Some echolalia is better than others

by beagooddad on March 19, 2007

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Even though Pookie is getting more vocal nearly everyday, he still goes through a lot of periods of echolalia throughout any day.  Two really common time periods are between when he wakes up and when we let him out of bed, and between when he goes to bed and falls asleep.

The first is about the only time the echolalia really gets to me these days.  When he wakes up at 6am on a Saturday and recites book after book and TV show lines after TV show lines it can really get a little annoying.  When he does the echolalia, he includes everything including the beep that tells you when to turn the page on a read along book or a splash when Curious George falls in the water.

There really is no way to stop echolalia during brain processing moments like this.  When he wakes up and when he falls asleep, his brain cycles through quite a bit of information that he just needs to sort through.   We often turn down the monitor once it starts up since we can hear them from our bedroom if they have any problems.

We have decided that there is an enjoyable side to echolalia.  The singing.  Pookie sings pretty frequently throughout the day.  Anything from Itsy Bitsy Spider to Who Let The Dogs Out.  He knows them all and likes variety.  When he starts singing, it pretty much brings a smile from me and BeAGoodMom.  He has such a cute little voice and pretty good rhythm.   But, in the end it is still echolalia.  He does it most often when he is processing a lot of stimuli or sleepy.

It looks like the singing version of echolalia goes through a maturation phase just like the talking version.  His talking echolalia got more “on topic” as he developed.  Instead of constant random phrases, he started using phrases that made sense for the situation.

With the music echolalia, he is singing along with songs much more frequently.  He sings right along with the radio, CD, and us which is something that never happened before.  He used to stop every time I would try to sing with him and only start again when I stopped.  I haven’t done any research on this, but it seems that starting to sing along with other music sources has to be a positive step towards verbal interaction.  And it is very comforting to sing the Veggie Tales Theme Song and have somebody else sing with you.

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