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Speech Disorders/My son repeats word or sentences.


c.p. wrote at 2006-07-10 00:20:43
Wow I am looking up the same thing!! My son is 71/2 years old and he has stared to say or tell us something and then whispers it again. My husbadn and I have asked him if he knows that he is doing this. Sometimes he says yes and sometimes he says no I'm not- and even states that response of "You can hear me?" It is very intriging- but maybe they are trying to confirm what they are saying. It seems more a game then anything but then again they aren't aware of it all the time. Sometimes he gets made and says "No i'm not" but he won't say why he does this.

any added info would be great!


Ida Mom wrote at 2006-10-20 05:25:29
I am looking for this too!  My 6 year old son has started to  repeat things under his breath. For example, "Can we have ice cream?" Then immediately he will whisper the same phrase, seemingly to himself. If I ask him why he was saying things to himself, he denies doing it. We tell him that we can hear him repeat the words, and now he finally admits it, but says he doesn't know why he does it. Can you, or the others posting with this topic, please pass on any information on this?

KS wrote at 2007-04-03 07:24:42
Wow. I actually used to do this, myself, Kevin! Thinking back, I cannot recall a specific reason for doing it; it became an almost automatic and uncontrollable action at certain times. If I had to really 'diagnose' the reason for repeating my words, I believe the most likely answer is that I wanted to make sure I'd said the right thing. It was a self-check.

While my parents and others did pick up on it at times, I can assure you it did not persist in my case. I am a very language-oriented person. My Language Arts skills far outweighed my Math and Science skills in higher grade levels.

English and writing are my strong suits. I would almost say I am a perfectionist in that department. I over-edit and over-analyze the words I write. So now, instead of vocally repeating myself, I tend to meticulously construct how I will phrase a response to someone, but I'll do it mentally.

I would hazard a guess your son wants everything he says to be perfect. By repeating what he has said under his breath (like I did), he is (as you surmised) double-checking.

I'm no speech therapist, and I realize I'm answering to a nearly 2-year-old inquiry, but...while your son may think it's embarrassing to know others are aware he does this, from my own experience, this habit will pass. Getting the assurance that it's OKAY to mis-pronounce a word, or use the wrong word to describe something; that it's all a part of growing up and learning how to talk, I think he'll be just fine.

Hope this helps!

MF (mf) wrote at 2007-04-05 14:56:21
FWIW, I did the same thing as a kid, probably for a year or more. And my memory is the same--I was checking to make sure what I said came out right.  Now my 6.5 year old boy has started doing it too.

KS wrote at 2007-04-07 22:26:43
I came upon this quite by chance today. I think many of you will find it quite interesting!

It's taken from an on-line article from TIME magazine about Albert Einstein:

'He was slow in learning how to talk. "My parents were so worried," he later recalled, "that they consulted a doctor." Even after he had begun using words, sometime after the age of 2, he developed a quirk that prompted the family maid to dub him "der Depperte," the dopey one. Whenever he had something to say, he would try it out on himself, whispering it softly until it sounded good enough to pronounce aloud. "Every sentence he uttered," his worshipful younger sister recalled, "no matter how routine, he repeated to himself softly, moving his lips." It was all very worrying, she said. "He had such difficulty with language that those around him feared he would never learn."'

I'm no Einstein, but I think we can perhaps stop worrying that this little speech 'quirk' is in any way a sign of mental sluggishness or disorder.


Twinkiedee wrote at 2007-07-06 12:26:02
Hi Kevin,

My son has been doing the same thing for a few years now- he is age 7.  With some of his other vague symptoms I've searched through his symptoms and Tourette syndrome lists "palilalia" as a commonly associated condition.  If you look up palilalia, it is the urge to repeat your own words or thoughts; and may be symptoms of Tourette Syndrome or Autism.  I plan to ask our MD at his next appt.  Good luck to you, hope this helps.  - Dee

mew wrote at 2007-07-21 15:38:45
I just happened upon this discussion as I was searching for answers. I have 6 children and my youngest is 7. She has been whisper repeating for over a year now, She has typical language and development ability other than this little quirk.

Her 13 year old sister is a recovering autistic who was echolalic when she was younger (2/3). Now as this 13 year old is working on her social acceptance she often repeats in whisper what she speaks as a self check.

She is my 7 year old's closest company and I think the 7 year old has just picked this speech pattern up as a result of the time they spend together. They are both very much aware they do this whisper check. The other children are kind (never cruel)about pointing it out occasionally as they play together.

As with the echolalia we expect this language/speech behavior to diminish and disappear completely as they both become more comfortable with their language.

joy parkinson wrote at 2007-08-02 20:06:29
My 6 year old son repeats himself also.  I just happen to google my son repeats himself to see if it is normal.  Kevin and I are both experiencing the same problem.  He is a very smart kid in school, however, I feel this is a disorder.

heather wrote at 2007-08-04 03:31:54
My son is 5 and has just recently started repeating his phrases in a whisper.  Sometimes he'll repeat things he hears in a whisper too.  When I ask him about this, he usually acts as if he isn't aware he's doing it.  He has always had language skills that seemed above average, so I'm not sure what this is all about and have started resarching it so if anyone has any further information, I would be interested in reading it.  Thank you

Carl wrote at 2007-08-16 20:24:02
My son who is 5 years old does exactly the same thing! He had been seeing a speech therapist for his stutter which all but seems to have gone. Soon after his sessions ended, we noticed he started to repeat what he had just said with lip movement. He now repeats it in a whisper, sometimes louder than a whisper. I have asked him if he knows that he is doing it, he says not, then whispered 'he does not'. This is all starting to get noticed at school and is beginning to make him stand out for being picked on. Have you found out if this a known medical condition?

Mary wrote at 2007-08-25 01:09:23
My 11 y.o. son has done this for over a year.  He wasn't aware of it until I pointed it out.  Still, he is usually unaware that he's repeating under his breath.  He denies that he's self-checking.  Instead, he says he's saying it more as a narration of what's happening.  His older sister used to narrate entire stories audibly, so it must be something genetic!  He's an incredibly bright kid, and isn't at all offended when his friends ask him why he repeats himself.  I assume he'll stop someday, and after reading these comments, I'm not at all concerned about it.

nisa wrote at 2007-09-21 05:17:42
I remember my brother, who is extremely eloquent and bright, doing the same thing as a kid.  Now I am noticing my 6 year old son doing the same thing.  It is very curious.

Stephen wrote at 2007-10-02 13:30:09
I don't know if this helps you or not but I used to do the same thing when I was a kid and I knew another boy in my class that did it also.  The only reason I knew I was doing it was that my sister used to constantly make fun of me over it.  And by the way, the more people pointed it out to me the more I did it.  I am not really sure why I was doing it but I think you are right.  I was unsure of what I was saying and mouthed the words again to check myself.  Looking back I think I could have benefitted from a little speech therapy.  But I did make it through school and college just fine. I now have a son who is having some speech problems but it is more of conversational problems.  It must run in our blood.

JW wrote at 2007-10-21 00:42:16
I came across this discussion after an internet search because our almost seven year old son just started repeating his sentences or words.  He is developmentally on target and has always been extremely verbal.  He does have a slight speech issue (sounds a little bit slushy) that the school speech pathologist is not concerned about, and he does not seem to be self-conscious about it at all.  His brother commented to us just yesterday that he was repeating himself and we noticed it today.  When we asked him about it, he said if he doesn't say it out loud, he is saying it in his head.  We had never heard of this before and were a little alarmed.  I was glad to read the comments by adults who remember doing this as a child.

Debsie wrote at 2007-11-13 12:40:45
My 6 year old son has been repeating himself for about a year.  He now has an appointment to see an ears nose and throat specialist (for being sensitive to loud noises). I decided to google repeating words tonight and now it seems the problems may be linked.  Central Auditory Processing Disorder comes up a lot if your child repeats themselves, is easily distracted, unusally bothered by loud noises (which my son is) but it also mentions has problems with speech and learning, of which he has none.  So I am very confused and looking forward to seeing what the specialist says.  Am also considering having him valuated by a paediatrician.

denver wrote at 2007-11-19 01:17:07
I would like to second and expand a bit upon what KS wrote a while back...

I did this as a kid too - I'm 33 now.

I agree it is related to perfectionism and also that it is not a "language problem" per se - I too have strong language skills and speak four foreign languages with relative fluency.  

It is a symptom of an some anxiety/perfectionism tendencies (that does not mean put your kid on meds - that would be ridiculous overkill at this point).

I did get teased a little about it and recall eventually making a simple concentrated effort to stop it (much like breaking a childhood thumb-sucking habit) - and I did (although I still do it in my mind to a certain extent - the repeating, not the thumb-sucking!).

All in all, I'd say it is NOT a big deal - except as a positive opportunity to recognize early on a tendency (perfectionism) that could pose  difficulties in the long-run.

Use this opportunity to subtly emphasize concepts to you kid that work toward diffusing perfectionistic tendedencies, such as relativity and shades of gray versus the black-and-white/all-or-nothing thinking style that is often at the root of perfectionism.

If all of this sounds a bit heady - it is, but the "whisper" habit also indicates one thing above all others, in my opinion: you probably have a very smart kid on your hands who, with support and guidance, is going to accomplish some pretty amazing things in his/her lifetime!  Not such a bad "problem" to have!

I'd never read about the Einstein thing, but it's probably a good one to mention to your youngster if you do end up discussing this - it's good ammo for them to fire back with if they ever do get teased by peers.

Remember, though - it really is involuntary and after it has been pointed out ONCE to your child, he/she will not forget about it anytime soon - so don't nag or punish - it's not only not their 'fault' - it's not even necessarily a bad thing - just a different thing!



Jim wrote at 2007-11-22 05:28:44
I am having the same issue with my 7 year old daughter. She has just started doing it We thought it might have to do with her being somewhat hearing impaired, but it seems that the rest of you don't have that situation

Kim Brunson wrote at 2007-11-27 03:37:18
  I have a nephew who has started to do this, too. He is about ten years old. He seems to have other learning differences and might be somewhere defined in the autism spectrum. Unfortunately, my brother doesn't seek a diagnosis for him. (Autism runs in the family.)

  I also remember a little boy in my class growing up who had this same behavior. Probably not all that uncommon.

3to1 wrote at 2007-12-02 04:50:51
I just happen to come across this website.  I just noticed my 10 year old starting to do this a few months ago.  He would say something and then repeat it in a whisper or just moving his mouth.  Almost like he is self checking what he just said - a confidence issue.  When I asked him about it, he denied even doing it. He is also diagnosed with ADD so I am not sure if there is any correlation.  Although it sounds like it is something that will eventually go away, I want to make sure that it isn't more than just a childhood mystery that will go away with time.

Brandon wrote at 2008-01-09 19:03:54
I do this . . . I'm 26 now, and I've done it since I was in about 5th grade.  I don't do it with everything I say, and I can find no pattern to it.

As far as asking your son why he does it, he may not know.  I have no idea why I do it, and I really don't even realize I'm doing it until I'm almost done repeating, and it's too late to stop myself.  I usually don't repeat the whole sentence either, usually just the last few words.  It's like my brain is catching up with what I was saying.

KRISTIN wrote at 2008-02-11 20:08:08

Elizabeth Barton wrote at 2008-05-19 06:45:25
I'm 14 and I think i've always done this. I do it less now and more often when i'm nervous.

My parents have noticed before and my friends sometimes notice but it's not really a big problem to me. I sometimes wonder why I do it but I don't really mind it.

tuter2toot wrote at 2008-06-07 04:44:49
WOW! Years after this message board comes into existence, I find it! My sons are 16 and 24 (a Tech Sgt in the USAF) and, on occasion, repeat the ends of their sentences and they have no idea they're doing it! I can assure you that neither has autism. We thought it was a quaint idiosyncrasy. Glad to be able to tell both of them that Albert Einstein did it too ... did it too.

beksmom wrote at 2008-08-15 18:02:19
My 4-year old daughter suddenly started doing this. In a soft whisper, she quietly repeats things we say. She also doe it while watching TV. I was wondering why so I did a web search and I found this link. I'm glad to know she's in good "company" with this strange new habit of hers.

Jennifer wrote at 2008-08-16 14:55:09
My 6 yr old son just started doing this as well.  In every other way he is perfectly normal and extremely smart.  His vocabulary is amazing and in Kindergarten this year read at a 4th grade level - he is however a perfectionist which we are always battling with.  He does not like to try new things unless he is sure he can do it well.

Blondviper wrote at 2008-09-04 01:09:52
It looks like all of the kids are around the same age who do this.  My son is almost 7 years old and I have been noticing him repeating what he is saying too.  I have asked him if he notices himself doing this but he just laughs and says no.  He finds is quite amusing.  I believe it is to check if he has said thing correctly.

dhali wrote at 2008-09-17 18:35:01
My daughter is now 8 1/2, and has been doing this for about 2 years. She definitely does it more when nervous, and is quite a highly strung filly, but is also above average intelligence and quite quirky. I was worried about OCD/ asbergers, probably because we have members of our extended family that live with both these conditions.

I shall stop fretting now!

amy wrote at 2008-09-29 17:58:14
Thank you Kevin for asking the question. My son is seven years old and does the same thing. He repeats HIMSELF only, not others. and it is not all the time. Sometimes I think he thinks he is being witty and wants to hear it again. I do wonder if he is just checking his sentence. I have pointed it out to him but he doesn't have an answer as to why he repeats himself. He doesn't seem to care that he does it or not. It is just so random. I would love more information on this topic.


Ruxx wrote at 2008-10-18 21:50:26
After searching on Google this is the only link that was of any help. I've noticed the age range for this "disorder" is 5-10 years old and seems more common in boys. My son is 5 years old (6 in December). I recently noticed that he whisper repeats his last word in nearly every sentence. When I first realised this a couple of months ago I got really worried, I started thinking that maybe it's my fault, something wrong with the way I've brought him up. When I ask him about it he starts laughing but is unaware that he is doing it at the time, and says "Mum I can't help it" but the main thing is that he knows that he has done it when asked. He is a very inteligent boy, gets very good marks in literacy and maths at school. I've thought about taking him to the doctor's but I find them so useless, they're always palming us off. So now I've decided to talk to his class teacher to see what she can suggest.

jbond wrote at 2008-10-28 01:07:22
I am so relieved to have found that so many others were concerned about their children the way I was.  I had gone through so many bad things in my head before I decided to do a search for this.  My daughter is 6.5 and I just noticed within the last month that she is whisper repeating the last few words in the sentence that she says, but not every sentence.  Occasionally she will repeat in a whisper what someone else will say, and its the same thing, in a whisper just the last couple of words.  I asked her if she knew, and she said yes, then no.  I don't really think that she knows, though.  And the perfectionist thing fits her!  She is definitely a perfectionist and very intelligent.  But now I am not so worried that she has some wierd psychological problem going on.  Thanks to all who contributed so that we can all be less freaked out parents!

Anne wrote at 2008-11-07 05:12:46
My 6 year old does it, too, and he is also a perfectionist. Although he has lightened up a little as he's gotten older.  He is also incredibly smart (I'm not just a doting parent, other people have noticed it, too) and very much an "outside of the box" thinker.  My nephew did the same thing when he was little (he's 37 now) and he too was an unusually intelligent child.  I think it's just that their brains are constantly going--evaluating, absorbing, and synthesizing information around them and the whisper thing is just another way that they are processing information.  I'm convinced it will pass and that it's actually a sign of what a smart cookie I have on my hands :)

patti wrote at 2008-11-10 19:43:33
My son is 9 1/2 and in 4th grade. He has PDD and is on the Autism spectrum. He has been doing this also off and on for about 2 years. He also says he doesnt know he is doing it. We are in the process of getting him tested for Auditory Processing Disorder. He is struggling in school,especially in math and creative writing.Some days he says his brain "isnt working right".

I, too, struggle with my emotions. His 5 year old brother is passing him up in so many things(shoe-tying is an example). I try to boost confidence ALL THE TIME and that really helps.

God Bless all of you out there. Thanks for all the info and anonymous support. :)

Mand wrote at 2008-11-15 06:01:10
This is interesting, I have the same curious situation with my 4 year old, he is a seemingly confident child who speaks very well and is doing very well with starting to read and write.  

I think that cancels out any learning difficulties at this stage, however he does get very frustrated when we sit down to do any kind of "learning" and says he cant or dosnt want to do it. (he seems to close his eyes and tries to shut it out) but once I tell him to turn his brain on and stop thinking about NOT doing it, he then excells in what ever he is trying to do.

I am left wondering if this is the perfectionist connection to repeating his sentences (mouthing) or is it something that could be more concerning.  I guess time will tell.

GL wrote at 2008-12-31 22:53:03
Hugs and kisses to all of you. I was sharing the computer with my 6 y.o. grandson just now and he kept doing that whisper thing in my ear so I decided to google "child,whisper,repeat" and got this site. I am so so glad to know he is alright and this is a common age for the occurance. I emailed this page to  his mom so we can understand better and relax.

LS wrote at 2009-01-06 05:31:20
Thank goodness I found this thread!!  My son has been doing this for 4 years starting at age 5 and his pediatrician just dismisses our concerns.  All of your descriptions hit the mark so completely, right down to the aversion to loud noises and perfectionism.  I do worry a bit about teasing but haven't heard it to be a problem yet at age 9. I am so relieved, I thought we were the only ones; no one I know has ever heard of this!

Jamie wrote at 2009-02-27 00:33:09
My son is 3 1/2 and it sounds like my son is in the same boat. He certainly has no learning or social difficulties, if anything the complete opposite. He repeats his sentences in a low whisper, and it generally happens more when he is really trying to get across a point and sort of straining to make it precise.

