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Do children with ASD grow out of echolalia / scripting?

(22 Posts)
craftyoldhen Sat 22-Apr-17 23:07:27

My DS is 3 and spends a significant part of each day reciting TV programmes. He also uses echolalia in his communication, but is getting better at generating his own speech and his functional communication is improving all the time.

His speech therapist (who has now left) said once his functional communication improves then his scripting would reduce, but we're not seeing that. If anything it's increasing. I think it's a stim for him and he finds it calming. He often paces up and down or in circles whilst he's doing it. I also think it gives him something to do as he has very poor independent play skills.

Does anyone have a child who did this and did they grow out of it eventually?

notgivingin789 Sat 22-Apr-17 23:49:47

Personally, I don't think it's the case of outgrowing it. I think it's more to do with how much your DS ? Is using functional speech to request, protest, comment, social etc and also his understanding of language too. I think the more your DS practises uses speech for all those things (request, protest, comment etc) and his understanding of language increases.Then he will "outgrow it". That's my personal opinion anyway.

notgivingin789 Sat 22-Apr-17 23:50:53

Some children do script as part of their stimming but he may stop that as a stim and new stim takes place !

ouryve Sat 22-Apr-17 23:54:32

DS1 did it a lot less as he developed more novel, functional language.

Now he just asks repetitive, annoying questions such as what's that smell?" (probably YOU!) or "How much money have you got in your pocket?" or "what does xyz mean?"


Cakescakescakes Sun 23-Apr-17 00:00:42

DS was almost totally echolalic but by about 5.5 his language really started to take off. He will still script as a calming measure though especially at bedtime etc.

Cakescakescakes Sun 23-Apr-17 00:01:30

He also still will pace up and down but that is reduced a bit too.

Teabagtits Sun 23-Apr-17 00:07:21

I can only talk from my own experience of echolalia and it developed into a more personal thing for me from what it was in childhood. Eg I might say what I'm looking for from the shopping list over and over until I find it or I keep it in my head rather than saying it out loud. I'm often unaware I'm doing it so it may be that my reality is different to what I think I'm doing in my head. I became more aware of it as I grew up which allowed me to develop more appropriate behaviour regarding it. I don't know if this is the kind of answer you were looking for.

PolterGoose Sun 23-Apr-17 08:29:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

craftyoldhen Sun 23-Apr-17 10:09:13

notgivingin thats what the SALT said but he does use functional speech to request, protest, comment etc. He doesn't always use the correct words but is getting better. But he still scripts all the bloody time. This morning we had an episode of Sooty and Sweep over breakfast. He goes into a trance when he does it and ignores everything and everyone else!

He asks repetitive questions as well, usually "where's daddy?" or "where's DD?". Doesnt matter if I answer or not. He's always very concerned about where all family members are! I don't mind this as at least he's trying to communicate.

The scripting drives me slightly insane blush

Sparkle41 Sun 23-Apr-17 19:37:10

My DS, 5yrs does this a lot with Mister Maker, drives me mad too blush

Chasingmytail17 Sun 23-Apr-17 20:22:06

We have it with Mr Tumble..."if you see it wave and cheer" and a lot of Peppa, argh!

craftyoldhen Sun 23-Apr-17 21:42:25

Argh indeed!

This afternoon we went to the park and DS was in Bod mode - reciting whole episodes of Bod non stop (we have DH to thank for that, he bought the DVD angry).

I was play fighting and tickling him and he didnt stop his recital throughout, even when he was laughing confused

Its like once he starts he can't stop until he gets to the end. He's in a trance, his eyes glaze over and refuses to listen or answer you. It's like he's possessed by the spirit of Bod confused grin

It's very frustrating.

Chasingmytail17 Sun 23-Apr-17 22:49:21

I know what you mean about the trance, we get that as well. If he does it with a nursery rhyme I know I'll join in, surprisingly that seems to snap the cycle and he enjoys it. However I do not know every episode of TV he watches. Everytime he balances on anything atm we hear 'Careful Daddy Pig' and then the episode about the playground. I did read on another thread I think about trying to use the script to relate to them. Not easy but every so often I will say 'careful DS' and he will then change 'daddy pig' to his name....this is quite rarely though!

Cakescakescakes Sun 23-Apr-17 23:25:28

Have you tried joining in? It used to make DS so happy when I would recite along with him. It was his only form of communication for a while so getting that rare 'shared enjoyment' was really precious.

zzzzz Mon 24-Apr-17 01:11:46

Joining in makes mine ferocious shock

But yes it gets less when his mouth is occasionally busy with his own words. He does it more when stressed or unhappy now. To be honest I think it's a good sign. Children who are echolalic learn the rhythm and tone of language, and pronunciation and can mimic social interaction and the give and take of conversation. It's a huge boon when you have so much to learn that you don't miss out on all parts of verbal interaction.

