Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 271–281

Echolalia and comprehension in autistic children

  • Jacqueline M. A. Roberts

DOI: 10.1007/BF02211846

Cite this article as:
Roberts, J.M.A. J Autism Dev Disord (1989) 19: 271. doi:10.1007/BF02211846


The research reported in this paper investigates the phenomenon of echolalia in the speech of autistic children by examining the relationship between the frequency of echolalia and receptive language ability. The receptive language skills of 10 autistic children were assessed, and spontaneous speech samples were recorded. Analysis of these data showed that those children with poor receptive language skills produced significantly more echolalic utterances than those children whose receptive skills were more age-appropriate. Children who produced fewer echolalic utterances, and had more advanced receptive language ability, evidenced a higher proportion of mitigated echolalia. The most common type of mitigation was echo plus affirmation or denial.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacqueline M. A. Roberts
    • 1
  1. 1.The Autistic Association of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Vern-Barnett Diagnostic Teaching CentreForestvilleAustralia

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