In the simplest terms, echolalia refers to a repetition in speech. It is a phenomenon that is observed in normal and pathological forms. As a part of normal language development, it is observed as the literal repetition of the conversation partner’s words possibly as a processing or rehearsal strategy by the child. Besides normal development, echolalic utterances are also observed in relation to several neurological and psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, intellectual disability, and Tourette syndrome. Despite being observed in such diverse conditions, echolalia is considered a hallmark of autism since it is highly visible and frequently observed in the speech of this population. The nature and function of echoic utterances observed in autism have been a matter of debate. Although traditionally regarded as an ...

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