I've read a few other sites, who have had folks in their older years who turned out to be very intelligent, or at the least their English skills were above average. I can definitely tell my son is a perfectionist... maybe OCD, but I don't see it as anything worrisome. I LOVE his quirky behavior. He plays normally with other kids, but his favorite thing to do is to take his hundreds of animals or dinosaurs or insects or any various little objects and set them up in groups that are similar, then he has to ask for the appropriate name for them if he doesn't know it already.

Andrew wrote at 2009-03-04 20:15:57
I can't believe that I haven't googled this before. Around the age of 13 my sister asked me why I would repeat phrases under my breath immediately after saying them, to which I had no response, considering that I wasn't aware of it. Shortly afterwards I began noticing and made an effort to stop doing it. I'm 24 now and find that I still do it once or twice a month, but always notice.

In most other aspects I was a completely normal child, perhaps quicker than most when it came to language and reading comprehension. Contrary to most of the experiences on here, I was not a meticulous or perfectionist child, though I do have a fear of trying new things. If any of you reading this still have fears that this strange and endearing habit could be indicative of a more serious disorder, quit worrying. Unless your child is exhibiting stronger symptoms I'm sure you have nothing to worry about.

Rick B wrote at 2009-03-14 21:38:15
I'm 45 years old, and I've been a whisper-repeater all my life.  My dad used to get really mad at me for doing it.  I don't do it all the time, but catch myself occasionally.  By the way, I have a Master's degree, and completed a 26-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps.  Don't worry about your kids; they'll be fine.

DebG wrote at 2009-04-27 03:57:49
My son is 13 now. He started the repeating thing when he was 5 years old. He never spoke a word until he was almost 3. However, he's very intelligent. He started using a computer at 18 months and could read before he could even speak.

He played this computer learning game by Dr. Seuss that we bought for him and he would always get everything right.

He memorizes all kinds of facts about other planets, including wind speed, rotation days around the sun, you name it.

Parents that have a child that repeats don't have anything to worry about. You have a very special little someone that's destined to do something great. Embrace their uniqueness and celebrate everyday, who they are.

speechmom wrote at 2009-05-01 18:33:58
I am a speech pathologist, and also a mom of a child who does this. I have mild Tourette Syndrome and I also perform this behavior. I have asked my son why he does this and he does not know. From my experience, it is a compulsion and a habit that somehow feels comforting. I have been observing my son for signs of Tourette Syndrome and this is the first thing I have seen him do. He is 8 years old and has been repeating what he says for about a month. Tourette Syndrome varies in degrees of severity. I have never accepted treatment for it and no one ever notices my quirks as an adult as I've learned to cover it up. When I was a child, however, other children did tease me, so I have advised my son to try not to repeat himself out loud at school.

dt wrote at 2009-05-13 21:19:43
It's so exciting to find this thread!  I am a 42 year old male engineer and I have much in common with the people described here.  Ever since age 4 or 5 I would repeat in a whisper the last few words I had spoken, not every time, but frequently.  I also have a strong aversion to loud noises and do tend to choose my words carefully and like to perfect my creations.

One dimension that I haven't seen mentioned here, which I'll include in case it's helpful to someone else, is that I grew up in an abusive situation, and I found I could hasten or delay abusive behavior in my caregivers by choosing my words carefully.  I had often assumed that the speech quirk might be associated with the avoidance of abuse, but judging from the other messages here, it probably isn't that cut and dried.

Anyway, thanks to everyone for your contributions.  It's wonderful to have a place to look for this type of very specialized information.

MS wrote at 2009-05-19 21:29:40
I find this absolutely fascinating and intriguing!  My son has been doing this whisper repeating for about a year now.  I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to share their experiences so that we all don't feel so isolated in trying to figure out what the cause is.  My son will be turning 5 this fall and beginning kindergarten.  After reading all these posts, I am not the least bit concerned about this behavior and actually welcome it if it helps comfort him.  He is a very well spoken and articulate child for his age and we hear that often from others who interact with him.  What peaks my curiosity is what the connection is and I wonder why this hasn't been researched more in depth?  This would be a great topic for a thesis or gradute student research!

AW wrote at 2009-05-21 01:42:34
There are several reasons a child may repeat him or herself (palilalia) or others (echolalia). As a psychologist, I would be sure that any diagnosis you receive (such as Autism or Tourette's) is substantiated by other symptoms as well.  Diagnoses like these are quite real, but they are often used as handy fall backs to give a "reason" to abnormal behavior.  They certainly don't apply to every child who repeats utterances.

laverst1 wrote at 2009-05-28 12:19:20
I am 29 and I have always done this.  It doesn't seem to have done me any harm, (if I do say so myself)!  Once I became aware that I was doing it I started making a conscious effort to stop.  I usually catch myself now and stop before I whisper it "out loud".  Funnily enough, my father tells me that his father did the exact same thing.  He died before I was born.  Spooky!

stewkimmom wrote at 2009-06-01 18:40:14
My 5 year old son also whisper repeats himself and at times, other people.  I started noticing it a few months ago.  He had a mild speech delay but has reached his goals after 2 years of speech therapy.  He also has mild sensory integration issues and some tendencies that seem a little OCD.  His "issues" (as we call them) used to be 24/7 but are now only noticeable to us on a mild scale and on a larger scale when he's in an overly stimulating environment.

He is also overly emotional, imo.  

Nobody can tell us why he does some of the things he does.  They say that as long as it doesn't interfere with his school day, we shouldn't worry about it.  I do worry about it, though.  So far, he's been in a special education preK.  He does very well there.  He starts K in the Fall and I worry about him going to a full size classroom with only 1 teacher.

I'm confused by the fact that all of the people on this thread are familiar with whisper repeating but when I ask professionals, they haven't a clue or have never heard of it.

T.S. wrote at 2009-06-07 23:43:38
Wow... I too was freaking out so I googled this. My son, who is 3, just started doing this last week. But each day it gets more obvious. He too is very intelligent. He started speaking full sentences before he turned 2. When I say full sentences, I am talking about correct sentence structure for the most part. He is also a very quick learner. You pretty much show him how to do something one time and he has it down. I am glad to see this may be related to intelligence rather than some speech or psychological disorder. I will keep looking back to see what others post.

Wooly wrote at 2009-06-15 16:54:29
My mother, 87, performs this repeating behavior.  She has done it for as long as I can remember.  I always wondered if it was related to her hearing.  She only has hearing in one ear due to having scarlet fever when she was a child.  Her children and grandchildren notice it, but we've never asked her if she realizes she is doing it.

Frank wrote at 2009-06-20 22:06:44
I am 25 year old guy and I still have this speech problem where I will repeat the last few words in a sentence sometimes without realizing it.  Is there a special term for what I have.  I do it a lot when I am nervous.

worriedmom wrote at 2009-07-03 02:59:47
My son is 6.5 and he recently started whispering a sentence after saying it aloud. Not too often - maybe once or twice a day. He also has, in the past few months started to exhibit some motor tics that are constantly changing - from eye blinking to head jerking to neck stretching and facial grimacing. Repeating a phrase after you say it is called palilalia and is a vocal tic.

My son also had sensory integration issues when he was 3 - he was very sensitive to loud situations, but with some OT and desensitization (The Listening Program)he is fine now. He is also extremely bright, has a wonderful vocabulary and very sociable - but we are concerned about the motor tics - especially now that they are accompanied by this vocal tic. On one hand I feel less concerned b/c of all the responses I've read. But because he has these motor tics as well - I'm concerned he has a tic disorder or Tourettes though neither run in our family.

Jennifer_L wrote at 2009-07-22 01:57:59
My son is now 8 years old and he has been doing this for a year or two now.  He used to repeat himself right out loud but after we point out that he is doing it he has now graduated to whispering to himself.  When he isnt whispering you can still see his lips move!  He is very bright and social, so we havent really worried about it and just figured it would be something he would grow out of.  We will be taking him to the doc for his yearly physical and will ask then.  If I learn something I will post.  But finding that there are others with bright children and the same issue I feel a lot better!  Jennifer

anonymous wrote at 2009-07-23 12:25:54
My son has just turned 6 and has been repeating the last few words of his sentences for a few months now. I have been reading everyone's posts with a huge smile on my face because finally I have found people who can shed some light on this phenomenon. We are struggling with his perfectionism which leads to anxiety at the moment and to know that this seems to be a common thread throughout these kids is a relief. Our boy is emotionally sensitive and has always been sensitive to loud noises and bright light. Apart from his perfectionistic\borderline OCD behaviours he is a happy, loving, intelligent little boy and being able to read through these comments has taken a load off. Thankyou to all who have contributed.

Alison wrote at 2009-08-07 03:24:55
My son is 7 and very bright and I think confident in his intellect so it surprised me that when he started doing this last Spring and I asked him about it he said he was making sure that he said the sentence right.  It has been happening more, not less this summer and I worry that it will make him stand out in school.  He does this in a very soft voice but you can definitely hear it and he does it for even simple sentences that he speaks aloud in conversations with his younger brother (aka "informal, non-stressful conversation).

Jahnsa wrote at 2009-08-08 06:46:20
My 7 yr old son has been doing this for a year as well.  He had speech delay when young, and this seems to happen more when he's thinking too fast about what he wants to say next.  It doesn't seem to happen as much when he reads aloud, moreso when he is conveying original thoughts.  I asked him about it and you can tell he is trying to stop it, although I am trying to not make it seem unusual.

meggfish wrote at 2009-08-09 04:18:26
Yes!  I'm so glad I found this post.  My 3 1/2 year old has been doing this more and more.  I can't believe I found this so fast.  Anyway, he is also an exceptionally bright and well adjusted boy.  He started talking very early.  His vocabulary and sentence structure are really advanced.  He will repeat the most mundane things though.  It's not as if he's repeating something difficult.  I'm relieved to hear the other accounts.  It is odd that it seems to have some possible association with early speech and intelligence.

MelissaJ75 wrote at 2009-08-15 04:37:39
I'm so glad I looked this up because for years I thought my husband was the only person with this oddity. We have been married for 28 years and he has done this the entire time I've known him. When he says something he thinks is funny, or very serious, or something that makes him nervous to say, he repeats the entire sentence under his breath.  A few times over the years I've mentioned it to him but he didn't really believe me. He is not at all aware that he does it! When I saw how much the thought that he might be doing it embarassed him I let the matter drop. My children and I just accept it as a cute thing their Dad does.

I don't know how old he was when he started doing it initially, but it's good to know there are others out there.  So those of you with children doing this, they may just do it their whole lives. My husband is 50 years old. He doesn't do it all the time, just when he is saying something emphatically.

anonymous wrote at 2009-08-19 01:51:38
This is so reassuring to me.  My son is now 5yo and has been doing this on and off for the past year.  Sometimes it is worse than others.  We had no idea what was going on.  We have had him tested though due to his extreme early academic tendencies and discovered that he is a profoundly gifted child.  He does have some perfectionistic tendencies as well and is used to getting things right most of the time.  Nice to see that others have been through this and it may not be a big deal at all.

Tanya in SD wrote at 2009-08-23 15:37:11
KS & Denver's answers to this in 2007 are so reassuring.  I know I have a bright 7yr. old and when I come across something out of the 'ordinary'...I get concerned.  I appreciated reading that other parents noticed this pattern and even pleasantly surprised to read it may just be a habit of the really-smart. :-)  Thanks you KS & Denver.

Carolyn wrote at 2009-09-03 13:54:54
OMG!!  I am so glad to hear that my son is not alone.  He is almost 8.  I just noticed this behavior, however, my husband says that he has seen it for some time.  My son has an amazing attention to detail, but when asked about this, he says he is unaware of it.  He mouths the ENTIRE sentence that he says.  He does not do this after each sentence he speaks.  He, like others in the posts, is very intelligent, great at math, read at a 3rd grade level in kindergarten,  is VERY sensitive, and is a perfectionist in the worst way!!!  He is quick to cry if he can't do something on the first try etc...also, nothing seems to be good enough for him.  I swear we could be leaving Disney World and he would say "now what are we doing"?!!

Thanks for listening!  Misery loves company!

GeogChick wrote at 2009-09-05 01:57:45
Kevin and Erin,

My son (also 6) has been doing the exact same thing with repeating his words. I was so happy to see someone else post this question, however there is not a true answer here. My son is aware that he does it and has been called "weird" by cousins and class mates. He does not wish to do this and says he cant control it. Perhaps this is some mild sign of autism. I will continue my search for an answer.

eswife wrote at 2009-09-09 20:07:35
It was quite interesting reading this thread! I recently married a 44 year old man who has a tendancy to whisper/repeat the last few words of sentences.  He normally does this when he is upset. It has become my clue to know when a situation is really bothering him.  He is a very bright man, so I never thought of it as a "disorder," per say.  It is quite interesting, though.  I told him about it once, but do not harp on it.  It makes him who he is.

Anonymous wrote at 2009-09-20 20:13:19
I did this too as a kid (6-8 maybe). I've always been a perfectionist and even a bit obsessive compulsive so looking back I think that it may have just been me thinking out loud to make sure I got the sentence perfect. It only lasted a while and I have always made top scores in school since so I don't believe it was anything serious.

Worrywort wrote at 2009-09-24 02:02:06
Thank You all, Sharing your same situations (have of these replies I could wrote) My 8 year old boy has been repeating himself for about a year, and if you are worring Dad like myself? But you all are correct he is a brite and happy boy (not a perfectionest tho) he does well in math. My son is huge 5'1"-110 lbs and I know he is smart but he is not quick witted and not a mean bone in his body.

So I won't be worring as much, just a little.


Anna wrote at 2009-10-15 23:05:42
My daughter who is 5 has started doing this also, I have only noticed it in the last fortnight its concerning as I am fearful it could be the start of something bigger. Its always the last word and not the same word eveytime its very random, I can get her to repeat the sentence and sometimes she does it again othertimes she doesnt. I asked her why she said it twice and I dont think she realised she did.

ange wrote at 2009-11-03 23:02:21
WOW! lots of this out there!  THANKS for all the stories. Our kids are so precious to us and i think it is easy to over analyze this stuff, as we just want our children to be happy and not get teased!!

Yay for this pointing out to us that our kids may have a "perfectionist" tendency, I guess we can teach them to strive for perfect but realize that not getting things right first time is part of their journey!  I think we are lucky to know this at the earlier stages of their lives it means we can teach them tools to manage their need to get things "perfect".  What a gift and significant learning for them in their awesome wee lives!!

cindy wrote at 2009-11-07 16:42:48

My name is Cindy and I have a 6 year old boy. He started repeating himself when he was 3 years old. He would say "I like that for dinner" and then repeat what he just said but with no words coming out. The Doctor said that maybe it was just a way for him to know or understand what he says. Then for his 6 year old check up I asked about it again because he was still repeating. I also noticed how my son acts. He will not sleep anywhere but his bed, he has to have socks on, he gets very stressed out easily, he will tell me when it is bed time (has a strict schedule), and doesn't like change. I was told maybe he has OCD. Maybe you should get your child checked out and make sure you notice how he/she acts.

ds wrote at 2009-11-10 02:45:37
My son, turning 6 in a few weeks, does exactly the same thing.  It has concerned me enough to google the behaviour, and now I see he's not the only one...  

ds wrote at 2009-11-10 02:55:48
I just read through everyone's posts and I can't believe it!  Thank you so much for sharing.  My son is several grades above in reading, and has very strong language abilities.  We have also joked that he has OCD and is a perfectionist.  At almost 6 years old he fits the profile perfectly.  I think we'll just continue to ignore it, now that we see he is not alone....  This site was really very reassuring for me.   Thank you.

Marilyn wrote at 2009-11-17 15:17:24

My son who is 7 started doing the exact same thing a few months ago. He also has a moderate stutter and I wondered if it had anything to do with that. Did you ever receive a good answer about this?

danadm wrote at 2009-12-05 06:18:00
My son is 11 and has been doing this for about 6-7 years.  He is aware that he does this.  He has indicated that it is a self-check problem.  He has a high IQ.  He reads at a senior level and performs at a junior level in math.  We have ignored it because it only happens a few times a day.  He hasn't indicated that anyone other than family has noticed it.  He talks at a fast pace and stuttered a little when he was a preschooler.  He is somewhat of a perfectionist, devoting much time to homework in order to maintain his straight A's.  He is a GREAT kid!

Regina wrote at 2009-12-10 01:16:17
I'm amazed to find out so many people have had this experience with their children, I could cry!  My son is 16 and has been doing this since he was 9 or so.  It seems to come and go.  He's a sophomore now.  He had a strong season of this in 7th grade and did receive a fair amount of teasing, but he is a very smart, witty, and charismatic child who easily makes friends.  Everyone seems to love him, but I've overheard conversations where friends say, " Dude! What are you doing?!"  He just says, "Hey!  I can't help that."  It then tapered off and we only see it in him maybe every 3 months or so. Like others, it seems to appear when he's excited to talk about something and share something big.  He also seems to have some form of stuttering.  Not specific letter sounds, but just *getting started*.  It, too, comes and goes.  He is very bright, and always tested off the charts in elementary... at K he read at 4th level... at 4th grade he tested out at a college level.  As a 3rd grader when require to do a diorama book report, everyone chose 3rd grade level books and focused on the project... but he insisted on reading The Hobbit because he had already read The Lord of the Rings series the summer before.  Finally his teacher allowed it, she said we could have extra time, but he was one of the first students finished.  He taught himself to play guitar at age 11, and was asked to join an adult band at a very large church at age 13 because he became so advanced at it.  I've worried through the years that it was a sign of something worse, but have been encouraged by his strengths apart from the "repeat" issue.  The only other abnormalities for him, were sleep walking, which has stopped.  That lasted 2 years, age 9 and 10, but not nightly. He also had a 2nd grade issue of 4 times developing a bald spot, which we think he pulled the hair out in his sleep.  So I've always been a worried mom.  He does well at school, takes all the tough math and science, and is a top Debate Team member.  It's been frustrating all these years never getting answers, and always feeling brushed off by doctors.  No doctor we've seen could diagnose this.  He does well.  My only worry is that it might increase someday.  (Also... I watched some examples of Palalia on Youtube... they seemed more Tourette's like and more audible than this, and did not occur at the end of a sentence, but even at the beginning with words, or mid-sentence.  This did not seem the same as this "whisper repeat".)

blessed wrote at 2009-12-10 14:48:37
My son is 15 and is very bright but broke up with his girlfriend and also started having some issues with friends....I have noticed him repeating himself in a whisper when he is nervous or excited for the past few months....when I asked him about it, he said he did not realize he was doing it and was being teased by his friends...other than this recent quirk and some stress over social issues he does not have any other symptoms or problems...we will monitor it and let him know it is not that uncommon, thank you all for your posts

Tara wrote at 2009-12-12 13:56:35
Hey Kevin!

