem with aquiring language just that there is so much more to learn, so it takes a bit longer.

If you have a SALT appointment why not go along and see what they say, it can't hurt.

I hope everything works out ok for you and your Dd, you are very lucky to be able to give her more than one

littleElif Tue 16-Nov-10 11:27:42

thanks, blueshark. I have been thinking about this but it would just feel so weird/unnatural to talk to my child in a foreign language...IYSWIM

How old was your DS when you swapped to English at home? did it take long until things started to progress?

working9while5 Tue 16-Nov-10 12:16:41

littleElif, as a SALT myself I will tell you that it will not be advised to change the language of the home and if it is, the SALT needs a kicking.

What Ineed2 says is true: your child is requiring three separate vocabularies so when she will reach the developmental milestone of 50 words, say, it will be spread across three languages - say 20 in L1, 20 in L2, 10 in L3. This can look like a delay, therefore, when it really isn't. If you switched to English, say, you might increase those 10 words to 25 but you risk losing the other 40 (net loss) so it is not something we would advise in a child who did not have any other language learning issues (and even then, it is not a good idea IMO though this is hotly contested by some).

Even in the case of severe language impairments, the other languages may give compensatory benefits when the three languages are more developed e.g. if a child struggles with word learning, they can use their other languages to "fill" in gaps or learn language patterns in a way monolingual children cannot.

At this early stage, there is no indication of any sort that you need to change languages. It might confuse your dd more and ironically contribute to further delay.

Sorry blueshark, obviously not trying to say your experience was "wrong", just sharing current thinking for littleElif's benefit.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: