Original Research

Immediate echolalia and the interactive behaviour of autistic children

Ingrid van Zyl, Erna Alant, Isabel C. Uys
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 32, No 1 | a330 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v32i1.330 | © 2019 Ingrid van Zyl, Erna Alant, Isabel C. Uys | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 November 2016 | Published: 31 December 1985

About the author(s)

Ingrid van Zyl, Department Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Erna Alant, Department Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Isabel C. Uys, Department Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

This research examined whether echolalia and interactive behaviour in autistic children could function within a communicative system. Four autistic children were videotaped individually in interaction with a familiar adult. A categorical system was designed whereby the children's interactive behaviour could be rated. It was found that the immediate echolalia is far more than a meaningless repetition of words. The utterances are relevant, displaying the conveyance of meaningful information and the maintenance of social interaction. Conclusions were drawn on the facilitation of communication through modification and expansion of immediate echolalia.

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