   I'm so glad that this isnt just me. My younger brother had been doing that for a solid few years when he was younger probably 4-6 years old. Eventually it just goes away, I used to ask him why he did that but it was as though he didnt notice he was doing it. So it goes away completly on its own, I forgot about it untill we were talking about it today which made me look it up... nothing to worry about sounds like its the same as your son.  

Jen wrote at 2009-12-19 23:17:29
I am also glad to hear from others.  My son is 9 and started whisper repeats a few months ago.  Shortly prior to that we moved to a new state.  I thought this may be the result of the "trauma" from the move.  He also had a speech delay as a child, attended speech therapy for 2 years, but then caught up.  I was not very worried about this new quirk until a friend told me her autistic son had a similar habit.  My son is average to accelerated academically but does appear to have had a math regression this year as well.  I am all over the place with this, but all the posts were of some help.  I'm opersting with the "we're all different" and "it helps him process things" approach.  He always has seemed to think very quickly...he can't get ideas down as fast as they come to him sort of thing.  I think this is related.

hanks everyone.

b wrote at 2010-01-03 04:21:17
Thanks so much to all who have commented. My 8 year old has been whisper repeating himself for several years now. It has concerned me somewhat. He is also intelligent, perfectionist, emotional and sensitive to loud noises. I am unsure if he is aware of doing it as he said in the past he did it to check to see if he spoke correctly but now denies that he does it. Mostly we just ignore it. I have mild OCD so it is possible that his behavior is connected to OCD, an obsession to get things "just right" with the whisper repeating being the compulsion. Thanks, too, for the info about Einstein ~ very encouraging! Einstein said that we can live as though nothing were a miracle or as though everything were. I think all of us are miracles. Bless our little whisper repeaters!  

GD wrote at 2010-01-07 16:41:44
My child also does this. She is now 10 year old. I asked her why she does it and she says that she is not aware that she is doing so. She is a very bright child who interacts well with others. It is still a bit worrisome as I thought she would have grown out of it by this age. I noticed a few weeks ago that her younger sister is now doing the same thing but not as often.

I have mentioned this to doctors but have been met with a blank stare from each of them. I thought perhaps it was some sort of stutter but apparently not.

There is a tv show called "The Middle" in which the youngest child, Brick, also exhibits the same trait. his father mentions this to the child and the boy stops talking as he is unable to control his behaviour. As the show is a comedy this is resolved but in real life it is painful to hear other people comment on your childs behaviour.

A final thought - my daughter seems to have mild OCD  (likes to stack things etc) so perhaps this is just another "glitch" connected to that?

Defrost wrote at 2010-01-11 01:37:54
My fiance is 25 and has been doing this for years. When he finishes his sentences he'll whisper the last few words again, then in an even quieter whisper again. I find it kind of creepy, yet kind of fascinating. i have never mentioned it to him, because I don't want him to feel self-conscious, but I asked his roommate if he noticed, and he says yes. I've just now started looking up possible reasons, but I'm glad he's not alone. I just find it strange that it's more common in children and he's 25.

Lynne wrote at 2010-01-13 15:12:37
Wow, I've read many of the comments pertaining to this and I'm partially relieved and still a little nervous!  My son is almost 8 and has been doing this for over a year now.  He also doesn't realize that he's doing it and told me that there's something in his head that instantly does it to check what he said.  It has diminished a little.  I'm worried that my son will carry it into adulthood.  It can't be healthy to have your whole life.  My son is very smart, loves to read, loves to wright, loves math and especially science.  Although, he's never shown signs of autism but I'm wondering if something on the lighter side is possible.  I'm thankful for everyone's comments as it is somewhat of a relief and helps to consider further help. Seems like this repetition is mostly occurring in the boys and starting around the late toddler stage. I have to ask myself if there is any relation to the parents (including myself) as far as our expectations...maybe they are too high? Just thinking out loud.  Thanks.

Nina wrote at 2010-01-23 05:33:53
My son with the 'whisper repeat'  behavior: 8 yrs old;  ADHD, some sensory issues alleviated w/OT; extremely verbal from a young age; extremely musical, artistic, creative, super bright; had to move him out of public school after 1st grade (they knew he was an extremely smart and out-of-the-box thinker but refused to acknowledge giftedness and put him in remedial reading instead, which didn't help!) and into a very small Montessori class (6 kids), which has helped in almost every way. Though very frequently present, the repeating is most common when he is being emphatic or  when he is stating out-of-the-box ideas.Also repeats his big sister in a whisper when he is concentrating on what she says - there is something about precision and emphasis in all of this, I can see with him. He has perfectionist tendencies, too, which the OT ad sensory activities improved a lot. An OT at a prestigious clinic, 2 physicians, 2 psychologists and a speech pathologist all claimed to be absolutely unfamiliar with this issue! Thanks, everyone, for sharing your stories. It seems like we can help each other more than any professionals can help us with understanding this.

Amy Jo wrote at 2010-01-30 16:24:22
I am sooo relieved to find this. Our son is almost 5 and has started doing this. It scared me at first as I have never been around anyone who has done it. The Dr wants me to have him evaluated since I mentioned it to her. After reading this I am hoping that it isn't very serious after all.....

Hannah wrote at 2010-02-06 05:41:24
Hi, I am 14 years old and I do this too! My friends have noticed it for about a year. At first, I honestly denied it and was unaware of it myself. I have found myself doing this recently. Now that they have pointed it out to me, I do it a lot more. Like mentioned in previous discussions, it IS an uncontrollable habit. I catch myself doing this but I CAN'T stop. It is only the last few words that I "whisper." Sometimes it's not even a whisper, but rather mouthing the words. I don't see a pattern in this "whisper/mouthing." And I am DEFINATELY not a perfectionist.

My mom said that I was talking fluently at 18 months and was very social. She also said that she noticed a little stuttering, at the age of 3 to 5, when beginning sentences. She now notices this when she is angry with me.(yelling... mom stuff) I guess I mouth what she says sometimes. My parents have never noticed until I pointed it out. (after my friend pointed it out to me)

I guess I was just really interested to learn more about this. I wasn't worried or anything.

Now that I am aware that others have this too, I want to find out what triggers it for me. I probably won't make a conscious effort to change this. I was just intrigued.

Good luck to all!

Mike wrote at 2010-02-08 01:43:59
I'm 45 and I still do this. It started when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade (can't recall exactly). My teacher told my parents I was acting up in class when I did it. She thought I was trying to be be a clown. However, it was something that I just did and couldn't turn it off in any way. They made a big deal about it so I sort of learned to control it some how. Now I find that I do it mostly when I'm alone or say it "in my head" and not verbally at all. I hope that makes sense. I am not a perfectionist at all but I do have some OCD tendencies. I also had a stutter at a kid and a very slight (no one seems to notice but me) one now. All very controlled though. Just wanted to share to the conversation.  

Heather wrote at 2010-02-11 05:47:30
Our 8 yr old son started to whisper after finishing his sentence like the last few words. It started around age 5. It seems to come and go. His teachers have been letting me know he is showing signs of ADD, for being hyper focused. He will sit and not do his work, or it will take a long time to do it. He is easily distracted. He is socially bright, well liked, is interested in learning about stuff, very smart, and artistic. Still wets the bed. He was also the baby who cried all the time, even while breast feeding. I just recently had his food allergies tested, and he tested hi in dairy and wheat. This is a lot of info besides the "whisper", but I just wanted to share these to see if there might be some connections.  

Brice wrote at 2010-02-16 15:17:14
I did this as a child. I don't know when it started (I suspect I was about 9 years old) but I do know that it ended when I was about 15. As a child, this really concerned my and I thought that there might be something wrong with me. As far as we can tell, I am normal.

My son is also doing the same thing. He is 10 and has been doing this for about 6 months. I was hoping to find some concrete medical/psychological reasons for this. If I do find any, I'll post them.

jackie wrote at 2010-02-24 02:39:20
Wow, you can find anything on Goggle! :)  My 5 year old just started this about 1 month ago.  She began speaking at 12 months and is VERY articulate!  My take was that it was the perfectionist thing.....and sounds like that is what others are saying.  She also if VERY dramatic..loves to act and sing and I thought that might play in to it too!  Thanks for all the great info!

Mouli wrote at 2010-02-26 06:03:57
I too have a son who has been doing this for the past year or so. He is seven now and will be eight in Oct. We have asked him why he does this and he doesn't offer an explanation. But we also feel like Kevin does, that he does this to double check what he said. Is there a way to make this stop, before other children start teasing him about this?

BillBro wrote at 2010-03-04 02:16:35
I also had this habit as a child ... probably started around 8 or 9.  I'm guessing no big deal.  I just grew out of it.  A funny side note.  Just this evening my daughter brought this up again (I told her about it years ago) because of an episode of "Malcolm in the Middle" tonight.  The young boy on the show was exhibiting the same behavior.  Funny circumstance at the end of the show.  My recommendation to parents is to not worry about this childhood quirk.

Vicky wrote at 2010-03-06 17:50:18
So interesting! I'm so glad that I found this. My son, who is five, has been doing this for several months now. He repeats entire sentences (in whispers) that other people say. I see it as a 'practice' of some sort. Maybe trying out different structured sentences for himself to see if he can get it right. I haven't said anything to him about it because I don't want to draw attention to it and make it an issue. He doesn't do it all the time.

For the record, he is extremely bright and an out of the box thinker. He didn't speak until the age of 24 months but spoke perfectly when he did. He taught himself to write the alphabet when he was 2 years old.

He is also an extreme perfectionist and we have deliberated over getting him checked for Asperger's (as he shows some signs) but decided against it.

Adri wrote at 2010-03-13 19:34:18
Finally! I'm so thankful to have found this page! My son is 12 years old and has been repeating his sentences in a whisper since he was about seven or eight. It is always his own words and no one else's. He doesn't do it all the time but the majority of the time he does. He is aware that he does it but is not always aware of when he's doing it. I have been concerned and wondered about it often but it never seemed like too much of an issue because he has healthy self esteem and strong social skills. His whispering has never effected him in a negative way. Up until now I thought it was just some weird little thing that only he did. It makes me feel good to know that he is not alone. Now I see that he has so much in common with so many of the other children on this board. He has been an excellent student since preschool. He has been on the Principle's List or Honor Roll every grading period since third grade. He is particularly gifted in reading and writing. He is a definite perfectionist and very self motivated. It is also important to him that his room stay neat and orderly. He has a place for everything and doesn't like it when someone moves his things around. I have often thought that it may all be related to mild OCD. I thank everyone for their input on this board. I feel I can investigate this with a more hopeful attitude and without as much of the fear that was lingering in the back of my mind.  

Ahmed Gofur wrote at 2010-03-14 16:14:34
Hi Kevin, Erin

I just 'googled' to see if anyone had a similar situation as my son who is 7, and I found Kevin's post. His description is exactly the same but it's been going on for a while (approximately since 5) for my son. I did ask him several times and his response is that he just "likes to do it". That makes me feel that he's aware of it. Could it be a confidence issue? Many thanks.

GINGER wrote at 2010-03-15 12:11:23
Wow, I am pretty amazed that there is not more "scientific" info on this. My 5 year old son has been doing this for the past several months.

In reading these posts, I keep reading the same thing... most often it occurs with BOYS, who have above-average INTELLIGENCE and it begins in EARLY-TO-MID CHILDHOOD. Many of these boys are PERFECTIONISTS.  

My son fits the bill except for the perfectionism part. He is not at all a perfectionist, or at least I have not noticed it until now. He is quite clumsy as far as motor skills go... I wonder if anyone else has noticed this? My son is also a very wordy kid who started speaking very early and now speaks at a level much higher than his peers, which sometimes causes him problems socially.

I read up on palilalia and it is characterized by a repetition of what was said in a whisper, but usually much faster than what was said out loud. With my son, he says it at the same speed, just whispered.

We've heard from a lot of people who do this as adults... I'd be interested to find out whether they are the exception, and usually this habit stops at a certain age, or what the usual development is.

Mike wrote at 2010-03-18 03:10:02
To Ginger - Don't know if this helps or not but I'm an adult now who still does this. I posted a few sections above you. I was very verbal and ranked quite high on the tests in that area in school. I was also a bit clumsy and had a hard time in sports. Regarding the perfectionism part, I don't have that except that I do have some OCD tendencies that I have had since childhood.

I have never been able to stop or control repeating - it just sort of happens. Like breathing. I do  however mostly do it under my breath now so it isn't heard by others to the best of my knowledge. Someone else posted earlier that they only mouth the words. I do that as well from time to time. That is the kicker - I know I'm doing it now but cannot control it.

For anyone worried about this, please don't be. I'm a very well adjusted, successful person and I'm sure you children will be too. We just repeat things to ourselves. :-)

Jes wrote at 2010-03-24 21:56:59
My son is going to 9yrs old in April. He does this very same thing! When i asked him why he told me becuase it kinda stays in his mind his words. I thought this was very strange. It just started or i just noticed it in the past month or two. I'm not sure if i should worry about it or not....

He mainly repeats sentence, and its not all the time.

mommysud wrote at 2010-03-28 14:34:51
My Son is 7 and has bouts of this.  It's not all the time but it's been about 3 years of this behavior.  He has some sensory issues that were made worse by Gluten Intolerance.  I have noticed that this repetition often comes after an exposure to gluten AND stress.  My son is a brilliant little guy, doing 6th grade science and 5th grade math.  He does not have celiac disease but gluten has a neurological effect on him.  I would say this is normal and most people who have this unique behavioral quirk are very bright.  

Rick wrote at 2010-03-31 13:52:32
Hi, I commented on this thread last year.  I'm 46 years old and I've been a "whisper-repeater" my whole life.  It hasn't slowed me down a bit.  I completed a 26-year career as a Marine Corps officer, and finished my Master's degree with a 4.0 GPA.  I now hold a senior civilian position in a Defense Department agency.  Don't worry about your kids, they'll be fine (...don't worry about your kids, they'll be fine....)  :-)

KSMOMOF3 wrote at 2010-04-20 01:58:50
YAY! I have found a place that doesn't automatically throw out Autism as the first answer. I was concerned about this behavior and have now decided to breathe easy.

My boy is 4 1/2 and has been repeating for a couple of months. He started talking at an early age, is quiet advanced in his speech, and is a super quick learner. He had a problem with saying his "th" as an "f". Thinking on it, this stopped around the same time that the repeating started. I have also caught him correcting his peers, his sisters, and occasionally myself.  

I am glad to know it is not as odd as I first thought it was and that he seems to be in the company of some very intelligent repeaters :)  

Tom wrote at 2010-05-02 18:00:18
I noticed recently that my wife mouths my words as I say them sometimes. Is this part of this thing and if so how can she know what I am going to say? Maybe I really am like a broken record?  Would she be good at lip-syncing?  I'm kidding, but she seems to be right on most of the time with what I am saying with her clear mouth movements that match my words.

jody wrote at 2010-05-21 17:26:09
Hi, our boy has recently started repeating at 6 1/2. Thanks all for posting here, you've put our minds at ease - he shows no other symptoms of anything apart from chronic naughtiness... and is slow to read. When you read disorders like aspergers, autism, ocd & other labels, you start to worry but it seems there are many other symptoms of these disorders required before you "qualify". Having read comments we'll stop correcting him and let it run it's course (or not).

PS love the thread by rick - Don't worry about your kids, they'll be fine (...don't worry about your kids, they'll be fine....) :-)

Very funny man  

Amanda wrote at 2010-05-29 23:34:57
I'm 17 and I do this, is there something wrong with me? My family teases me about it but mostly, I'm never aware I'm doing it. No one else I know of does it.  

Cael wrote at 2010-06-08 17:37:07
I'm 15 and I do this, for as long as I remember I have been doing it. My family picks on me for it and calls me "Patrick" because my uncle does it also. The only thing I have wrong with me is Wilson's disease. I guess I'm just trying to make sure I'm saying the right thing. :)

maya wrote at 2010-06-08 19:12:13
my dad used to do this and i used to until i was about 6. My sister used to do it until she was about 4. i dont remember why i used to. my dad said he did it to make sure he said the correct thing.

Flynn wrote at 2010-06-11 06:20:08
I was very little when I discovered that I softly whispered the last few words of things I said.  I am rarely aware that I ever do it.  When people see me whisper to myself they just typically ask what I'm doing.  I have come to the conclusion that my whisper repeating is called Palilalia.  I have done this as far back as I can remember and I still do it at my current age of 20.  It has never caused me any problems.  I've never had learning difficulties or general disfunctions from my whispering. I graduated with honors from high school and scored high on the ACT in all areas. To this day, most people around me never even notice it(as well as i don't)and are surprised when they discover that i quite often repeat myself under my breath. I've been doing this whisper repeating since I was very young, but very recently discovered what it was.  I probably was aware of it almost ten years before I had a name for it.  My family nor I ever considered it something serious enough to get help for.  We just believed it was something I just did.  I actually find entertainment in doing it.  It makes a great conversational piece, and my friends have a good time watching me to see when i do it.

cris wrote at 2010-06-14 02:49:31
My 3 1/2 year old son whispers his own sentence right after he says it.  It does not to appear to be associated with stress or emphasis.  He has been doing this for quite awhile, maybe a year.  It seems to have decreased in frequency though.  He is very bright, articulate, and does not show any signs of autism.  He does have some perfectionist tendencies though, and has gone through several phases of obsessions with certain topics.  He also does not show any signs of central auditory processing disorder or problems with comprehension.  I am happy to read all the other responses that indicate that this habit is not a sign of a significant problem.

Rich wrote at 2010-06-15 00:05:00
My 7-year-old son does this as well.  Not sure, as I have also recently noticed this in my son after it was pointed out by his teacher at school. The school psychologist was not familiar with this and I am just starting to research it. My son does have social anxiety and I'm not sure, but I think it may have something to do with this.

Paul wrote at 2010-06-27 13:33:24
My 7 year-old son has this tendency. He is very bright, and has good friendships in school. He has a loving home, with lots of encouragement, and support. As adults, we know the discovery of character takes years, and "flaws" can be a blessing in disguise. I can tell you the tendency is much lower since he got more involved in extracurricular activities. If money is an issue, think about volunteering with your child. Lastly, remember this... nothing is as important as it seems when we are thinking about it.  

Eija wrote at 2010-06-28 17:11:16
My 6 year old daughter does this as well.  I just asked her why she does it and she said that she wasn't sure if she was saying her words right.  I really think it's to double check herself and become more confident as her vocabulary/literary skills increase.

proudmama wrote at 2010-06-30 05:49:25
YEEAHH! I am so relived. My four year old just started to do this the past month, but it appears to be increasing, his habit of repeating his words or sentences in a whisper or just mouthing it.  He is very intellegent, and has been advanced in his language development. I find it very interesting that loud noise are bothersome and perfectionism are also present for others.  Im just hopeful this is all indicative of a highly intellegent little person, who will only excel and succeed, rather than considering this to be a fault, illness or problem.  I think my boy will be fine, regardless of his little quirk of whisper repeating.  

ks_mama wrote at 2010-07-10 09:01:36
Relieved to see all this - though I hadn't heard the Einsteinian link before. My 7 year old daughter started doing it last year and it shows no signs of slowing down. We thought maybe it was a way of 'firming up' a memory she was creating.

Then I remembered I used to do it as a kid and it was compulsive. With mild OCD here - a little worried that it's on the OCD or Tourette's spectrum tho.

SherryO wrote at 2010-07-16 19:57:40
What you are describing is called Palilalia.  Please do a search on it. You will get a much more informed answer than you've gotten here.

AmyS wrote at 2010-07-18 04:01:40
My son started this when he was 4 or 5 and I assumed he did it to see if it sounded right.  He is 9 now and I hardly ever notice it any more.  Seems like he does it occasionally when he is using a new word that he is not confident how to use in a sentence.

JoeSchmo wrote at 2010-07-20 18:31:15
My son is now 5.5 and has done this since he started talking. He is very bright and excels in math. We were thinking he had a form of autism or something. My daughter is 3.5 and has just started doing the same. I don’t recall doing this myself, but does anyone think it might be genetic? Some have written before me that think one learned it from the other, but I don’t think my daughter knows she is doing it either…

califam wrote at 2010-09-08 02:21:44
my son is 12 and has been doing this for a number of years, sometimes more noticeable than others, mostly just a whisper.

he has adhd, diagnosed last year and takes medication for this, but the whisper repeating began before the adhd diagnosis. he is not a perfectionist type, is an average student, but an excellent and gifted musician (piano).

califam wrote at 2010-09-08 02:27:33
come to think of it, i have done something similar myself for years, and that is to repeat what i've said in my head, sometimes several times over, but not aloud, to my knowledge. and now my son does it, as indicated in my previous post, but the difference is that it is audible in his case, and he doesn't do it repetitively (same over and over) as I did in my head.

It did not impede my development, as I always excelled in academics and became a lawyer.

sarazoom wrote at 2010-09-08 04:37:25
My 6.5 year old son has done this on and off for a few years.  He too is extremely sensitive to sounds (loud or unusual), very emotional,  spoke in complex sentences at a really young age in which he seemd to understand grammaticl rules that were for much older kids.  He is also an extreme perfectionist.  I have never brought  his whisper-repeating to his attention but from watching him I think he is compelled to do it AND he is also rethinking about what he just said.  So many of the comments here really helped me understand him, especially the comments from adult and teenage whisper-repeaters.  So thank you.  I won't worry as much.

Chini wrote at 2010-09-28 14:09:37
Hello: My daughter has done this since she was very little ie since she started reading at 2-3. She is aware of it and doesn't do it in public. She is 12 now. She is very articulate ie has no speech disorders of any kind. This is the first time I have found someone who describes the same thing ie she repeats what she said so she can think about it. I guess it is good to hear it is not considered a problem as such.



julie wrote at 2010-09-29 19:07:00
My big brother Tony used to do that also. I thought as a little girl, how weird. We are both in our late thirties now and he doesn't do it anymore. I wouldn't worry if I were you. You probably just have a actor on you hands. My brother is quite the thespian.

J26 wrote at 2010-10-01 23:39:52
I am 34 and started doing this around the ages of 8. Not exactly sure when I started. It was first noticed by my youngest sister and I still recall what she said. "arrrh thats so annoying why do you do that " ?

Basically after I've said something I repeat the last sentence or so. It's not audible but my lips are repeating the same words and those last words are resonating in my mind when someone picks me up on it. Until my sister mentioned it I wasn't even self aware of it. I still get embarassed when I do it and it was never a Conscious action.

I brought it up with my father who seems to disagree that I do this or ever did this. AS i told him "I'm meant to be the one in denile not you. and I'm ok with it"

Till this day I still do it occasionally. I tend to notice when I've done it when people look at me in a certain way.I even pick myself up on it sometimes. Like MelissaJ75 stated, I find I tend to do this when I'm saying something emphatically. Or as my sister would say "you only do it when you think you've said something cool" but its more than just that. I also tend to do it around friends and family and not around strangers.

About me , I'm left handed by choice.(certain things I still do with my right hand and somethings I do with either) When I was younger I use to use both hands up until the age of 6 but was told by a teacher I had to use just one. she said I should use my right as most people did so of course I used my left. I've never made things easy for myself and have always been the rebel without a cause(clue)

I currently work as a security specialist in IT with a major software company. I've been doing this for the last 4 -5 years. I was also a chef for just shy of 10 years. I got average grades in school. I like both team and individual sports. I was more or less an all rounder growing up.

I was on the debating team and public speaking team at school. I play chess and like strategy games.I also like to get outdoors and be active. I liked sciences and the arts in equal portions. I started reading at a young age and still read plenty but mostly fiction.

Basically put I'm an all rounder. I have no social issues or hang ups I'm married

For most accounts I'm what you'd call normal except of course for that weird thing I do where I repeat myself under my breath. >I have to insert a disclaimer here as sarcasam often fails to translate in text.<

I understand a lot of parents are concerned about this as any good parent would be. I suggest you be tactfull about approaching this. Like I said myself I get embarrassed by it, well not as much as when i was younger but to a degree I still do. I've more or less come to accept it.  

Jed Miller wrote at 2010-10-03 07:57:11

 I am a 21 year old male and i as well have been told by friends and family that sometimes after i have given a long statement i will mouth the end of that statement back again. I sometimes notice myself doing it and sometimes do not.  I can stop myself from doing it but i have to be actively thinking about it to stop.

 I wrote this to say that through my study i have learned that it is a psychological disorder. I cannot remember the name at this time but it has one. Most people who have it have no problem controlling it and it never effects there lives, other than a little teasing.  The point at which you should be concerned is if the child is unable to stop even when they are actively aware of it, also the conditions level can be determined, in part, by how loud they repeat the statement. The louder it is the worse the condition is.

Chan wrote at 2010-10-05 23:36:24
Wow, can't believe so many kids are having this 5 year old had speech delay but now he's doing great. He's doing well in school and just a wonderfully bright kid but recently I noticed that he's been whispering what he just said out loud to himself. When I questioned him, he gets really shy about it.

I would love to learn more if this is a disorder or not....

brings back happy childhood memories wrote at 2010-10-08 03:36:00
I want to join those encouraging people not to worry about this quirk, which on its own surely isn't a disorder.  Kids may tease, but they tease for plenty else.  I was a whisper repeater for who knows how long and no one, including myself, seemed bothered by it; I never noticed the day I grew out of it.  This TV sitcom people mentioned brought it back into my consciousness, and it's nice to know the habit has a name.

Just for the informal data collection: I'm female, was an early and avid reader, and always did well in school, especially in writing.  I also talked obnoxiously fast and unintelligibly as a preteen, but joined performance arts activities in high school to improve my pace and enunciation.  Now, in my thirties, I'm a math professor at an Ivy.  I've had to deal with the drawbacks of perfectionism, and probably I have other oddball quirks.  But over all, I love my life, I'm married, working hard, optimistic, and grateful.

These comments describe so many wonderful children!  Until today I never knew there was another soul in the world who whisper-repeated, and now I feel in great company.  I am happy to read so many parents reassured; everyone, please count your blessings!

A Happy Dad wrote at 2010-10-12 03:59:17 is incredible to find so many others with same condition. In and of itself I imagine it is nothing more than one more aspect of human life that continues to change our perspective of what normal truly is. My 11 yr. old son has done this for years. He 'knows' he is doing it, and his brothers used to remind him of it...but they don't anymore. He has some OCD characteristics (but nothing extreme enough for medical intervention), is an incredible and avid reader, extremely creative, and whispers some of the words he says aloud...just like me when I was 11. I have a graduate degree, have owned & sold several businesses, and tend to consider myself a contributing member of society. In the end, as long as there are no other symptoms of tourettes or autism, and as long as the repeated-language doesn't impact communication significantly, I look at it as a cute quirk my son has and have come to see it as another thing that makes him unique. Wouldn't have him any other way.

unnecessarily concerned wrote at 2010-10-18 05:36:14
I have a 7yo son who just started repeating his sentences in whispers.  I can echo what

Jennifer wrote on 2008-08-16 14:55:09, he is a very good reader and a perfectionist who doesn't like to try things unless he knows that he will excel in them.

Jennifer wrote at 2010-11-04 21:07:08
My son (6 years old) actually does this too.  He's super bright, in a gifted program.  No speech problems.  But daily will repeat himself in a whisper.  It's usually when he says something he thinks is funny or cute.  He'll repeat himself, almost like to instantly relive himself saying it out loud.  It's strange.  But, I talked to him about it and he said he thinks it's just a habit...and that he'll outgrow it.  I hope he knows best!  :)  

BradS wrote at 2010-11-05 01:28:31
My 11 year old son has exhibited a mouthing of his spoken words for several years.  He silently repeats key words or clauses only.  It is never audible.  When asked about the behavior, he denies any awareness (but appears somewhat defensive about it, not sure why).

As a frame of reference, he is very verbal, sociable (to the point of gregariousness), loves to read, and is more than competant in Math and Science.  He is not ADHD, OCD, nor Tourette's symptomatic.  He stuttered mildly from 4 to about 6 years old, however, that trait has completely disappeared. Physiologically, he is normal in every respect.  All in all, a very special young man, who I am extremely proud of in every respect.  

Like many of the responses here, I had to google the characteristics of the behavior (with a somewhat worried frown line on my forehad), and am most grateful for this thread, and all the illuminating narratives.  I am certainly far less concerned now.  Thank you all.

aparent wrote at 2010-11-08 10:20:42
My son just turned nine and about 6 months ago he began to repeat some of his phrases in a soft, practically inaudible tone. The repetition usually follows a fast, spontaneous question.  He seemed unaware of this tendency until I gently asked him about it. I may be wrong but I think he is catching himself doing it from time to time and tries to minimize it.  My concerns about this quirk have been greatly reduced since reading these comments.

Interestingly, the speech therapist at school didn't know what to make of my description of this repetition pattern. My son is a happy, grounded, well liked child. He's athletic. His academic strengths are math/analytical.  He did receive speech therapy from 3-6 for stuttering. He still has pockets of stuttering repetitions...I wonder of the soft repeating of sentences is related to the underlying stuttering issue..

DCC wrote at 2010-11-17 23:33:25
My daughter (almost 6) has started 'whisper repeating' and I am so glad to have found this website! She shares a lot of the same history/traits as many of the children described here- tendency for perfectionism, emotional, intelligent, and had a stutter that was resolved with speech therapy at age 4. Would love any more information/ resources that anyone has to offer.  

J.R. wrote at 2010-12-02 02:16:29
My six year old son does the exact same thing, and reading Kevin's account is exactly the situation with my own son Alexander.  He is doing very well academically, and his reading/writing/math skills are very advanced for one as young as him.  

I would love to ask Kevin so many questions, and perhaps compare notes.  I have been doing exactly what you suggested, making him aware in a non threatening way.  "Hey kiddo, did you notice you just repeated yourself?"  In every situation he says no, and even admitted that others have commented on it as well but that he doesn't understand why he does it.  He says he does not notice.  

Not even sure where to look for answers, while I don't necessarily think this is some sort of disorder, it is a strange behavior that I'd like to learn more about.  It seems like I am missing something.  

KR wrote at 2010-12-21 08:15:34
Could this be Palilalia?

Palilalia is the repetition or echoing of one's own spoken words. It can be a complex tic, like echolalia and coprolalia and may sound like stuttering; all can be symptoms of Tourette syndrome or autism. Palilalia can also occur in neurological sydromes, such as stroke or epilepsy.

happymom wrote at 2011-01-01 21:36:53
I have loved reading this thread! It has been very helpful and relieving.  My almost 7 year old began this recently.  I've only noticed it over the last week or so.  I have watched the tv show with the little boy who does this (Brick, from The Middle), and so I wonder if that's why I have noticed it in my son.  My son is very intelligent, began reading/communicating very early, and remembers things that amaze me.  He is a bit perfectionistic, mainly in his school performance (not in keeping his room clean).  He tested extremely high on an intelligence test. He is very social and competitive in sports.  He is also musically inclined.   I am thankful to everyone for posting!  

Tara68 wrote at 2011-01-06 22:03:46
Unbelievable how many people experience son is almost 13 and in the past he would frequently repeat his phrases in a whisper.  Now he actually has begun to have to repeat his sentences out loud several times. He has been diagnosed with Aspergers, OCD, and his present psychiatrist suspects he has Tourettes Syndrome as well, as he is prone to a whole bunch of tics which seem to come and go. When I ask him about it he says he thinks it is related to his OCD as he claims the urge to do it is very strong and he apologizes knowing that it makes him very hard to listen to at times.  It seems that many people mention their child who does this is exceptionally bright and gifted in language skills which might be an indicator of Aspergers Syndrome.  My son spoke extremely early and well, although he tended toward using very unusual diction and often sounded like he was reciting poetry even when he was barely older than 18 months.

Chuma Mgolodelwa wrote at 2011-01-07 10:46:26
I use to do this when I was a kid. I am 29 now. But it was strange because everyone said I was repeating myself in whispers but I didn't even know I was doing it. So is it like a bad syndrome?

Jo wrote at 2011-01-17 20:22:14
I am so thankful for this forum.  I have a 6 year old daughter who started exhibiting this pattern of whispering what she just said.  I have asked her about it.  Sometimes it seems she knows she is doing it.  Sometimes not.  I was concerned because the only one in my family that had these symptoms was a cousin with learning issues...not huge ones..just delayed.  So I was inquisitive as to what was going on with my girl.

The more I read the more I am sure she is fine.  I have even heard her say to herself, "Yeah, that's right." and smile happily because she did say what she was thinking and it came out right.  So I am about 100% sure that she is doing this as a self check and that she is building her confidence in her vocabulary while she is doing it.  I have also seen that if she doesn't say something correct.  Like I give her a "didn't quite understand you type of glance" that she groans at herself and rephrases the question or statment.  

Reading this has made me understand her behavior.  Before I thought she was upset at me because I didn't understand her.  I honestly believe her to be very bright and now that I know this I can help.  

Thanks so much, Jo

Jan wrote at 2011-01-23 01:47:36
My 29 year old son who was a whisperer is my firstborn out of 4.  The first peculiar behavior he exhibited started way back when he was in his highchair at less than a year old.  He would gaze off into space, and calling his name or waving a hand in front of his face would not break his trance.  This continued through elementary school.  His teacher would call his name repeatedly as he stared off into space.  Eventually his neighboring classmates would have to poke him to get his attention. Yet, he was the one the other kids in the class would turn to for help on lessons, even though he seemed 'out to lunch' during instruction time. He had very early verbal development.  He spontaneously picked up all his letters by sight by age 20 months.  He spoke early and often and got the nickname "Jaws". He did indeed exhibit perfectionist traits at an early age. A family trip to the arcade would result in tears as he couldn't decide where to spend his 4 quarters (meanwhile his 3 siblings had no trouble and had a blast).  A trip to the toy store with birthday money also resulted in tears, as he couldn't decide on a toy by closing time.  (Probably about age 8).

