Echolalia is kind of cool for now

R.’s talking is about the same.  We’re hearing a few more spontaneous words.  She’s saying uh oh and oh with a variety of inflections in response to things, and we’re hearing yeah and no more often.

Mostly though she is repeating what we are saying.  In a few months I may be frustrated  with this, but now I think it is quite awesome.  It means that she will say hi and bye to people if they say it first, and she’s paying attention.   I’m discovering that there are so many kinds of games to play where I get her to repeat what I’m saying.  I’ll give her stuffed animals one by one, getting her to repeat duck or whatever.  We’re actually playing with flash cards.

E. is much sillier with her and they play these games echoing babble phrases.  He touches his forehead to hers and says “bonk” and she says bonk and they play a head bopping game.  I’ve been trying to put a stop to this game, imagining her head butting one of her class mates.   But I think I end up sounding like a control freak because they are having fun.

Right before Christmas vacation the behaviorist said she was not doing as well with two word mands, they are working on want book, want ball.   She suggested I work on it over vacation.  I did and did not have much luck with any mand that started with want, she would just repeat the last word.  She would however repeat two words for requests like lights on, socks off and that kind of thing.  I also noticed that over vacation her response seemed to be a little slower, I had to work a little harder at prompting.   I was wondering if I was seeing a regression.  Monday when she came home from school she was back to responding to a verbal prompt almost instantly and it has been that way all week.   I can’t help but wonder if this is a part of having vacations or if we could be doing something else.

She also has new sounds.  Her screaming has become more dramatic.  She has this new angry, tearless scream that is so loud and high pitched, it must get the attention of all the dogs in our neighborhood.   No one told me that her voice could get louder.   She also has a new happy sound, I guess it is really a vocal stim.  She sounds like Arnold Horshack’s little sister.   She makes this sound and runs around grinning and being mischievous.

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  1. I’m diggin’ the Horshack reference! Very cool! Julia did the echolalia thing for a long time, and I never really got tired of it. She also has a SUPER high pitched scream that is literally painful for me. Come to think of it, so does Coleman! LOL

    I’m glad the “slow down” over vacation didn’t get too dramatic, and it’s great that she’s back to her old self again! Also cool that she and E are bonding.

    GREAT JOB, Mom! And a great start to 2011! Well done.

    1. I wondered if I was dating myself and no one would know who Horshack is. Glad you got it!! Nice to know I’m not alone with the screaming. Are you ever able to get them to stop on command?

  2. Yup, I know who Horshack is too! I always go with any sound is “good”, because sometimes you can shape them into words or word approximations. Remember how young your daughter is too. You’re doing great, truly!

    1. You are right, but sometimes almost four seems SO OLD. Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. Yeah, I think that any words are good. It can all be molded and is much easier to work with than no speech at all. I think that they all get a little lazy over vacation…don’t we all 🙂

    1. My Mom said something similar about kids getting lazy over vacations. She told me to get used to it.

  4. We are reasonbly new to echolalia but I am enjoying it, it is just so good to hear words! Like your little one, my fella will say one word mands but isn’t getting the two word ones so I know exactly where you are 🙂 Jen

  5. totally think that ALL verbal communication is good
    We got R out of repeating the last word ( in my R’s case – it was laziness – he was just not paying attention – but using a Dr Greenspan tool of forcing him to think
    ie give options with the undesirable option last
    Me: R for snack do you want cookies or broccoli?
    R : Broccoli
    Me: Served him Broccoli
    R: In tears: no no no nono
    Me : but you said broccoli
    Me : Shall I ask Again – do you want cookies or broccoli
    R : I want cookies please

    1. Thanks for the example. I’m going to experiment with this.

  6. Also think you are spot on with being okay with echolalia
    This is how all kids learn langauge

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