Echolalia is a condition which causes a child to repeat heard phrases, apparently at random. The repetition can be of individual words, whole phrases, or parts of phrases. The repetition comes entirely out of context and without prompting.

Echolalia is particularly common among children with autism.

Echolalia is either immediate, where the child repeats a heard word or phrase straight away, or delayed, where the repeat comes some time later. This delay can be of any period of time.

Children with echolalia typically have other underlying special educational needs, communication difficulties and/or learning difficulties. It is these underlying special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities which lead to echolalia.

It is important to establish the reason for echolalia so that targeted support, therapies and treatment can be provided. In many cases, this will require an EHC needs assessment and is likely to require the additional support of an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).


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