He preferred the company of adults and did not have many friends.  Loud noises or sudden movements would startle him and he might pounce on the offender. At age 10 he was diagnosed with ADD.  His IQ was 140 at the time.  He made do without medication for ADD as we did not like the side effects.  The whispering began in his early teens and ended in his early 20's.  It always seemed as if he was reinforcing a thought by repeating it in a whisper to himself. He had a great sense of humor, and often would whisper/repeat a funny thought.  He was a very good athlete and academian in highschool. He went to 4 different colleges because he could not decide on a major. After graduation he could not make his way into the marketplace, and joined the Air Force.  The cream always rises to the top, and the Air Force has been able to provide the discipline and structure for him to shine. Yet again, his perfectionist trait remains, as he is reluctant to try for officer candidate school because of fear of failure, even though ALL his superiors and peers encourage it.  It certainly seems there are some commom behavior traits among the whisperers, doesn't it?

DR wrote at 2011-02-01 05:17:34
I am very happy to learn that it isn't just me who wants answers to this.

My 8 year old daughter just recently began whisper repeating the last word/s in her sentences. It doesn't happen with everything she says but certain things and is usually but not limited to the last word in her sentence. For example, we were in the grocery store yesterday when she asked "mom, can we get this...this...this...this", where the last words were in whisper. I have just notice this behaviour in the last week or so and was quite worried. I have asked her why she does this and she has no answer or says "I was just born like that".

I am so relieved to read all these posts. I will still be asking her doctor about it but will be less inclined to worry when he tells me not to. Thank you all!

Duchess in Denim wrote at 2011-02-04 02:17:39
My 5 year old daughter does this too!!!!  She's kinda a drama queen and I thought she was practicing her lines... but she is also very shy around strangers and this has started with her going to school so I think it's anxiety based.

I just wonder if I should hound her on it and stop it, or just let it run its course?

She is developmentally right on track if not above average... this is so heartbreaking.

Bleu wrote at 2011-02-10 17:01:11
And I thought I was the only one who was facing this. So glad I found this site. My 4 years old son has started this whispering, as soon as he turned 4 actually. We would be talking about sth, and he would repeat the last sentence that I have said. He has never repeated his own sentence. I havent asked his nursery if he does it there. As far as I know he repeat after me and my hubby only. He is in his own world too sometimes, like in a trance.

I do get worried sometimes, because of the trance thing, and now the repetition of sentences.

Looks like it's ok though, after reading about all of ur experiences.

My son is also left handed and is very creative/artistic etc. so I do wonder whether he is going to be beyond average in sth. he is very intelligent but cannot concentrate/ focus when i try to teach him alphabets etc. Once I managed to do it, and realised that he is actually very intelligent.  

rammadamma wrote at 2011-02-12 14:12:06
I'm a 30 yr old officer in the Army, and I continually notice that I repeat peoples sentences and my own. This normally happens when I am speaking to groups, but want my words to be heard.  I seem to do it as an abnormal tic and don't even realise in the most part.  It is very difficult as everyone seems to pick up on it and then tease me relentlessly for it.

It seems to only affect me when I am not comfortable.  I try now to think carefully of the phrase that I am constructing the sentence before speaking and this can alleviate it partially. However,  I still find it hard to recollect words when I need it, and do it as some sort of nervous action.

I am very comfortable reading aloud to an audience and have no difficulty speaking publicly other than this. However, when giving presentations I find it hard to prepare the sentence in my head quickly enough so the problem becomes far more pronounced.  This gets worse as the lesson continues.

I have had a good education and would consider myself capable. Having picked up languages and sciences very quickly as a youngster and regularly finding myself either at the very top or bottom of the class.  My confidence was shattered.

My parents, friends and girlfriend all tell me I am doing it, but I can't seem to stop.  The more I know I am doing it the worse it gets as I become more scared about saying anything.  This is obviously a large problem in my job, and work colleagues in particular destroy me by poking fun at my problem.  I can't seem to stop it and it affects my confidence and performance at work.  However, I am continually thought of as being bright and quick to pick up things.

Having done some research into it (don't take as fact), it seems as if the symptoms and problems relate closely to Echolalia and mild Palalalia.

Can anyone provide some guidance and help for the problem?  Any would be appreciated on how to reduce the symptoms or to make people more understanding of my predicament.

Thanks in advance.

picassoraptor wrote at 2011-02-26 19:55:28
Same here i am a 15yrs old and ever since i can remember i have repeated the last 2 or 3 words of my sentences. I dont think my family has ever noticed but my friends do point it out occasionally when i rant to them but, my self i never notice it until someone says something.

newsgirl wrote at 2011-02-28 18:15:24
My daughter who is 7 has been doing this recently also. Just usually the last one or two words of a sentence. It is not all the time, like maybe once or twice a day if that, and its usually when she is making a statement or asking a question. She says she has no idea she is doing it. She is very intelligent, is in 2nd grade and has 3rd and 4th grade reading and math testing levels. She started reading just before 3yrs old. She has never had a speech issue (til this) and is a social butterfly, who loves sports and cheerleading. This came on out of no where and is so curious. I'm so glad I found this forum. I hope that this is just some confidence phase and not a disorder to be concerned with. Thank you for all of your posts.

Josh wrote at 2011-03-02 18:25:17
I'm 14 years old and I've been doing this since I can remember I didn't know anyone else did it. I  do it constanty and I can't stop. It makes me feel so much better to know that others have this too. I've always thought that I was a freak or something. I have always been of high intelligence, but I live a fairly normal life and have freinds and family that love me, I do normal things and it has never really effected me,with people noticing or even making fun of me. This page has really made me feel better about it though.  

AspieMom wrote at 2011-03-08 05:04:24
My 9yo daughter has been whisper repeating since she was 2-3. Her IQ is 145+, she's extremely happy, grade skipped, loves her friends, and also happens to have Asperger's and Anxiety Disorder. Although they are in the same "family" there are major differences between Autism and Asperger's. If your child is also a "stacker" or has other things that look "OCD"ish, as I have seen mentioned here often, I would check with your Pediatrician. It is not something to necessarily be feared, just different brain wiring. By the same token, a lot of children just grow out of it. It could very easily be nothing, I'm not trying to freak anyone out, but there are a lot of misconceptions out there, particularly in relation to Asperger's, and I wanted to set it straight a bit as well.

jw wrote at 2011-03-08 20:14:13
I am so glad to find this site. My son is 7 and has done this for over a year now. He is very intelligent, left handed, was reading books at the age of 4 and now reads at a 5th grade level. He is also a perfectionist and has been diagnosed with anxiety disorder. It seems to me like he is checking himself to make sure he said things the right way.

It is so nice to find out so many other kids do this and that there are adults out there who can relate to it as well. I have been worried about this but I now think it is just part of who my son is. I just hope he doesn't get picked on at school for it.  

Momof2 wrote at 2011-04-07 23:56:00
How son is also 7 1/2 and has been doing the same thing for about a year now.  He doesn't really say it outloud anymore however.  He mostly just "mouths" it, and it's not with everything he says.  He does it more often when he's telling a long story, or asking an intelligent question (more than a "what's for dinner?" kind of question).  I think he's been doing a little less often, but my husband (who is deaf and can read lips) says he still sees it.  I'm so glad i found this thread.  I thought he was the only one.  I feel a little better now too.  My son is also very smart and started talking at the age of 10 months. I seem to think it's more of a perfectionist thing.  His teacher has never mentioned it, so maybe he doesn't do it as often as he used to?  

DN wrote at 2011-04-18 03:42:11
Hi, My son has been repeating his sentences in a whisper for the last year or so. Maybe a bit longer? He's six now. We've been noticing behavior changes lately, not for the better, and began researching to see if there were connections. Very mild OCD about certain things, like "Mommy rub my back up, down, up and then stop". If I do it wrong, he makes me re-do it. He likes order for some things, VERY specific. But others, he's kind of a slob. He has piles everywhere. He's a habitual nose itcher, and has just started opening his mouth wide at certain times. I remember my father telling me HE used to do this as a kid, and I know I was an obsessive nose and body itcher as a kid. Runs in families definitely. BUT you also outgrow it. I feel slightly better after reading how common the whispering is. My son is very bright, reading well above grade level, but is very hyperactive and gets overstimulated easily. He's having a bit of trouble staying focused in school, and I really would like to see if there's anything that I can do or that can be done. Not into medicating at all, but am interested to see what other solutions are out there.  

Karissa wrote at 2011-04-20 22:45:13
I used to do this as a young child and I am told I still do it sometimes (I'm now 16). I never did it on purpose and when I do it now I'm still unaware.

John wrote at 2011-04-29 03:48:03
My 5 Year old daughter is doing this too. She says something and then repeats it softly under her breath. She does not do it all the time, but she seems unaware when she has done it.  I remember doing the same thing as a child when I was about 7 or 8 years old. I grew out of it in a year or two and am hoping my daughter will do the same.  Has anyone seen a name for this syndrome or any medical research on it?

kass wrote at 2011-05-08 20:00:18
My 6 year old talks then mouths the words after words especially when its something important! My child also is suspected to have aspergers!!!!!! He is smart and wants everything to be done just so perfectly! His speech seems to pattern the rest of his behavior with have to have thing perfect like his homework that he hates to do because if hes not sure how to do it he just can because it wont be perfect!!! He erases and rewrites almost everything! Some of the things he has been diagnosed with go with the aspergers like OCD, ADHD, Bi-polar and so forth!!!! I think honestly most the people are right these kids just want everything to be perfect and don't want to embarrass themselves with the wrong words!!!!

Vivi wrote at 2011-05-16 15:43:11
My 7 yr-old son does this too (whispering last few words of a sentence he just said) He also does this if I say a word that is new to him, he will repeat the new word softly as if to imprint it in his head. He also has a stuttering problem for which he had therapy and is now almost normal. He also has a tendency to speak with a high-pitched voice. He was evaluated by a neuropsy because he had a behavior different than other chidren and we suspected he was in the autism spectrum. However, the neuropsy found our son to be a gifted child (IQ around 130) after many tests. Most of his strange behaviors (like having obsessive interest in particular subject) are explained by his high IQ. High sensitivity and perfectionism is also typical of gifted children. I found that the symptoms of autism and high IQ are somewhat similar and maybe some chidren are misdiagnosed.

arlopop wrote at 2011-05-19 15:13:21
Ms. Harrison,

Seriously?  You are an SLP and you have never heard of a vocal tic where a child repeats his or herself?  You have heard of an echolalia, but never heard of palilalia? Those two along with coprolalia form the triad of vocal tics and are indicative (if they last longer than a year) of Tourettes, OCD, Autism Aspergers.  

I am stunned that you could possibly be considered an expert in your field and not know this (let alone lack the ability to simply look up the symptoms.)  

Dan in Philly wrote at 2011-05-20 12:50:43
So I just found my own 4 year old boy does this all the time, according to my wife.  He's always had his ways, as we call them, and for a while we were concerned he might be autistic, he was a slow talker, didn't point, etc.  He also struggles with simple things like spitting and has trouble dealing with unexpected events.

On the other hand, once we started working with him, he learned all of his ABCs and the sounds they make before he was 2.  When I read up on autism I recognized many things I found in myself as a child and learned to overcome, and I have an IQ of about 135.  While I will continue to watch him, I expect this is just another quirk of what will prove to be a very gifted mind, one which should be guided and shaped in the way that God has intended for him to go.

Dannett in Michigan wrote at 2011-05-24 00:15:12
How encouraging to see so many other people with children like this!  I had never heard of palilalia before.  My 5 year old son does this.  He has been overly verbal since he was a baby, reads at a very advanced level, perfectionist, very strong-willed.  Seems to fit the bill.  Perhaps eventually they will name this condition.  My 7 year old is on the autism spectrum, and we already had my younger son tested and the doctors feel due to his extreme desire to be social, the whisper repeater isn't on the spectrum.  Just a quirky little guy.  I have asked him if he knows he is doing it.  He said yes.  I asked why, he said "I don't know, I guess I just like to talk."  The perfectionist thing seems to make sense, as he will correct anyone if they mess up while reading out loud.  We are not alone!  :)

Mandy wrote at 2011-05-30 23:09:51
How wonderful to have found this thread!  My oldest son is ADHD with tourettes and this was one of his ticks or so I called it.  I'm relieved to know that it has happened to more than 2 people I know.  When he was first diagnosed with tourettes it was definitely a slap in the face kinda feeling.  I sent him back to the doctor 3 times saying he does not have tourettes, he has allergies!  He was right, I had to eat my words.  Later when the whispering developed I was dating a man and he told me kind of defensively to not worry about it, there's nothing wrong with it.  I realized later on that his best friend still in his 20s does it.  We have already been through the teasing and the bullying over it.  My son is very sensitive by nature anyway, but he's a champ.  He's super smart and amazing.  

MelissaLJ wrote at 2011-06-15 03:03:38
I too am glad I found that there are many others out there with this. My boy age 7.5 has been doing this for about a year. I had only heard of it from the show "The Middle" on TV. My son does not have any symptoms of Aspergers or OCD but has had a few different tics that have come and gone.  

JJ wrote at 2011-06-16 19:01:48
So glad I found this board! My 4 year old son recently started whisper repeating and I am a little worried. He is very bright, was a really early talker (before age 1) and is academically advanced and extremely creative. He is very well adjusted socially, though he does seem to have some perfectionist tendencies. There is OCD in my extended family, I am hoping this doesn't lead to it.  

mandi wrote at 2011-06-20 14:03:59
I thought my child was the only kid who did this, and I have actually gotten frustrated with her for doing it! She is 7 years old and has been whisper repeating for about 7-8 months... I noticed her doing it and I would tell her to stop, that I heard her and she didn't need to repeat herself. She didn't even know she did it. I'm probably not adding to the solution because I am a person who absolutely hates to repeat myself to anyone, and I don't like to be told something more than once - so naturally it was an aggravation. I am so glad that I have found this forum as now I understand why she does it! She is so very bright, talked at 9 months old and spoke in full sentences at 13 months. She also has issues with being hugged or being affectionate. I brushed it off as her not wanting to be embarrased in front of her friends, but she is very stiff even if no one is around. She's only affectionate if SHE is who advances, but has a very hard time accepting. WOW... I can't believe there's an actual condidtion for this.

Tiff wrote at 2011-06-22 16:03:58
I have a 5 year old who whisper repeats.  She doesn't do it all the time, but I notice her repeating after her own sentences and those of others.  She is very advanced for her age - she learned to read at 3 years old and will be going into 2nd grade this school year. I'm glad to hear so many others saying that their children also do this.  I think I will ask her pediatrician about it at our next visit though.

cvh wrote at 2011-07-21 04:42:14
Hi, This is very interesting.  These posts are mostly older, my son is now 13, but the behavior started when he was about 5 and has lessened over the years.  It is now to the point that it hardly happens at all.  It is concerning, again like so many other posts, he is an extremely bright young man in every respect, sensitive, and has had ear issues, autism also runs in the family.  For whatever it is, I feel better and do not feel like it needs addressing as a problem.  It is to be noted he also has perfectionist tendencies.

Megan wrote at 2011-08-02 01:43:38
I'm so relieved to know that my son is just a weirdo like his mom.   He's almost four and just started to engage in this bizarre behavior a couple weeks ago- out of nowhere. I confronted him with this and asked if he did it to check himself to ensure the words came out properly.  He said yes. But that was probably just to make me happy.  Then I realized I expect an awful lot out of him considering he is just a little boy. I correct his speech all of the time, I make him repeat how to correctly pronounce words as he has trouble with sp,sl,l,etc.  I delved deeper into this thought, and came to the conclusion that I'm the one with the problem and that my son is awesome, hilarious, perceptive, compassionate, smart as hell, and so much of a better person than I am.  (I tell him these things all of the time# I also made a promise to myself to continue to be encouraging, supportive, enthusiastic, loving and let him be who he is and not entangle him in my web of perfectionistic craziness. As a parent, the only thing I want for my child(ren) is health and happiness.  Everything else seem petty by comparison.  

Brittany wrote at 2011-08-18 07:53:12
This is very interesting. I am 21 and my fiance' is 23, and we have both done the "whisper repeat" and mouthing. I started when I was a child, around age 7-9, with whispering and was unaware I was doing it until my mom pointed it out. Afterward, I would realize I was repeating once I started and made an effort to stop. I hardly do it now, although I do still repeat sentences in my mind sometimes and have caught myself mouthing every once in a blue moon. My fiance' mouths fairly often. I notice him doing it maybe once a week, and he is never aware that it is going on. We both have above average IQ's in the 130's and excelled in school. I was an extremely fast learner, and was walking, talking and potty trained before I was a year old. I was very articulate at a young age, yet I have always had an issue with talking too quickly. My thoughts come faster than my mouth can run and I end up slurring my words together. I also have trouble saying certain repetitive sounds, such as fifty-three-fifty-three, unless I take the time to word them slowly and carefully.

I have a problem with all-or-nothing thinking, as well. If I can't do something perfectly then I tend to feel it is ruined and no longer worth trying at all. (for example: most of my grades in college have been A's. If I have a C average I usually drop the class or just stop attending and take an F) I also used to sleep walk around the age my whispering started, so I found it interesting that someone mentioned that earlier. Other than my fiance' and myself, I have seen my sister (now age 17 and also quite bright) mouthing once or twice in her lifetime. I don't know anyone else who does this.

