Echolalia: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Echolalia is the unsolicited and meaningless repetition (echoing) of another person's vocalizations, or speech. The person with echolalia may repeat noises, phrases, or words. Echolalia is a symptom of brain damage or psychiatric disorders, and the person with echolalia may or may not be able to communicate normally or understand others. Children with autism and developmental disorders, as well as very young children, may exhibit echolalia. It is not the same as Tourette syndrome, in which people may make involuntary verbal exclamations, although in some cases, echolalia may be present in people with Tourette syndrome. Also known as echologia or echophrasia.

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/1/2018

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