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Echolalia: Wikis


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Echolalia is the automatic repetition of vocalizations made by another person.

The word "echolalia" is derived from the Greek ἠχώ meaning "echo" or "to repeat",[1] and λαλιά (laliá) meaning "babbling, meaningless talk"[2] (of onomatopoeic origin from the verb λαλέω (laléo) meaning "to talk").

Associated conditions

Echolalia can be present in autism,[3] Tourette syndrome, aphasia, Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, developmental disability, schizophrenia, Asperger syndrome, Alzheimer's Disease and, occasionally, other forms of psychopathology. It is also frequently found in blind or visually impaired children, although most will outgrow this behavior. When done involuntarily, echolalia may be considered a tic.

It has been observed after cerebral infarction.[4]


Immediate echolalia causes the immediate repetition of a word or phrase. Some autistic people and people with Asperger syndrome may use repetition as a method of allowing themselves more time to process language.

A typical pediatric presentation of echolalia might be: a child is asked, "Do you want dinner?" the child echoes back "Do you want dinner?" followed by a pause and then a response, "Yes. What's for dinner?"[5]

In delayed echolalia, a phrase is repeated after a delay, such as a person with autism who repeats TV commercials, favorite movie scripts, or parental reprimands.


  1. ^ (Greek) Triantafyllidis Online Dictionary, ηχώ, Retrieved on 2007-06-11
  2. ^ (Greek) Triantafyllidis Online Dictionary, λαλιά, Retrieved on 2007-06-11
  3. ^ Simon N (1975). "Echolalic speech in childhood autism. Consideration of possible underlying loci of brain damage". Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 32 (11): 1439–46. PMID 812450.  
  4. ^ Suzuki T, Itoh S, Hayashi M, Kouno M, Takeda K (July 2009). "Hyperlexia and ambient echolalia in a case of cerebral infarction of the left anterior cingulate cortex and corpus callosum". Neurocase: 1–6. doi:10.1080/13554790902842037. PMID 19585352.||1B69BA326FFE69C3F0A8F227DF8201D0.  
  5. ^ Bashe, P. R. The OASIS Guide to Asperger Syndrome; Advice, Support, Insight, and Inspiration. Crown Publishers, 2001, p. 22.

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