Brittany wrote at 2011-08-18 08:14:58
I also want to add a comment for those parents who are considering punishing or scolding their child to stop this "abnormal, unwanted behavior." It is not something that your child is doing to act up or annoy you. And, if he or she is anything like I was as a child or many of the other individuals who have posted on here, he most likely has the DESIRE to stop but cannot or does it subconsciously. It is not doing any harm and will most likely lessen over time, so PLEASE do not punish or treat your child as if they are doing something wrong. This can be very damaging to a child, especially one that is bright and has perfectionistic tendencies.

RS wrote at 2011-09-03 19:08:21
This page is amazing.  My son began doing this when he was 5.  I'm a nurse so naturally I jumped to all kinds of conclusions as to what could be causing it, none of them good.  I talked to my mom who is a psychiatric nurse and she put my mind at ease somewhat but it still bothered me.  He's not doing it as much now (he's 6) as he use to but I do still notice it occasionally.  It doesn't bother him at all, he doesn't even seem to notice that he does it.  It's so nice to hear from others who have experienced the same thing with their children!

Diane wrote at 2011-09-08 17:49:34
Oh thank goodness...I am not crazy and at least if I am I have a lot of company!!! I did this when I was about 10 or 11 years old (I am 37 now) for about a year or two.  Just talking iabot it makes my lips quiver and it makes me uptight (like I might start doing it again).

ashlee wrote at 2011-09-12 17:30:28
hi my son does something similar to this the only difference is that he will whisper what he says BEFORE he says it out loud. It isn't all the time and it can be a question or just a statement but I have only seen on here children whispering after.  He has just started doing it 6 months ago and no traumatic events have happened recently.  odd i feel better reading this site -- i just am thrown about he does it before.

Jeff wrote at 2011-09-21 03:12:05
Megan, your post is awesome!  I read through dozens of the posts here, looking for an answer, since my son repeat-whispers at age 5.  And, your post not only touched my heart, but made me realize I may be contributing to this as well.  Since my boy was slow to begin speaking, he actually talks quite well now, but because he struggled early, I have corrected him for years.  He's always been very receptive to this, and wants to say things correctly, but I may need to re-assess this situation and make a change.  He doesn't strike me as a perfectionist (though I have battled this affliction my whole life), but this is something else I will be paying closer attention to now.  I don't want him to stress over the little things as I have for so long.  Thank you so much for expressing your thoughts on this.  You helped at least one person!  :)

Rasheeda Layton wrote at 2011-09-26 12:22:13
I am like so many of you all on this thread. I too have a 8 year old boy who has started doing the whisper repeating. There are probably many reasons why this starts but when I asked my son why he did it the other day he simply answered that he wanted to make sure his words came out ok and and that he had said the right thing. He went on to tell me that somtimes his brain speaks before he know what it is going to say so he repeats it to know what he has said and to check it was ok to say it. He asked if that was wrong. I nearly cried. How could it be wrong. I told him it was the best, most smartest thing I have ever heard! Lets all love our children for who they are, quirks and all xxoo

bbf wrote at 2011-09-28 07:02:35
I was searching for a completely different type of speech issue which my daughter has (possibly auditory processing) and came across this. I've just recently noticed that my 5 year old does this... not a lot; I wouldn't have even noticed except that my older sister also did it, and as soon as I heard him do it a second time I started to pay attention.I suspect that my sister and I both have some mild disorders (processing? ADD?# which were never diagnosed #we're in our 40's), possibly because our grades & behavior were "good enough" & our parents are not perfectionists.  I literally have not witnessed it enough in my own son to say how long its been happening... he's extremely verbal. He squints his eyes & tenses up sometimes while speaking, & I was waiting years to see if he would develop a full-blown stutter/stammer (my daughter stutters slightly). I find it interesting that the expert who originally received the question had not seen this. Now look how many have shared... I didn't get to read all the responses -yet- but I'm very interested to see them...5 years-worth of comments. Cool. It sounds like it isn't something to interfere with overall success... I don't know what it is with me, but I also have noticed I speak before I realize what I'm saying, and sometimes at the end of the sentence I actually have to ask "what did I just say?" I have no idea whether that is more like an ADD thing or if it IS the thing that people with ADD/ADHD deal with. A lot of the comments are similarly positive, which, if no explanation is ever found, at least being blessed with finding this common thread encourages a more relaxed attitude toward this-- in me, anyway. I know my son is functioning fine, and to hear that many people grow up with this or grow out of it, and either way you find a way to be OK... which wouldn't necessarily be the case if it was related to serious deficiencies.

bbf wrote at 2011-09-28 07:36:03
"I don't know, I guess I just like to talk."  from Dannett... LOL this is the best!! Thats a great attitude!

Thankful Mom wrote at 2011-09-28 14:30:16
My son is 5 and has recently started repeating the script in a television show or what is being read to him. I have only noticed him doing it for a couple of weeks now. He joined AWANAS and has just started memorizing bible verses. I think it kick started something in his learining process. He also is very advanced in language skills and hates loud noises.

I am thankful for all of your post. I was freaking out when I first started researching what might be wrong. I was going to rush him off to therapy until I read these post.

I will just give it some time and see how it goes.

deedee wrote at 2011-10-30 15:27:36
i just wanted to add to this that the youngest son on the show called "the middle" has this conditon. on the show he's REALLY smart and only sometimes repeats the last sentence in a whisper. on the show, they've all gotten used to it and don't make a fuss over him because they know he's "special". thats all i wanted to say.  :)

paul wrote at 2011-11-01 00:32:51
Hi guys!. I have done this "checking" by repeating what I just said all my life. I am now 40. Its good to know others can relate...thankyou guys, and the internet!.

Denise wrote at 2011-11-02 18:08:05
My son is 11 years old and has done this for the past 6 or so years. At first I was the only one who noticed this and not everyone notices that he does this, you need to make a conscious effort to watch him. He does not realize he does this and he does not do it all the time. When you mention it to him, he denies it but his sister (who does not have this trait) acknowledges that he does this. As a toddler he did have tubes in his ears so he did have a delay with his speech and was given the opportunity to have speech classes in kindergarden.

Elle wrote at 2011-11-04 21:23:48
I was glad to read this.  I am 31 and I have done this since I can remember.  Sometimes when I am teaching some of the kids will giggle and ask me why I move my lips after I finish speaking.  They think I am funny.  I usually just tell them I have a speech disorder.  Sometimes I echo what I have said several times in my head.  I do this when others are talking as well.  If your children appear to not be listening or paying attention, please do not get mad at them or punish them.  I promise you they are not trying to be naughty or disobedient.  They really can't help it.  I also have a sensory integration disorder, am left-handed, am an abstract thinker, am clumsy, have OCD, and I have an extremely high intelligence quotient.  If your child does poorly in school, ask their teacher for accelerated curriculum.  It is likely your child is thinking beyond the work they are given.  I have this problem.  Please check out the website National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities.  It is a wealth of information.  Also, Google exceptional learners.  Good luck.  Your children will be awesome.  I graduated with my first college degree Magna Cum Laude, and I am now working on my second degree.

Lisa Mera wrote at 2011-12-17 02:43:29
How funny I did this too as a child (from 3 to 8 or so my mother tells me). I am 21 now. I'm amazed to find that a lot of the people who had this quirk as children also had a tendency to become perfectionists when it comes to writing and speech. More amazed to read that some parents who did it as children also found their children had the same quirk. A couple of my mothers siblings did this as kids so she didn't worry when she realized I was doing it too. I wonder if its hereditary. It's also important to note that no one in my immediate family is autistic or has turrets, with the exception of my youngest cousin who is autistic.  

John wrote at 2012-01-03 02:02:50
I'm 34 years old now, and only just thought to look up on the internet something I thought only I did. It doesn't bother me, and never has. In fact I find it quite funny, and when I catch myself, it makes me laugh.

I didn't know I was doing it (actually I did, but I thought I was doing it silently in my head) until my best friend pointed it out to me when I was around 7 or 8. I tried to stop doing it, and have mostly grown out of it, but I still do it from time to time, usually just moving my lips but sometimes whispering, and usually just the last few words of the last sentence that I said. But it happens a lot in my head, still, and always will. I'm okay with that.

When I am on my own and watching TV or listening to the radio, I sometimes repeat what I hear, and get quite some satisfaction from it. I literally have no idea why, but I am pretty good at accents and at mimicry, and perhaps it ties in with that. Maybe I just like to be able to be in full conscious control of the way I speak. My accent has also changed over the years to fit in with my peers, in the various places I've lived. Not massively, but enough for others to notice.

I am very gifted (top few in the country for my age) at maths by the way, which seems to be a relatively common trait here.

I have a few other OCD type behaviours, none of which affect my happiness or ability to live a normal life, so those parents who are worried about their children should most likely see their behaviour as a sign of something positive, rather than a problem. The more I think about it, the more weird I find it that my family have never tried to stop me doing it, and no kids ever picked on me for it. It's a good party conversation piece, which I occasionally introduce myself.

I am to a large degree a perfectionist too, though it's not too severe. I have my own IT company now, and I look for similar thoroughness in the coders I employ. If I see little behaviours like this in others, I know they're often signs of high intelligence.  

Sher wrote at 2012-01-03 16:26:54
My son will be 4 years old in 2 months and he also does this. He will whisper a repeat sentence or something he says to us and to his siblings. He also sometimes repeates what we say to him in a whisper. Kind of freaky.  

Anonymous wrote at 2012-01-12 13:56:32
I'm 12, and I do this, I have done it for a few years now and was not aware of it until someone pointed it out in the 5th grade. My 6 year old brother has also started doing it and has been for a year now, I'm not sure he knows he's doing it and usually I don't know either, unless I catch myself while about to say another thing. I was getting a bit worried so I searched it up and I was so relieved to find this... It seems it's not all that uncommon. For all of you parents wondering, it's likely your child isn't aware of them doing it sometimes. Cheers.

hey wrote at 2012-01-14 05:31:16
I am 21 and have realized that I repeat what ever it was that made me laugh, most the time whispered or under my breath but some times out loud. I have found it relatively hard to stop because its a little hard to predict when someone says something funny and it happens with out me thinking about it. After some work at it I have managed to be able to catch my self as I start the first word and then stop it but the reaction still happens almost every time something makes me laugh.

It could be what I said, the TV, or someone else in the room either way its rather interesting and im glad I found a page listing so many other people with similar situations.  

prn58 wrote at 2012-01-16 17:34:17
I can't remember how old (somewhere between 7 and 12) but I was when I would softly repeat my sentences but I clearly remember doing it, for everything I said - including the time I asked mum for another helping of ice cream...My mother and older sister always confronted me about it; my sister would make fun of me and mum would chuckle. It never bothered me that I was doing it but I always wondered why. I'm 32 now and still have no idea what it was all about. Now though, I no longer repeat in a whisper unless I'm working on my stories, but that's only because I want it 'just so.'

mdmbryant wrote at 2012-02-02 03:41:27
Just wondering if any more information was available on this. I notice the posting date is 2005. My daughter also does this and has since she was a young child. She is 17 now and was diagnosed with an auditory processing disability when she was 8. I've talked to several speech pathologists and none have ever heard of this before.

Fredich wrote at 2012-02-06 15:11:46
Hi, I just wanted to say that I did this when I was young, and I was a (gifted child.

So I guess it's nothing to worry about.

Greetings from Zaragoza. (Spain)

PD I've just read, before posting this, that there's at least one more gifted person around here. It could be good news for the people who do this.

Fluent wrote at 2012-02-15 00:18:26
Oh I like this! I use to do this myself when i was much younger and decided to google it after I saw a video on tourettes. I eventually grew out of it, I only do it now when Im writing something down as a proof read. I feel its the easiest way to work out if something is properly said or done. I think it was a way to verbally proof read my speech to make sure I was saying things in an acceptable manner. Not sure though... If it helps anyone out there I am quite the big thinker now. I do not feel its an issue that has to be addressed.

Aaliyah wrote at 2012-02-18 18:21:52
I'm 18 and I do this all the time I am not exactly sure why, thats hot I found this post in the first place, sometimes I will realize it and sometimes I won't. Somebody will yell at me for cursing and I will really have no clue I just cursed or saying something and not remember that I said it even though it was just said. I don't think your sons playing games at all. I wish I could stop it but it seems as though it's uncontrollable. Maybe a speech therapist will know.

I would not worry about it that much, it can get annoying but it's nothing you really have to worry about.

Whisperz wrote at 2012-02-19 12:29:03
Whoa, to say the least. I have just been informed by my daughters psychologist that she will answer a question then "whisper" it back to her self however, she was 2 months premature, no gag, suck or swallow and diagnosed with ++CMV. On top of developmental delays, she has undergone several different surgeries to correct many issues. She is a fourth grader but has 2nd grade math, she has memorized answers to test OUT of an IEE for an IEP in school. Her reading and spelling are to high and the school has chosen to dismiss her for speech even though she still needs it and has regressed in her swallowing since they took her off her IEP 2years ago. She has tubes in her ears but damage from the CMV. Her father says she has been "whispering" to herself for years and I never noticed because I am going deaf. He claims we all do it (talk to ourselves), but this is not the same thing as talking out loud to oneself, ranting out loud, etc, etc. She has been tested for autism (shows a few signs), asperger (few signs), ADHD(few signs), though none are enough to clarify that she fits into any 1 field, can't medicate because it would do no good. We are doing further testing to see if she perhaps falls under another category of mental behavioral problems. She tends to get close with kids younger than herself than kids the same age, I feel this is because she has yet to catch up with her own age. You can ask simple or even easy questions but you will never get a easy, straight forward answer, more like she can't answer you at all. She appears to not be comprehending many things. She shows no fear in the real world around her and puts herself into peril, one minute she wants to be alone, the next she will tell you she has no friends and wishes she was somebody else cause she has no control over her own life! Communication with her will in fact leave me confused and nobody can help me. I believe her strength is her reading and vocabulary, math is extremely hard yet excels in science and loves it. She sways back in fourth while playing, like a pendulum on a clock. She has doctors confused from the on set of birth, and was called "Puzzles" since they found nothing more wrong with her other than her inability to gag, suck or swallow. I was she may never walk or talk due to her CMV, and we have proven doctors wrong. I googled this "whisper" when it was brought to my attention and I know she needs help in a smaller scale class room till she gets caught up with kids her own age. She is teased, but unaware due to her minds age or possibly because of the world she lives in. She still has medical issues, but nothing can be done unless they become an emergency. She seems normal when in fact she is off the chart in so many areas it's scary. I often join her in her world, but often times find myself watching her and wishing I could be her, for she is in a world all her own and gifted. She can tell you all her favorite shows, what time they come on and the channel, yet can't tell the difference between a positive sign or negative sign. I look forward to her future now, because everybody here has shown me that she will in fact be something GREAT! She loves dancing, singing and music so perhaps that may be her field of expertise of the future. Bless you all for sharing and so thrilled I am not alone in a confined corner of "our world" (my daughter and I)!  

Angela Esperon wrote at 2012-02-26 01:57:43
Funny how I get to the last post and it could be about my 10yr old daughter. She was born 3 month early and is two years behind in school. She too repeats everything she said and has facial ticks too. This just came on in the last month. She has social issues too and plays better with younger children.The school tested her for learning disabilities and she was denied.She has a 504 plan but it isn't enough. She feels so bad about herself and I have to get her further testing on my own. We need help. Children born so early can have so many problems that go over looked. My heart goes out to the last post. As a parent I will never give up. my daughter will get the help she needs.

DANYELLE wrote at 2012-03-22 02:13:07
Dear Erin & Kevin, my grandson is two years old and he speaks very well.He always repeats his words twice such as" i want some i want some".gramma here it go," gramma here it go'. I thought that was interesting and wondered if he had an condition or would he grow out of it.I thought it was when got excited, but he does it all the time.

Sara wrote at 2012-03-22 11:43:39
My son is 7 and he has been speaking then whispering for several months now. Not all the time and he gets annoyed and denies it if I point it out. So glad to see this sounds like a common thing in children. I'll stop worrying now!  

Amanda wrote at 2012-03-28 04:21:01
My son has done something similar since he was 2.5.  It comes and goes, and actually used to only be the endings of words and then progressed to a sentence.  It also went from being said out loud to a whisper or just his lips moving now.  I did notice that these episodes come during or right after a some sort of language growth.  Perhaps I put too much emphasis on speech, ie always correcting or making him say it the correct way, albeit I thought I was helping but after doing some research I have found better ways to further his language development.

Anyways, he is smart, intuitive, and his language skills are advanced for his age.  We saw a ST for this "quirk", she had never heard it, and of course he didn't do it during the testing :).  What I found funny is that I worried abut Tourette's and Aspergers because palalalia is extremely rare yet "hallmark" signs of these disorders according to some of the articles I read regarding this subject.  I was worried sick, then I found out that this can actually be a normal finding in children under the age of 6 according to the Dictionary of Nuerological Signs (p.269)

Kids do odd things from time to time and many children will have transient tics during childhood.  So try not to worry unless it is accompanied by other troubling signs :)

Meagan wrote at 2012-03-28 23:51:59
My brother, also has this same exact disorder.  He is now nine but has had it since he was able to talk.

Zach wrote at 2012-04-12 03:51:23
Wow, I am 17 now and do this exact same thing. I have no idea when I started doing this, but my brother has pointed it out numerous times. Every time he did this I became mad and argued with him, telling him that I did no such thing. Then one day my brother accused me of doing so and my mother agreed with him. She said that I have done it for a long time. I still didn't believe it. But I decided to pay closer attention and caught my self one day. Now I'm noticing it more and more but have no control over it. It is like an involuntary response. This is not OCD, because I don't feel obligated to do so. Like I said, I don't even realize I'm doing it. Thank you to everyone who has posted! :D  

sally wrote at 2012-04-23 22:42:14
my son is 9 he is reapiting the same words and he is standing still for about 15 sec and he keep on with what he had to say

Jeff Smith wrote at 2012-04-27 17:09:22
When my son was younger, he was slow to speak. Once he did begin speaking after 2 years old, eventually he became a repeater. He would say a sentence and then repeat it softly. Like many of you on here, we would ask him if he knew he was doing it and sometimes said yes, sometimes said no. His friends noticed and would ask him "Why do you do that?". They weren't being mean, they just thought it was odd.

