Echolalia and Scripting in Autism

autism2Good Morning. I hope everyone is having a great week so far.


Today I wanted to post about how my daughter talks, well about 90% of the time. Chloe scripts all day, every day. She also has some echolalia. What are these? Let me explain them to you.

Echolalia is when your child “echoes” what you say,  If I say “Do you want a cookie”? the child would say “Want a cookie” or just say “Cookie”? Sometimes the child will say it hours or even days later. We will have already forgotten and takes us a minute to get that she is just repeated what she remembers happening days ago.

Scripting is when your child recites lines or whole movies, songs, books or even TV commercials. This is Chloe’s main way of speaking. She mainly does songs and books. The longest she has scripted, without stopping, is 3 hours!! Brett and I almost cracked. Imagine hearing singing for 3 straight hours. The same songs over and over. Yes it is TOUGH!

A lot of people think or say “Well at least she is talking”. This is not normal speech and there is no conversation taking place. I have tried many tactics to help Chloe with these issues. I try to redirect her to a new activity, but she gets upset because I interrupted her . Sometimes I have to tell her to stop singing or scripting whatever it is she is talking about. She can recite a whole book.

The key to treating Echolalia is to model every word or phrase the correct way. So if I say “The bird is blue” and Chloe says “Bird blue”, I say “Yes the bird is blue”. Sometimes I forget and say Yes honey, but I have to stay on top of it, so she can learn correct speech.

Scripting is actually tougher to reduce in my opinion. Often times it is a sensory behavior. The child is doing it because it feels good and not to get attention or to be naughty. Other children may use it as an escape. Chloe does it for both reasons. If we are in a busy or loud place she will start scripting and flapping her hands. Even though scripting is not a dangerous behavior it can cause many problems. It can limit further skill development, opportunities to make friends and hinder independence. It is very disruptive to daily life. Brett works from home right now and Chloe’s scripting make most days tough, but I try to keep her busy or take her outside.

I am at the point now that I will say “No more songs” or “No talking right now”. It is most heartbreaking when we are out and people stare at her. I just want to scream “Stop staring at her”!! Kids, unless they know her run from her. She loves watching other children play and if she attempts to follow them they tell her no or run from her. Makes me cry. I just have to push on and keep working with her. She is such a sweet and funny girl.

So that is a bit about our life living with Scripting and Echolalia. Do any of you have children who struggle with either or both of these? Let me know how you handle it in the comments. Thanks for stopping by and have a very blessed day.


4 thoughts on “Echolalia and Scripting in Autism”

  1. That has got to be tough! Bethany repeats the same questions that she already knows the answers to and wants to have the same conversations over and over and over all day everyday! It’s exhausting and heartbreaking. I also sometimes have to tell her no more talking for a while!

    Liked by 1 person

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