I agree with your salt but think you might be looking at years delay rather than months.

troutsprout Mon 24-Apr-17 09:09:55

Ds ( nearly 20 ) can still script ... he enjoys impressing friends with chunks of stuff.. or family/friends in a social gathering
It's more like he's learnt to contain it in a way that is more socially acceptable.. but I suppose it sneakily still gives him that outlet grin
He used to pace up and down and script when he was little.. it seemed to peak at about 8-10 yo when he was making more of an effort with functional speech . It as if in order to get better with functional conversation, he needed to spend more time stimming and scripting.

Hope you don't mind me jumping in here.. I used to post a lot when ds was young..but not sure if I should really be on here anymore as he's not actually a child.

AntiQuitted Mon 24-Apr-17 12:32:28

reciting whole episodes of Bod

ds2 was a Bod reciter as well! Playing games of snap were very sedate affairs, "happy face on one side, sad face on the other side, that is not a match" type thing! Though Bod was great for him to hear words clearly without a lot of business on the screen.

I'm quite a fan of echolalia! ds didn't call me mummy for a long time (I was usually Scraps, you know, the handy finding puppet in the drawer on Mister Maker grin ) but when he did it was in full Something Special mode with signs, "Oh look, there's mummy. Hello mummy". Made my heart sing it did!

He's 5 1/2 now. He uses echolalia when he plays and it's obviously enjoyable to him. He immediately repeats us in his own voice when he's understanding something and he can now use it to ask what something means, for instance. "What is 'walkinglongway' ?" in exactly the accent of the person he's heard it from.

What I found fascinating last week was that despite being able to completely mimic DanTDM's voice, whole accent and everything, he was pretending he was him and in his pretend speech sounded just like a little kid putting on a voice not exactly like DanTDM at all!

craftyoldhen Wed 26-Apr-17 07:52:45

I love to hear from parents of older children/adults who have been through the same thing, it is reassuring so thanks for your replies. I love that your DS uses too impress his friends troutspout grin

I agree the echolalia/scripting is a good sign, it's how he's learning to talk basically which might be different from the usual way but at least he's learning smile

Msqueen33 Wed 26-Apr-17 18:55:34

Yes my dd used a lot of scripted language at that age. She's just turned seven and her speech is on a par with her peers.

Prakruti83 Wed 18-Apr-18 13:20:36

Hello fellow mum

I have just stumbled upon your post and i know its been a year since you wrote this one. I can relate to 90% of what you have written in your post with my DS(3.5). Lot of repetition, pacing back and forth reciting peppa, paw patrol, jungle book and anything hes heard from ppl.
He does use functional language for requesting, commenting etc but the most pattern/phrases are all learnt and i see a big gap in playing around with the words/sentences and creative/social use of language.

My question is, have you seen any improvement since u posted last with ur LO and what is that thats worked for u? We are trying to teach him as much as we can and he has started with private SLT just now...but the rotten language is a pain to get rid off !!

Thank You smile

craftyoldhen Thu 19-Apr-18 20:34:57

Hello Prakruit82
Just saw that my old thread had been bumped!

DS is 4 now. He still does lots of echolalia/scripting!

We moved him to a specialist nursery last September, and this seems to have made a big difference and his speech has really improved.

He can now tell us about something that has happened! The other day he was on a bouncy castle and started crying, but we didn't see what had happened, when he calmed down he said "boy kicked me". He would never have been able to do this a year ago!

He still really struggles with understanding language. Conversations are difficult, he struggles with questions, and often either doesn't answer or repeats it back. He still can only understand one step instructions, and I still can't explain basic stuff to him because he doesn't understand, and this is the thing I find most frustrating.

I think too much talking stresses him out, but on the plus side he can now say "stop talking" and does so regularly! He also uses the scripting to block out talking, so he often does it at meal times when the rest of us are chatting.

Prakruti83 Thu 19-Apr-18 22:03:15

Hello Craftyoldhen

Thanks so much for responding ! Wow thats a big progress, being able to express what happened. He is still young so with this pace, hopefully he will develope a lot more conversational language.

The answer I get to what happened in the nursery is usually his teacher’s name and if push a bit he says played with Mrs X...and thats obviously the answer i tought him.

He tries to frame his own sentences but then its all jumbled up. It feels like a really long haul but I do atleast see hope seeing your response.

Did u do any therapies/intervention other than putting him in specialist nursery? Also, may sound silly, but I am based in greater London and havent got any official diagnosis for him as yet (the marathon NHS wait) so would the nursery accept him?

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