At about age 5 or so, he started exhibiting other OCD type behaviors. Eventually he started writing down questions in the middle of the night, sometimes filling a couple of pages with questions like "Ask mom about the sun", "Ask dad about the way TV works" etc. We would talk to him about these and sometimes he would hide them, but he's a kid and would often just be lazy and leave them under the bed. He would pick at the paint in his room and carved his initials into his (somewhat newly painted) room - but he didn't do it as an act of defiance, he just HAD to it. I won't lie - this worried my wife and I greatly and we were very concerned, as my wife's brother had exhibited these same tendencies when he was younger and eventually took his own life when he was 18.

We had him tested and he scored very high on intelligence and language, but he was diagnosed with some attentive difficulties - he liked things written down rather than verbal instructions - and was oppositional defiant. He has always had a somewhat nervous disposition and introverted, where as his older sister, is bold and extroverted.

However there is hope. My son just turned 13 and he no longer exhibits these behaviors. It just stopped mostly when he reached puberty it seems. I only came here because I watched a Youtube video of the ABC sitcom "The Middle" and the son repeats words on that show, and it reminded me what my son used to do. So I google searched it and ended up here.

My son loves to draw, create (and play) video games and is a becoming an accomplished musician at multiple instruments (my wife and I are musicians). We never pushed our son to do music - and thought for years he would never be a musician as he had zero interest in it - but suddenly at age 9 just started playing piano, drums and guitar and found that he loved it and was good at it. This has also helped him with his confidence which is why I mentioned it. Sometimes these kids just need to find their place, and find something they love to do and identify with it. It might not be music, it could be anything - art, woodworking, hunting, dance, electronics etc. If your child isn't good at anything, it's just that they haven't found it yet. But they will.

Good luck to all those parents out there who were like us. All kids are different and no two stories alike, but what every child shares is a need to be loved, nurtured and understood. Love them for who they are and celebrate their individuality. Going through these times can be scary and you might find yourself remembering these behaviors as something they did as children but outgrew later in life.  

Kimberly wrote at 2012-04-29 18:36:56
Amazing!  I have a son 7 that is also repeating and has difficulty in school with writing, attention, focus, cant seam to do his work unless someone keeps him going.  We just recently went to a place called Learning RX in Fort Collins Colorado.  They tested him for how is Brain Works.  They found his processing speed was 10 from 1-100.  He explained that this could directly be linked to his repeating of words and other issues he has in school.  We are starting next week a 20 week program of 6 hours a week of brain strengthening.  I will keep this post updated on progress and let you all know if it works.

Mitchell wrote at 2012-05-01 10:26:31
I'm now 55

I don't know much but I know I'm not normal

Never been to prison

Never disrespected or hurt any one  - I'm white

I'm different

When i was young everything I said would repeat itself in my head

A broken record

But if I said something different the track would skip

And if I said enough the track was confused - it was still running and I could be normal.... for everyone else

My voices correct me always these days

I'm the perfect gentleman

hope this helps

Best wishes

MD Mom wrote at 2012-05-07 00:18:14
My six year old son has been doing this for several months.  He will say something, then afterward repeat the whole sentence to himself underhis breath.  He usually only does it when he's along, but I'll notice because I've just left his room, am in the other room, etc.  He was recently seen by a child neurologist for concern of possible Tourette's Syndrome.  He has been expereiocing various vocal and motor tics over the last 6 months.  Now, I'm thinking this may be related too.  He has been diagnosed with Acute Tic Dosorder, but they haven't categorized it as Tourette's yet, as the tics have not yet been occuring for a year.

shirley wrote at 2012-06-04 02:02:58
My son is 16 and he was speech delayed but extremely bright.  We went to a speech therapist at age 4 because he was able to read aloud full sentences even though he didn't speak that way spontaneously.  He was also able to sing complete lyrics of children's songs.  Turns out he is very musically talented and plays 5 different instruments. They determined he had a mild Auditory Processing Delay, making it difficult for him to incorporate verbal details into his memory.    They said the whispering echo served as his coping mechanism to solidify those memories.  I always thought it odd that it was his own thoughts/word he was repeating though. He is very VISUAL and learns best by reading instructions.  He tested "gifted" early on and has continued to be academically accelerated.  He doesn't really fit the Type A mold though.

I've enjoyed reading every post here. Thank you for sharing!

obi-wan wrote at 2012-06-10 10:24:39
hi all my son is almost 8 now and he does the whisper repeating thing, he doesn't know he is doing it.

thanks to this site i now know its a quite common thing, he has been diagnosed with "slight aspergers syndrome" and is very bright he loves electronics and has a need to understand how everything works and he remembers it, he does well at school but is not very social with others, his reading and maths are above average but his writing skills are pore put a keyboard infront of him and no problems,

i was getting worried about the repeating thing but i guess this is not really an issue,

thanks for all the advice, may the force be with you.

Wayne obi-wan walford

ann wrote at 2012-06-13 16:56:38
Hi everyone, my daughter did the same thing too . I've noticed  her  3 months ago, after  she said something she  whispered it to herself. Im kid a little bit worried but  when i read these site i feel relieved. She  just turn 5 years old and  she can memorized the  every episode of the movies that she's watching.  when she is 3 years old  she can  do almost the whole story of the thumbelina movie (barbie ). and until now  whatever movies  she,s watching  she's doing it  by herself. and we love her doing  that . we so  lucky to have her as our daughter.

Mabel wrote at 2012-06-18 12:57:57
Hi, everyone, I just noticed my 6 year old niece repeating the last few words of her previous sentences, like Brick Heck does (the Middle).

We are Chinese and she is learning the Chinese alphabet, ie pinyin, in kindergarten, as Chinese is a tone language, she sometimes makes mistakes in pronouncing "c" and "ch", whenever I noticed she mispronounced, I would interrupt her and tell her the right pronunciation and let her to repeat after me. It worked. However, from last week, I noticed that she began repeating herself after she finished a sentence, well, not repeating every sentence. And grandma also noticed this phenomenon, we asked her why she is doing so, she just said "I don't know", I told her it is not a good habbit and asked her to get rid of it. I remind her several times. Until today I checked the issue and found so many similar cases and I think that I, myself is responsible for giving her too much pressure in correcting her Chinese pronunciation that led her self-check her sentences after she speaks. She is going to elementary school in coming September, I have to help her to change this, I am afraid kids in school will make fun of her at this point.

I would like to hear some suggestions from moms and people who overcame this. Thank you so much!  

derwentmax wrote at 2012-06-20 02:08:08
I am quite surprised to see that nobody (it seems) has mentioned 'palilalia', which is when we repeat our own words to ourselves. In children and sometimes and adults, it is a result of anxiety, and usually goes away after some time. So the best thing to do to "cure" it is to identify anything that may be causing your child to be anxious. It is also advised not to make it a big issue with them by getting them to stop it consciously as this could make them more anxious - usually they don't know they are doing it.  Here's a good article about it:

yarygv wrote at 2012-08-11 19:16:29
Wow, I cant believe how many years of comments this post has! My 7yr old daughter has been doing this for over a year now and I thought it would be something that would have faded, when I ask her why she repeats what she just said she looks at me confused because she is not aware. I cried in relief when I read thru these comments, it sure helped reassure me that my child is not alone. Good luck to All :)

anonymous wrote at 2012-09-18 06:52:06
I am very much worried that my kid has developed this habit from last 3-4 months. She is exactly 3yrs now. She repeats her own words, if we stop and make her notice what she is talking, she tries to correct it well.. but this habit is increasing time by time :(

she will normally talk like - "what is your your your your name? or "give me me me me milk", read on internet about kids repeating last word. but in her case, its random, she repeats any of the word from 1st to last in the sentence, not sure if she is trying to get it right, but it more looks like she thinks while talking. You seem to be more experienced in the field, I would like to send her audio/video which can give better idea.

It will be nice if you could please write on -

Daria wrote at 2012-10-10 19:06:08
I babysit a 3 year old girl who does this constantly. Only with her, it's quite difficult to tell what she is actually saying. She has neurological issues, so she doesn't speak much. She basically speaks in sound. She doesn't say complete words, only mouths them to where she is almost humming it. Her brain and mouth just don't seem to be making the proper connection. Her mother has been taking her to doctors, and speech therapy for that issue. I've only been babysitting her for a few weeks, and I've picked up on the whisper thing. Sometimes after she's already said something it sounds like she is repeating it softly. She also does it after I've said something to her, and stares me dead in the eye as she's repeating. I wish she spoke more clearly so I can figure out what she is actually whispering.

A few people say she may be slightly autistic, or "on the autism spectrum". After reading some of these responses, and seeing the word "autism" appear several times. I'm thinking it may be so.

Although in her case, it is quite difficult. Seeing as she has these speech issues, she may just be trying to teach herself how to say things. Her mother has given me a few things to look out for, and tell her whether she does them often, but this is not one of them. What I've mainly been looking for is a blank stare. Her doctors believe she may be having silent seizures.

I guess I will have to mention this to her mother, and see if she's caught on to it yet. I guess it's not really much to worry about, but in her case it wouldn't hurt to bring it up to her doctor. Maybe it can assist them in aiding her speech issues.

This posting was very helpful, I've been looking for something like this for days.  

Briana wrote at 2012-10-11 13:50:01
I am a 21 year old female and wow i have been looking for answers like these for a while. i have been doing this for quite some time now and could never really figure out why. People would mention it to me and i would get aggravated because i didn't want to feel like there was something really wrong with me. i am perfectly normal though and found that i too do it being a perfectionist and wanting what i say to be perfect. I take my writing very seriously and am always editing thoroughly what i write. i am very aware of it now and i cant explain why it happens because it happens involuntarily. its almost as though i cant control it. i realize I'm doing as I'm almost done saying it twice too late and i cant stop it. it is a little frustrating at times but is very relaxing to know there is no neurological problem. i hope this could help.

G wrote at 2012-12-06 13:25:53
Our son started this a while back when he was learning to communicate in sentences and phrases.  He's six now and we still notice that he repeats himself in a whisper from time to time.  I really think that he's just making sure what he said was correct.  

He has other issues like kidney issues and a slight lisp but he's in 1st grade and make very high grades with the occasional slip.  So he's pretty much normal.  

If your child is you and is doing this from time to time, I don't think I would really worry about it right now too much, if they still do this at the age of nine or ten then I would seek professional assistance.  At least that's our plan.  

Like the person stated earlier, Enjoy your child.

CGroves wrote at 2012-12-14 19:05:12
My daughter is 4 1/2 and has started repeating her own sentences back to herself in a whisper.  She also repeats what I say to her sometimes in a whisper. She is a very intelligent child (excels in Art/Music)and also very social and outgoing. She does not exhibit any symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder or Tourette Syndrome.  

So far, I am the only one that has noticed she does this.  My husband says she does not do it with him. Sometimes when she asks me a question, it's almost as if she knows what my answer is going to be and silently (or in a whisper) mouths the words I'm saying as I'm saying them.  I honestly think this is all part of her speech/vocabulary learning. She tells me she wants to be exactly like me and I think she whisper repeats to self-check to ensure she is saying things correctly.  I'm a perfectionist, so maybe she is going to be one too.  Glad to know there are others that do this and have led very successful lives!

untainted_dove wrote at 2012-12-17 03:32:35
My son has done this since he began to talk. His preschool psychologist said he would out grow it. (he's 13 now) Although he doesn't do it as much as he used to and it seems its more noticeable when he is stressed. He is a very intelligent child. But more of a "hands on" kind of kid. He has been also diagnosed with ADHD. But not on any kind of meds for it as it seemed to make his issues with ADHD worse. I'm so glad to have found this, as his Dad and I are now separated, my sons soon to be future step mother insists he has asberger or teretts or some other mental illness as it is not "normal" . I am so glad I can now tell his father and show him this that it is VERY "normal" and several children do it.  

Samantha Diamond wrote at 2012-12-22 18:46:33
I am eleven and I actually do this currently. It started about 4 months ago and is on and off, but when I do do it it is constantly with nearly every senstence. It mostly starts on days when I am anxious or unsure of what it happening all day. As if to make sure that I said the right thing. Like many other people have said, a self check. I have a sensory-thing as well. I'm not sure, and I'm not diagnosed, but loud or multiple noises, bright colors, and bright lights bother me.

I have not whispered in about a month, but it requires a lot of effort.  

gina in oklahoma wrote at 2013-01-11 15:28:32
My eight-year-old daughter has done this for the last several months. I have asked her why she does it and she said, "I'm saying it to myself to be sure it was right."  After reading the above responses, my daughter shares the following characteristics with other "whisperers": She is more highly emotional than my two other children; loud noises bother her--she shrieks and runs to the other room when I turn the big vacuum cleaner on; her intelligence and reading ability are above average.  

Her father has some OCD tendencies and I have laid the blame for the whispering at his feet in the past.  However, in retrospect, it seems likely that my own perfectionism and anxiety issues that my daughter has inherited are just as likely the culprits.  

Meghan wrote at 2013-01-19 23:34:21
Hi, im meghan and I am 14 years and ever since I was about 10 my mom and other people in my family would ask me why I was repeating the sentence or word I just said back to myself quietly.. I never really noticed myself doing it. It is really uncontrollable. Sometimes I catch myself doing it but most of the time I don't know. Ever since my family would tell me that I was doing it I always was curious but never really thought of it being a disorder. A few days ago I was talking to someone and I caught them doing the same thing so that's when I decided to look it up and really see why I was doing it.. And as I read more about it, it seems like its a self check of some sort.. I am not really literate but I do have a high reading level. I still do this but not all the time . It is very interesting to know that I have a disorder Nd never really knew why and how I got it.. But it's nothing to worry about I'm in high school and I'm taking college class so I have very grades. Just thought I might share with you guys.  

Hex wrote at 2013-01-29 12:06:31
Hi, im robert. Im turning 17 in a month and i have been doing this as far back as i can remember. I suppose it really is a subconscous thing, because i wont even notice myself doing it until im mid way through a whispered sentence. (Sidenote: i do hear voices out of random noises sometimes but im still confirming whether it isnt someone actually talking)  

Ora Shelton wrote at 2013-01-30 21:47:49
This is a very normal possess of intrapersonal communication. The children are just experimenting with the words and verbally repeating them to themselves. Everyone does it internally, Children do not realize they are doing it verbally, because they are still experimenting with the intra part of communicating.  

Adrian Wells wrote at 2013-02-03 23:09:22
I'm 30 right now. I used to do this as a kid mostly, and I really disagree on the subject of 'perfectionism'.

As a child I rusted to repeat the last 2 or 3 words like a whisper to myself not in every sentence but in one out of 3 or 5 for sure, sometimes even the entire sentence. By that time it was the 80's and many compulsive or other disorders didn't had as proper diagnostic.

Yesterday I realize I was doing it again, and I'm 30, the reasons where the same, an involuntary reflex ho had no intention of being perfectionist and 'just happen'.

I looked up and it seems there is a disorder mostly diagnostically to people with autism called 'Echolalia', this is -an involuntary repetition of a sentence or words-, but it seems to be a 'lesser form' that happens to some people when they are under stress. A kid under the eighth of 6 to 12 mostly on their 6-7 years old it's in a lot of pressure, they have to go to school, they have to interact with other people they don't know, they have to learn things faster and this contributes to the 'stress' factor.

In my case, right now my parent's are taking vacations at home this year, and they are stuck with me, all month, my parent's are a really stressful factor, they fight with each other all the time and you can't avoid them even if you want to because the apartment it's small, so technically I'm again on a very stressful situation, thus, I'm occasionally repeating (again) the last 2 or 3 words of a sentence even now that I'm 30... and believe me I'm pretty much convinced it's not a "double check" *(I also talk perfectly both, my natural lenguage, Spanish, and English), in fact all my IQ test have being quite high, even as a child, so from all this I assume it's some kind of syndrome that hasn't being properly diagnostically yet but it blends between the 'Echolalia' from autism and a compulsive syndrome disorder that triggers on a certain person in an stressful situation.

Some of your kids might be autistic kids without a proper diagnostic, but most, might just be having this syndrome that let me assure you dads and mums, it doesn't stop or makes any difference on the boy's life, so don't worry, he/she will grow up completely normal and healthy, it's like a 'tic' on the vocal cords, it activates on stress... and childhood is always stressful, it's also an involuntary reaction so even if the kid wants to shut up or if you order not to do it he wold not be able. I wonder now how many syndromes are out there that are not properly diagnostic even now...

AnnaLynn wrote at 2013-04-05 11:37:48
My son, who is six now, has been doing this since he could talk (over four years now). My sister said she used to do it as a child and as an adult does it from time to time.  It seems normal to me and whenever I do see my son do it I feel he is processing information and it is his way of taking in the ongoing set of events.

I feel guilty because I mentioned this to him in passing and he isn't aware that he does it and now I'm afraid that I've made him self-conscious. Hopefully he continues to do it and I totally encourage it because he's smart as a whip and I know he is extremely thoughtful and full of imagination. I really don't want to impede his growth and decided from now on I'm not going to say anything to him.

A couple of notes on my son: He's a top reader and has been talking since he was about 18 months old (clear concise speech) and has great vocabulary now. He's a typical kid with no learning disabilities.  

