Speech Disorders/repeating words/phrases


Rob S wrote at 2006-07-05 23:38:07
'Immediate Echolalia' would be repetition of others' phrases, which, as you mentioned, is often linked to Autism.

What's described here sounds more like "Palilalia," which is often linked to Tourette syndrome.

I have two relatives, aged five and 15, who display a form (I think) of palilalia, where they, without making any noise, mouth the final few words of sentences after they've finished speaking. I've also heard it called echoing and aftershock.

I'd like to know more about it, but standard internet searching hasn't yielded much.

bill wrote at 2006-10-31 09:51:42
I have a son with the same condition.  He is now 29 years old and this has not affected his life significantly.  He does have some other social problems, ADHD type symptoms which have hindered him to some extent.  He was diagnosed with ADHD as a kid and took ritalin.  He is highly intelligent with a very high IQ.  I suspect that this behaviour is a minor symptom of some brain processing disorder that each person has to overcome in their own way and will someday be identified and cured.

I also found the info at the link below.


Cynthia wrote at 2008-02-29 01:02:42
Dear Carrie,

We know what you're talking about. We have a friend who repeats either his sentence or just the last word he has just said in a mouthing or whisper mimicking way. We have looked this issue up and have found no results. If you find any answers please post them.

Thank you

Stacy wrote at 2008-06-29 04:04:05
Wow! It is good to know there is other people that whisper after they speak. I myself have been told i do it. My mom has to tell me when i do it or else i wouldn't even notice. I don't do it everytime i speak. In fact it is more like every few days i will do it once or twice. Please write back letting me know if you have any questions or comments.

Dale wrote at 2008-11-08 13:13:43
My 3 year old son who is still learning to put together whole sentences and words repeats himself in a whisper voice all the time.My older brother had the same issue when we were younger about 25 years ago, but he doesnt do it any more.He has a lot of other major social issues though. Im wondering if it could be heriditary from my brother to my son although I never had the symptoms.I hope my Son doesnt have to deal with this till he,s in his 20's like my brother.Any one else with information or web links PLEASE,PLEASE post them on here. Thank you.

Geoff wrote at 2009-04-13 15:47:53
I'm 20 and had the same problem as your child when I was younger, probably in middle school or so and I also have ADD. I used to mouth sentences I had said aloud for no reason, and I will still repeat short answers and things twice. But in time I think its gone away, or maybe I just have moved it into my head instead. Either way, I wouldn't be too concerned because other than friends joking about it it hasn't been an issue.

After I got older I starting reading more about these language disorders, all of which I feel I have at some minor level, especially dyslexia. But I never was diagnosed with them, or at least I wasn't told about it. I think ADD comes hand in hand with a lot of other peculiarities that tend to throw the person's communications off a bit. But nothing that can't be overcome with a little help from your friends. :)

Cassandra wrote at 2009-11-11 17:43:27
My son (now 6) has displayed this habit for several years. He is unaware that he moves his lips in a repetitive whisper but does say he hears an echo in his head. It doesn’t happen all the time; actually it has stopped several times in the past only to return periodically with increased frequency and more pronounced. It seems to follow a cycle that I believe is connected to his learning.  He has an extraordinary vocabulary for a person of his years and most likely dyslexia and ADD. When awareness, curiosity, understanding, wit, humor and vocabulary accrue my son’s palilalia-like systems increase.



lalmenda wrote at 2011-03-19 04:52:51
We have identical twins girls that share a similar problem. In fact I was also searching for an answer. They are deaf/hard of hearing, but do have speech, yet rely mainly on ASL.  They both repeat complete phrases/ideas throughout the day. We don't know why or even if they are aware of their repetition.  Curious why and what we can do to alleviate this issue.  

James wrote at 2012-12-01 12:48:40
I have no answers but was curious about this because of my little brother.  He died over 30 years ago, but he had, perhaps, a mild intellectual disability, and, when it came to speech, he almost always would speak a sentence and then repeat the sentence he had just said in a quiet more whispery tone just after the original sentence.  I always thought he was trying to double check to make sure he had really said what he thought he had said.

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Erin E. Maio-Harrison, MA,CCC-SLP


I am able to answer questions related to speech, language, cognitive, swallowing disorders in both children and adults. My focus area relates to disorders that are secondary to trauma (i.e., head injury) or disease, (i.e., Dementia) but I am able to answer basic questions (or find more info) about developmental disorders as well.


I am a licensed Speech/Language Pathologist with 18 years experience primarily in acute care pediatrics and in-pt. rehab. I have also continuously moonlighted in geriatrics, primarily skilled nursing settings and have had private clients of all ages. My focus of practice is neurogenic communication and swallowing disorders.

American Speech & Hearing Association, (ASHA) South Carolina Speech/Hearing Association(SCSHA)

Masters Degree, Communication Disorders and Speech Science (CU Boulder)

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