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Analysis Of Functions Of Delayed Echolalia In Autistic Children

Barry M. Prizant, Patrick J. Rydell

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This study was a preliminary attempt to determine how autistic children used delayed echolalia in naturalistic interactions with familiar people. Fourteen functional categories of delayed echolalia were derived based on videotape analyses of linguistic, extralinguistic, and paralinguistic features. Individual differences in functional usage were apparent across the three subjects. Delayed echolalia was found to vary along the dimensions of interactiveness, comprehension of the utterance produced, and relevance to linghistic or situational context. The diversity of delayed echolalic behavior is discussed in reference to its conventionality, the presence or absence of communicative intent, and its status as symbolic communicative activity.