Daniela wrote at 2013-05-11 02:09:06
It's called echolalia - very common in autism spectrum and Asperger's syndrome.

Watch the sitcom "the Middle" Brick  has it

izzy'smommy wrote at 2013-06-18 03:32:58
My daughter who is 6 has been repeating her sentences to herself for some time now.  She is totally unaware that she does it.  A friend who is a child psychologist says that it is very common in children who are highly intelligent with excellent problem solving and reasoning skills.  My daughter scored genius level of verbal communication, problem solving and reasoning.  She is also the youngest of 6 and is much more mature for her age than other children.  I hope this helps all you parents who worried as much as me.  

i.have.this.problem.problem wrote at 2013-06-26 12:03:36
I am a 16 year old and I have this problem with my speech. Everyone around me notices it and tells me that I do scares me so much. I haven't had it for a while maybe only in the past few years. From what I know I don't try to reaffirm what I say, it just happens. If I think about my problem when I talk I can constrain myself from doing it but it is difficult to.I really want to find a cure to it and soon. It seriously is embarrassing when my friends point out to me that I'm whispering to myself. I try so hard not to do it. If anyone finds a cure please post it here

Nanners wrote at 2013-07-09 23:35:43
My 6 1/2 year old daughter has recently begun exhibiting symptoms of palilalia (whisper repeating).  Naturally I had to "google" it and discovered the technical term.  It made me immediately think of Brick Heck from the show The Middle.  A lot of the sites are very basic and don't provide a lot of information other than that it's a symptom of Autism or Tourette's Syndrome.  My daughter clearly doesn't have either of these syndromes.

My daughter is exceptionally bright.  I suspect that she has hyperthymesia as well.  She recalls things from her daily life with exceptional accuracy.  For example, I asked her what she did at school on March 16 of this year.  She told me that was a weekend day and she didn't have school.  I double checked the calendar and she was right.  I can go on and on about examples of her exceptional memory - it's almost scary but very fascinating.

She is very well adjusted and highly social.  She is so social that she initiates conversations with the elderly and holds engaging conversation with them, like "do you have any children? tell me about them. What did you do as a job in the past?"  Things I never see children her age do and she's been doing this for years.

She also seems to have this "intuition."  Out of the blue she will have these existential philosophical discussions with me about reincarnation, what happens to the self before birth and after death, and highly sophisticated opinions on God and the afterlife.  (We are not a religious family and do not attend a church where conversations like these are the norm.)

She is the most loving and affectionate child I've ever met.  She loves learning, but she seems to be more inclined to mathematics than linguistics.  Time will tell.  I'm just glad to know this is a common thing and that she may or may not grow out of it.  I've not brought it to her attention because I don't want to embarrass her or cause any undue anxiety.  Anyway, glad to find this thread! :)

Anna wrote at 2013-08-14 05:00:10
I remember having this when I was a little kid. I think I did it when I was pleased with what I just said and wanted to hear it again just for me. I remember my friends asking me why I did it and I didn't know what to tell them. I would always be embarrassed if someone noticed. I remember trying to stop because I didn't want anyone to know, or I just grew out of it. I wouldn't worry if your kid has this. I'm 19 now and I'm going to college. I'm confident and well-adjusted, no disorders or anything. You definitely shouldn't make a big deal out of it. Being told by a grown-up that there's something wrong with them can permanently hurt a kid's self-esteem. Nobody ever told me that it was a bad thing to do and I grew out of it on my own.

lena wrote at 2013-08-18 16:56:08
I did this all the time as a child. Even every now and then today. I had it pointed out to me by my sister when i was 14 and the rest of my family  said they've always noticed it too. I used to be insecure about it and started making sure i wasn't doing it. I recently noticed my 10 year old sister doing it too so i decided to look it up. I turned out just fine. In fact, growing up i was always above average in reading/literature skills.  Straight A student who is in fact a  perfectionist. I took advanced classes in school and now I'm in college, and my GPA has been a 4.0 since the beginning. Still straight A. My guess is the same as the others. It might just be a sign of a child who is smart, learns quicklyly, and will work hard to succeed.  

Tasha King wrote at 2013-10-20 04:56:01
My brother does this I have theorize by his behavior while he repeats himself that it's a way of assuring himself, and making sure it sounded right I used to do the same thing just only with certain words that's why I have a talent of repeating words like they're in a rap song. I'm also very fluent in the language of English. When is had that habit I would repeat the word several times whispering it so to assure myself that it sounded right when I said it. I eventually moved on to doing that while I was writing. If something looked like it was spelled wrong even if it was spelled right I had to write the word over and over again before I asked if that was how it was really spelled. I have dyslexia and ADD so it made me really hard to concentrate on one thing at a time but as I got used to my dyslexia it faded in to the background now it's my ADD your son probably repeats his sentences and words over again because he is thinking them through... One word at a time.

That's another reason why I repeated sentence.ADD is not really a disorder but a gift. It makes it easier to multitask when I'm thinking. Because when I see a word. So many different thought come up and your motivated to think them all through extremely thoughtfully thinking like this all the time gives you good problem solving skills, motivation skills, and multitasking skills, the brains of people with ADD are significantly more complex that the brains of people without ADD in fact some of the smartest people in the world had ADD, ADHD, autism, or as-purgers. Albert Einstien had autism and ADD, Isaac Newton had ADHD. I'm sure you'll find more on the topic of why your son does what he does by searching these diagnostics ADD ADHD autism and as-purgers. Good luck!  

Tasha King wrote at 2013-10-20 04:56:06
My brother does this I have theorize by his behavior while he repeats himself that it's a way of assuring himself, and making sure it sounded right I used to do the same thing just only with certain words that's why I have a talent of repeating words like they're in a rap song. I'm also very fluent in the language of English. When is had that habit I would repeat the word several times whispering it so to assure myself that it sounded right when I said it. I eventually moved on to doing that while I was writing. If something looked like it was spelled wrong even if it was spelled right I had to write the word over and over again before I asked if that was how it was really spelled. I have dyslexia and ADD so it made me really hard to concentrate on one thing at a time but as I got used to my dyslexia it faded in to the background now it's my ADD your son probably repeats his sentences and words over again because he is thinking them through... One word at a time.

That's another reason why I repeated sentence.ADD is not really a disorder but a gift. It makes it easier to multitask when I'm thinking. Because when I see a word. So many different thought come up and your motivated to think them all through extremely thoughtfully thinking like this all the time gives you good problem solving skills, motivation skills, and multitasking skills, the brains of people with ADD are significantly more complex that the brains of people without ADD in fact some of the smartest people in the world had ADD, ADHD, autism, or as-purgers. Albert Einstien had autism and ADD, Isaac Newton had ADHD. I'm sure you'll find more on the topic of why your son does what he does by searching these diagnostics ADD ADHD autism and as-purgers. Good luck!  

Tasha King wrote at 2013-10-20 04:56:14
My brother does this I have theorize by his behavior while he repeats himself that it's a way of assuring himself, and making sure it sounded right I used to do the same thing just only with certain words that's why I have a talent of repeating words like they're in a rap song. I'm also very fluent in the language of English. When is had that habit I would repeat the word several times whispering it so to assure myself that it sounded right when I said it. I eventually moved on to doing that while I was writing. If something looked like it was spelled wrong even if it was spelled right I had to write the word over and over again before I asked if that was how it was really spelled. I have dyslexia and ADD so it made me really hard to concentrate on one thing at a time but as I got used to my dyslexia it faded in to the background now it's my ADD your son probably repeats his sentences and words over again because he is thinking them through... One word at a time.

That's another reason why I repeated sentence.ADD is not really a disorder but a gift. It makes it easier to multitask when I'm thinking. Because when I see a word. So many different thought come up and your motivated to think them all through extremely thoughtfully thinking like this all the time gives you good problem solving skills, motivation skills, and multitasking skills, the brains of people with ADD are significantly more complex that the brains of people without ADD in fact some of the smartest people in the world had ADD, ADHD, autism, or as-purgers. Albert Einstien had autism and ADD, Isaac Newton had ADHD. I'm sure you'll find more on the topic of why your son does what he does by searching these diagnostics ADD ADHD autism and as-purgers. Good luck!  

tt wrote at 2013-11-21 21:27:31
I did that when I was younger and strangely didn't even know it until a couple of years ago.  I had absolutely no idea until I had a dream where I was playing with an old toy I had and was involuntarily repeating every last word at the end of each sentence.  When I woke up I remembered the dream and honestly could not tell if it was a memory, dream, or both.  I decided to ask my mother about it and she confirmed that I did do that as a child but "grew out of it" as I got older.  The only thing I can tell you now as an adult is that I didn't do very well in school and am still extremely anti social.  I dropped out and got my GED.  I did however get above average in every subject and a perfect 800 score in language arts and writing in the top one percent in the percentile rank.  I currently write rap lyrics and am in love with playing with words.  Shaping and forming them however I want to a beat.

I don't know if you understand "flow" or hip hop in general but speeding up in certain areas and slowing down, writing metaphors, and using multi syllable rhymes just became a natural outlet for me to vent whatever frustrations I may be having at the time.  

As an example:

In these bars I take the long "I" sound, the long "O" sound, and short "E" sound in that order and rhyme them sprinkling

a couple of random long "I"s, "O"s, and short "E"s between.  So something like:







SKY was the LIMIT it ISN'T I ADMIT IT I can't believe that I BOUGHT IT.   

And it's IRONIC what they FIND in an EYE SOCKET


I'M BALLIN as a pupil.  I CALL IT EYE BALLIN' I'M looking out

for SIGNS of the SKY FALLIN'.  

juani wrote at 2013-11-26 08:33:44
I was heartbroken that my wife moved in with another man so I had a spell to bring her back home and stop the affair she had with him. In just 4 days she left him and went to live at the motel. She called to say so and get news of the kids. The discussion was pleasant, as if she was changing to become the woman I knew when we got married. It was exactly as you said…. Now she’s back home and is absolutely crazy about me. I am so thrilled by this spell that I cant find the right words to say how I feel right now. All I can decently say is that you changed my life and saved the most important thing in my life: my family, way to contact my savior is

Erin wrote at 2013-12-11 23:31:13
My son does this also.  He is 12 and has done it since around age 4 or 5.  He doesn't realize he does it.  He also has ADD, he has a hard time in certain classes; English and History.

I noticed on all the posts though that the majority of kids doing this seem to be boys.

Our ped told us that she believes he does it due to his add.

MAGGIEMAY wrote at 2014-01-08 18:03:46
I have a 8 & 1/2 year old daughter who does this too! It started a couple months after she turned 8. She is extremely bight, is above average in reading, and reads through chapter books like an adult would. I was a little worried by this at first and figured it was a phase. She also tends to have favorite topics that she never stops talking about. Such as her LOVE for dogs. She's very sensitive to loud sounds and gets overwhelmed in crowds. She enjoys going out into the world but prefers to be home where she is the most comfortable. I've always felt since she was a baby that she was gifted. I'm so glad I stumbled upon this thread and felt the need to add my experience to give further comfort to any families with this same situation.  

boncher wrote at 2014-02-07 05:09:20
My son did this for several years--about age 5-8.  We asked him if he was aware of it once and he was not.  Eventually it seemed to just stop--although he may have been teased and "willed" himself to stop.  He did exceptionally well in school--especially in math and science.  

I think that the parent should observe and assume the best--but watch to see what other quirks may accompany this behavior.  For my son I believe it was a "self-check" but when mixed with lack of body coordination, and constant verbal "noise", it could become a problem that requires therapy or medication.

renee2717 wrote at 2014-03-20 16:46:34
my friend who i just came into contact with again finally after a few years, he also does this quite often. he is 32 and I've never noticed it before but i believed it to be a nervous tick. only because when we finally told each how we felt towards one another. shortly after i noticed him repeating his sentences in a soft whisper. sometimes he would repeat a full sentence, more often just a part of it but once in a while he would repeat a sentence twice. since we are still getting to know each other better i feel it could just be all the excitement of something new or he is just very nervous around me. i am worried to ask him if it has been something he has dealt with for a long time. would i be wrong to ask him or do i just continue to let him feel comfortable with me. even though i do not treat him any differently for this and it has not taken away from the attraction i find in him, personality and all. i just don't want to hurt his feelings. he is a bright man who is now continuing college to get his bachelors degree in electrical engineering, he may not care much for reading/writing and loud noises tend to cause him to lose concentration on work or studying. but i find him to be the most interesting and amazing person i have ever been blessed with to have in my life. sorry this doesn't really help much just felt i also needed to share my story. and to show that even with this problem that many face it is my belief that anybody going through this can live a normal happy life. god bless

MomOf2 wrote at 2014-07-19 18:00:18
My 7yo started doing this for the past 2-3 months or so. He is a smart kid and definitly a perfectionist. Before, he used to blame and call himself names when he couldn't say something or said something wrong or anything that didn't sound right. Now - he is doing the repeating under breath and it kind of replaced the self bashing. I am glad I found this form, this does help confirm his self check and perfectionism. Guess sometimes we just got to enjoy such quirky things kids do instead of analyzing and thinking it might be a disorder. Certainly it helps as a parent to know that it is not that uncommon. Thanks to all the parents who shared and to all the amazing adults who shared how they did this as kids.

Nikki B wrote at 2014-09-24 16:46:51
I also have a son who is now 9.  Last year right around x-mas we had to move to a different city.  Just after he started his new school I noticed he started to whisper the last phrase or sentence under his breath as well.  It has been almost a year since this started.  I've done some research online as well as talked with colleagues about this.  It seems to be a very normal childhood reaction to stress in a child's life.  It happens more to children with a higher intelligence, and it is something a child will outgrow.  It reminds me of another typical childhood experience like imaginary friends, or the stutter of 3-5 year old's when they get excited and want to tell you something.  "I... I... I... I want to tell you!!" The best thing to do is ignore it so the child doesn't have self-esteem issues over it, and help them relax as much as possible whenever they are starting to stress out.  As long as the child is around elementary school age I wouldn't worry.

Jimmi stinks wrote at 2015-02-20 21:12:58

  I'm 34 I've done this since I was 5 , I had a stamma .

back then (1985) the doctor told my perants that my brain running to quickly and that my mouth was just catching up .

  I have no idea when I'm doing this only when people point it out.

I find that I'm very sound orientated good with instruments accents and languages .

My problem is that I get very bored and distracted easily .

I am a research and development engineer and my employers say I'm a big thinker and very innovative .

  I wouldn't worry about this as it has never troubled me in anyway

         Thanks for reading

mommaroo wrote at 2015-08-28 00:37:02
My 23 year old son repeated words and phrases under his breath in a whisper when he was a child. My 8 year old son does this as well...which started for him about a year ago. I can recall vaguely narrating my words and phrases as a child...but I don't recall if it was audible or in my head. I believe this is generic and is nothing to be alarmed or overly concerned about. This little quirk of speech pattern has not affected us academically intellectually or socially in any way. ;)

Jacqueline Hood, Ph.D. wrote at 2015-09-05 03:27:51
This is an old, old thread, but you're describing a relatively common verbal tic.  I'm a child psychologist, and I've seen it many times.  I just came across this and thought someone should respond in case others are still looking for the answer.  Many children have transient tics that go away and never come back.  In fact, it's not that uncommon; however, others may go on to develop other tics over time.  If it continues for longer than a few months, or if other tics begin to emerge, you should probably consult with a psychologist knowledgeable in this area, and/or a neurologist.  Also, if it emerges overnight after an illness, you should immediately check in with your child's pediatrician, as this can be a symptom of infection that should be treated.  There are also some medications that may cause/exacerbate this condition in susceptible individuals; therefore, if your child is taking a medication, it would be best to tell the pediatrician right away.

JsPop wrote at 2016-08-13 21:51:40
My 6 year old boy has Einstein Syndrome.  He was a late talker who did not start speaking intelligibly until almost 5 years old.  I picked up on his speech delay and performed some intense research when he was around 2 years old.  He is now presenting with Palilalia, but I am not concerned as it is totally consistent with the development of his very high intellect (At age 47, I also still do this too when nobody is around - car, shower, etc.).

My son performs math at a 5th grade level.  His speech has been progressing extraordinarily since he began using complete sentences just over a year ago.  During that time, his sentences and speech sounded haphazard to others.  However, understanding myself, I knew it was because his brain was thinking far faster than his ability to express himself audibly.  The palilalia he is presenting now is him teaching himself to slow down so that he can express his myriad of simultaneous thoughts correctly so that others can understand him.  He then rechecks himself in the whisper to be sure what he said came out correctly.

I think it is important to remark that my son, while still struggling a bit with expressing himself verbally, regularly employs advanced vocabulary.  So, for example, rather than say "The bird flew way over there!" as would be expected of someone his age, he correctly states:  "The bird flew off into the distance!".  He often amazes me with his correct usage of very advance (for his age) vocabulary.

Also, as an aside, he repeatedly watches videos (mostly stop animation or cartoons where the characters have accents).  He will watch the same video until he understands and can repeat (including with accent and intensity) everything said in the video.

I recommend any parent reading this to research "Einstein Syndrome".  Thomas Sowell has written extensively on the topic.  His books should be required reading for all parents with late talking children or children who repeat themselves.  He has helped me immensely with understanding my son's development as well as (retrospectively) my own.  I hope this helps!

Melanie wrote at 2017-01-04 10:41:35
My 6 year old daughter just started repeating herself in a whisper occasionally, and this thread was very helpful and reassuring.  She has no other concerning symptoms, doing great with school and friends.  So I'm not going to even mention it to her, just keep an eye on it.  So interesting that this behavior is not that uncommon, but also a symptom of more serious disorders like tourrets or autism.  

Speech Disorders

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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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