Why does my child copy what I say? Part 2

autism communication Mar 30, 2020

In the last blog post we talked about the fact that autistic children often produce echolalia because they have a different way of learning language. Rather than the usual method of typically developing children - where sounds become single words which lead to phrases and then sentences – autistic children often learn chunks of language which they then reproduce.

As mentioned in the previous post on echolalia, this can be a way of communicating. Your child may be trying to tell you something using the only language they can access.

Are there other explanations for echoing? The simple answer is, “Yes, there are many reasons why children do this.” Having said this, the purpose is not always obvious. So, it’s helpful to watch and learn the patterns that are unique to your child.

Some children echo as a way of experimenting with language. In the same way that typically developing children experiment with babbling noises while they play, your child may be enjoying...

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Why does my child copy what I say? Part 1

autism communication Mar 30, 2020

So, you ask your child, “Do you want an apple?” and instead of saying, “yes” or “no”, they reply, “Do you want an apple?” Leaving you flummoxed as to whether or not they want the apple!

Many autistic children echo language either immediately after they hear it or some time later. Often, the words appear to be meaningless and unrelated to events going on around them. Parents often feel very frustrated by this behaviour and wonder how they should respond. Ignore it? Try to stop it? Change it?

To address the response question, let’s firstly look at why children produce “echolalia” – the word often used to describe echoed language or repeating what someone else has said.

Autistic children typically have a different learning style when it comes to acquiring language. Non-autistic children usually begin speaking by saying single words (like, “Dadda”) which then leads to word combinations (like,...

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Why does my child line up his toys?

autism play Mar 30, 2020

Have you noticed that your child often lines up his / her toys? Rather than playing with trains or dinosaurs in a pretend way, he / she may spend lots of time meticulously placing them in a long line. Have you ever wondered why?

Lining up toys is a common feature of young autistic children. But why do they do this and how should we respond?

One of the features of autistic people is a tendency towards a more rigid thinking style. They often have a strong preference for order and predictability. Tasks or situations that require flexible thinking can be a challenge.

It is therefore understandable that young autistic children will show this thinking style in their play. Lining up toys is a way of bringing order and predictability to the immediate environment.

The key is not to stop your child from lining up their toys. Doing so may lead to distress or a tantrum because the perceived “chaos” will cause an increase in anxiety. It’s more helpful to use this information to...

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