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(10 Posts)
RainingPouring Thu 06-Mar-14 12:46:37

My nearly 3 year old (who I have posted about a couple of times recently) does what I understand is called delayed echolalia and/or scripting. We have concerns about his socialising with other children but I've only just realised what echolalia is and that it's a sign of ASD.

He uses the odd phrase from books in normal speech in correct context: eg. he will say: "I've got a very good idea, let's play X game" (with 'I've got a very good idea' being a line from Mog) or "When [sister] is bigger, I'll show her just what to do" (with 'He can show him just what to do' being a line from another book).

He also quotes chunks from books/tv programmes, while acting them out. He does this in an imaginative and non-rigid way, eg. using different every day items to represent objects from the books. He does this a lot - a lot of his play centres around this acting out at the moment.

The echolalia doesn't get in the way of his functional speech at all, which is absolutely fine. He doesn't repeat what other people say and is generally fine at having short conversations.

Is this a sure sign of ASD (particularly when taken together with poor social skills?)? Or could it be within 'normal' range? Should we take him to a child psychologist for assessment?

PolterGoose Thu 06-Mar-14 12:50:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PolterGoose Thu 06-Mar-14 12:51:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RainingPouring Thu 06-Mar-14 13:22:52

Thanks Polter. That article's interesting. DS can express himself absolutely fine so I'm not sure what purpose his echolalia is serving. DS will be 3 in two months and the echolalia is showing no signs of diminishing, so I guess that's not a good sign.

Other concerns re. ASD are:
- difficulty socialising with other children
- some sensory issues eg. hates swings, gets scared at children's shows eg. theatre and a magic show at a birthday party.
- some gross motor delay (slow to understand how to use ride-on toys and a scooter)

I just don't know what to do. We had loads of concerns about him in his first 18 months (slow to sit up, talk, point but still within 'normal' timeframes just) which he then seemed to completely outgrow with a huge developmental leap between 18 months and 2.5, but all the concerns seem to be creeping back again.

RainingPouring Thu 06-Mar-14 13:24:32

Should have said there are a few things which seem contra indicative to autism: eg. he has good joint attention and doesn't seem to have rigidity of though/play - he's great at role play and doesn't mind change of routine.

PolterGoose Thu 06-Mar-14 13:39:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RainingPouring Thu 06-Mar-14 13:53:03

Thanks. We took him to a SALT when he was about 15/16 months who said he was slightly delayed but we stopped as he seemed to completely catch up and even overtake his peers.

Re. assessment - do you mean getting a referral from GP to a paed? Or would we be better off for now taking him to a child or educational psychologist privately.

RainingPouring Fri 07-Mar-14 09:31:06

Just bumping to see if anyone else has any thoughts?

amymouse Sun 09-Mar-14 21:24:20


No real thoughts I am not much further along than you; DD (3.6 yo) has been flagged up recently for possible ASD and exhibits echolalia. Hers too is quite subtle in that you have to have quite a good idea of her favourite books/programs in which case certain phrases or names give her away-to a stranger or someone she doesn't know as well she seems to just have slightly quirky speech. When Polter posted me that article it was like a lightbulb moment! Over the last few months I've been trying to make a diary (we are in fortunate position of already being under a developmental paed for other things) of a) could she make up her own sentence with the intent of the phrase without repeating back a line from something b) do things trigger her using more repetitive speech etc. DD largely seems to understand what she is saying back, and choose phrases in context but really struggles to make up her own "original" speech conversationally. She is definitely 'worse' when anxious, excited or in situations with lots of people/stimulus and if under stress will repeat the same few sentences all day long.

If SALT have not discharged him maybe ask for reassessement or ask to be re-referred to chat things through? If there aresome very common/key phrases it could also be worth asking nursery if they crop up a lot there. Recently nursery mentioned to me about an odd phrase DD kept coming out with; it was something out a book and when I explained about her language at home they said in retrospect that explained a lot of her language there too.

RainingPouring Mon 10-Mar-14 13:30:25

Thanks anymouse - I think we will try to get him seen by a developmental paed if we can to see if all his issues amount to anything together. Good luck with your DD. x

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