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we thought it was memory loss, but now I wonder!


Forum: Children with Developmental Delays and Disorders

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  #1  
April 6th, 2008, 12:37 PM
rabbitranch's Avatar est. 2000
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We have been having some issues with our 5 year old DD, Ibis. Some of you may have seen my other posts on here We were really concerned that she was exhibiting short-term memory loss in addition to some autistic-like behaviors (tantrums, resistance to change, obsessions). We finally got her in to see a neurologist, and she's so far had an EEG which showed subclinical sleep seizures. We're getting an MRI in a few weeks, and then she'll go on to a psych eval. Our biggest concern was the apparent memory loss. Ibis had Group B strep as a newborn and was treated for the blood infection, but was never tested for the meningitis version of Group B. Our big concern was that maybe she'd been misdiagnosed and as a result now has brain damage.

Now that I've been reading posts here, I've had a sudden ah ha! moment. I thought she wasn't able to remember people's names because we'll go to the park and she'll ask another kid what their name is, and they'll tell her, and then she'll ask them literally 30 more times while we're at the park (it is both amusing and sad to see a 3-year-old half her size look at her like she's nuts). I thought she wasn't able to remember their names, but now it just dawned on me that repeating the question over and over could be another autistic-like behavior. She'll ask us the same question over and over (what's for dinner? what's for dinner? what's for dinner?) so now I'm thinking this might NOT be that she can't remember, it's that she's stuck on repeating. Is there a term for that behavior? Do anyone else's kids do this? Thanks!
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  #2  
April 6th, 2008, 12:53 PM
Tammyjh's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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My dd did this a lot when she was younger. She also would do this thing that if there were a lot other people in the room and she made a statement, she would go to each person and repeat what she said. I'm guessing she thought that unless she was speaking directly to the person, they didn't hear what she said. A lot of kids with Asperger'sy Syndrome and problems with nonverbal learning talk their way through everything. They explore their environment better through verbalization instead of exploring by observing. Abby used to tell me everything she was doing and used to ask permission to do everything as well. Even at 14, she still has days that she asks me or informs me that she's going to the bathroom. She'll also follow me all over the house and it can be a bit unnerving to come out of the bathroom and find her standing outside the door...waiting for me. But yes, repitition is something she does a lot of and she loves predictability....thats why when she wants to play with her younger sister, she either just wants K to watch her or be in charge of every little part of their play time.
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  #3  
April 6th, 2008, 06:15 PM
Doodle's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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my daughter "sticks" like that. It used to be much worse but she seems to be growing out of it a bit -not totally, it's bad when she's anxious but it's less pronounced generally then it used to be
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  #4  
April 7th, 2008, 08:59 PM
pautumnsun's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Yes, my ds does it alot.
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  #5  
April 8th, 2008, 06:27 AM
Tammyjh's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I also think that repitition is soothing for them. They like predictability so each time she asks the question and knows what the answer will be, its calming. Kind of similar to stimming. When Abby was much younger and we would be out running errands, she always asked me "where next?" I used to think it was a cute quirk but now I know that she was trying to plan it all out in her mind because not knowing causes her a great deal of anxiety. We have a big calendar in our kitchen that I write appts., meetings, and various other things on and she'll stand there several times a day to see whats on our schedule and she'll also ask me every Sat. and Sun. if we're going anywhere, and all the specifics of if we are...like where it is, what time, who's going, who "needs" to go, etc....
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  #6  
April 10th, 2008, 08:50 AM
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With my dd, she has a very severe speech delay. She knows some route phrases and questions, but does not know how to properly ask and answer questions. She will repeat the same question over and over and we have come to realize that this is her way of trying to engage and interact with us. She knows she wants to talk to us and she knows she wants to say something, but doesn't know how to do that, so she will ask the same question over and over. I haven't had a chance to read up on your other posts, but your dd may be doing the same thing if she has speech problems. She may not know how to properly engage in normal conversation, but is still trying to interact with them. We find it frustrating, but we are working on answering them and teaching her continuation questions to ask. So if she says did you have a good day at school, we say well mommy doesn't go to school, she works, but mommy had a good day at work. How was your day, and then teaching her to asks things like what did you do at .... or how do you feel or whatever. JMT
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  #7  
April 10th, 2008, 03:15 PM
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Repeating words or sounds is called "echolalia", and yes, it is a very common autistic behaviour.
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  #8  
April 11th, 2008, 10:01 AM
rabbitranch's Avatar est. 2000
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I thought echolalia was repitition of something you hear. Answering "Do you want a cookie," for the question, "Do you want a cookie?" Or, repeating a television commercial word for word. Am I wrong? In Ibis' case, she is not prompted into asking these kids their name, but does it on her own and then does it 30 times over. I know at some point she's heard other kids ask her what her name is, so I guess it could be delayed echolalia? All the terminology is confusing!

Also, she asks us questions that you would think, or in some cases you know, she knows the answer to. Like, "Is the sky blue?" I've started asking her back the questions herself - it seems to be the only way she stops asking over and over.
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  #9  
April 11th, 2008, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
I thought echolalia was repitition of something you hear. Answering "Do you want a cookie," for the question, "Do you want a cookie?" Or, repeating a television commercial word for word. Am I wrong?[/b]
No you aren't wrong. I just looked into it further, and there is also perseverative speech, which sounds more like what you are describing. I added a definition for that to the Glossary and updated the echolalia definition to include it.

My friend works with autistic children and young adults, and I have been out with her and some of her clients, this one boy Jay (he's 14 now) has problems with what I thought was echolalia but I suppose is actually perseverative speech. I remember last time we went bowling, he kept asking me if I liked bowling. And then he would say "I like bowling. I'm a good bowler" a couple of times, and then a few minutes later, he would ask me again. Terri - my friend - would say "Jay, we already talked about that, let's move on" and he would say yes, and walk away, then a few minutes later he'd ask me again. Another time we were out for a walk, and my little boy Jack who was 3 at the time wet his pants. I changed him, it was no big deal, but Jay couldn't stop talking about it. Seriously, every few minutes he would say "he wet his pants" and giggle. The whole 10 minute walk, he was like a broken record. When we got to our destination and fed the rabbits he forgot about it, but on the walk back, when we got to the spot where I had changed Jack, he was reminded, and started the repeating again.
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  #10  
April 11th, 2008, 11:42 AM
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Here is a good article about echolalia and perseverative speech with examples: http://www.specialed.us/autism/verbal/verbal11.html
Here is an excerpt:
Quote:
Perseverative speech/incessant question asking - Definition:

Perseverative speech and incessant question asking are persistent repetitions of speech or questions which can be used both communicatively or non-communicatively.

Perseverative speech/incessant question asking - Communicative purposes.

This occurs when perseverative speech or incessant questions are used to initiate or maintain a communicative interaction, and the child anticipates a response. However it is perseverative, because the child repeats the speech act either immediately or shortly thereafter, even after receiving a response.

Perseverative speech/incessant question asking - Non-communicative purposes:

Perseverative speech and incessant question asking may also be non-communicative in that the child repeats the utterances/questions without anticipating a response from someone. In this case the verbal repetitions may be calming or pleasurable to the child.[/b]
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