Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Echolalia and repetition... no pun intended

Many blind children go through a phase of Echolalia, as they automatically repeat what someone else says and then sometimes answer afterwards. I've found my daughter uses echolalia to process the information and build sort of a database of questions and answers in her head. It took some time for her to begin developing thoughts and phrases of her own instead of just pulling a relevant, and sometimes irrelevant, phrase from her list. For example, a common question to her would be, "Are you hungry?" and she would answer, "Are you hungry? Yes, I'm hungry." Finally, she would answer something like "Yes!! I want some more turkey Mommy!" That day was a very happy day for me. I could tell she was learning to express her thoughts, wants and needs instead of getting frustrated with the lack of effective communication.
She still has some tendencies to work out. When she is on the potty and wants to be alone, she says, "I'll be right back" when she really means "mommy leave and come back when I'm finished." LOL But potty training is a whole other story...
Anyway, not long ago she began a new phase of repeating the same question over and over and over again. Pretty much til I wanted to pull my hair out- I would insist that she knows the answer, so there's no reason to keep asking. But when she obsesses over something and gets upset, still repeating the same phrase or question, I find myself worried that she is trying to tell me something other than what she is actually saying. I found this article on Parenting.com that gave a little insight. It's pretty short and to the point. I recommend anyone going through the same thing to check it out- if you want! Also, the wonderbaby.org website has a great article on echolalia as well.


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