Do any of your children whisper words to themselves ? My son does. I wonder what makes him do that. For example, sometimes he's just staring at nothing and starts whispering a word to himself....or sometimes I can tell that he read a sentence, or billboard, or something like that and I'll here him picking out a word and saying the word several times to himself in a sort of whisper. Anyone have a clue what's going on ?
Any Aspies out there, please share your explanation of this if you know what I'm talking about as well of course.
Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
It sounds similar to Echolalia and Palilalia.
Echolalia is repeating the words of others, sort of a parroting back, or saying things that others have said under your breath. Some people have delayed Echolalia which involves repeating things that where heard verbatium, often hours or days afterwards, like catch phrases off T.V. I remember my son at 6 would not stop saying "stinky stocky underware" compulsively out of context because he had a friend that said it once and it "stuck"!
It is thought that 75% of verbal auties have some form of Echolalia. It is a complext tic, and often seen with tourettes syndrome too.
Palilalia is the reapeating of you own words. My son does this a lot, it is like That guy, I think Johnny 2 times from Goodfellas, who always repeats himself twice "I gotta get the papers ... get the papers... My son usually whispers the "repeat" though, and has been consiously trying to stop at least in school, and making some progress, but it took a lot of work getting him to the point he could recognize that he was doing it! (I have never told him this is a bad thing, but Just wanted him to be aware of when he does it, as he was clueless but getting teased).
I know too that people with AS / HFA are natourious for talking to themselves. I know I used to do a lot of this, my son does it a bit too. I knew a guy who would be seen walking down the street having full conversations with himself, (not schizophranic though).
Joined: 24 Apr 2007
It's called echolalia, in your son's case it's delayed echolalia since he doesn't repeat the things he hears straight away. I don't think there's any valid explanation for it, it seems to be a form of 'stimming'. Things said in strange tones or foreign accents seem to stick particularly badly in my head. Whatever it is, if your son is anything like me he's not even aware that he's doing it.
There is a famous sufferer: Homer J. Simpson.
"But what if everybody else thought the same way you did?"
"Then I'd be a damned fool to think any different."
That's funny, I was wondering what echolalia was because I saw it on one of the posts, I just hadn't looked it up yet. Thanks for your help Earthcalling and Sounded !
Earthcalling, I see you on this website all the time and you seem to have a lot of background and knowledge having to do with Aspergers. Are you Aspie ? Do you have children who are ? Just wonderin.
Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
I am an un diagnosed aspie, and a mom of 3, my eldest, a 12 year old boy, is a diagnosed aspie since January.
We went to a diagnostic Peadiatrician in January, unsure of what my sons problems where. We had run the full gambit and came up basically empty handed and very frustrated when he was 7, only to homeschool for 4 years because we just could not survive "on the radar".
I put him back in school last September, and all the problems crept up again, the school felt it was ADHD, I felt it was more then that, and not that at the same time... The doctor suggests AS, which I had asked 5 years prior, but a child needed to walk on tip toes and flap their hands to get a Dx in our area back then and the idea was dismissed. I was actually a little surprised, and very excited with the doctor dumped it on us in January, although the emotional tailspin was intense afterwards.
Basically you see me all the time here because I have become obsessed with the diagnosis, and I find being here at WP theraputic!
Welcome to WP by the way!
Joined: 9 Apr 2007
Location: Western Canada
My daughter and I both do that. We have ADHD and it is very calming to do this. We are also both fascinated with words, the spelling and the sound. There are words that I don't say because I can't stand the way they sound. Rubric, for example. My gifted AS teen son finds this hilarious.
I also have a habit of spelling words under my breath. It is when I am stressed or the person talking is boring. It is usually the last word I hear. When I am really stressed I spell words over and over in my head. My daughter has begun to do the same. (And they say we don't have AS ) I don't think I would be worried. It is harmless and like I said it is calming.
One of my sons with AS does math under his breath when he is stressed and the other one hums just like my dad (who is also AS).
"It is what it is until it isn't. Then it's something altogether different."
Joined: 23 Apr 2007
Location: St. Charles, MO-USA
I do this a lot to myself, mainly when more than one thing at a time is going on though, now that I'm older. I tend to whisper the last word someone said if they are the one I'm trying to focus on, until they say something else, then pick up on the last word of that sentence as well. When I'm not whispering it, I'm writing it in the air with my finger. I also do this with hard to follow movies, and with things I see in books and such when I'm bored-certain words just kind of catch my eye.
Joined: 31 Dec 2006
In my humble opinion, it's a form of stimming. I mutter or hum to myself when I'm nervous or under pressure, and this habit has caused no end of trouble on the job(s). I'm finally happy to understand AS is the cause, and I can calm people's fears about the "crazy" person.
Daniel Tammet talks about counting numbers to himself on the playground as a child to help calm his fear and anxiety. Everytime he was bullied, he would stick his fingers in his ears and count prime numbers really loud. The kids would be so freaked out that they would leave him alone.
Joined: 10 Mar 2007
Location: Somewhere in the Atlantic
I have AS and has echolalia as a child - I still have it now although not to the same extent.
And I also just 'talk to myself' too - I guess you could call it 'thinking out loud'. I have asked the other aspies at my support group and they say that the do this too!
My bf (NT but with mild AS traits and mental health issues) used to do this in the playground too. He wasn't bullied - he just prefered to be in his own world and wasn't really interested in the other children. He does have a mild speech impairment - but I think this is unrelated as it only occurs when he has a panic attack - and oddly, talking to himself helps relieve the anxiety - it is only when speaking to others that the has the impairment.
Joined: 14 Oct 2006
My kiddo did this whisper echo of his own words and there came a time when we addessed it because it was making his siblings crazy so we figured it would have a high potential to make his classmates crazy too.
One of the things I used to do with some specific speech goals is when he was nearing mastery, do something to make it fun. For instance when the issue was confusing Who and What, when he neared mastery I offered $1 for anyone in the house who could catch me confusing Who and What. This really made him tune in to my speech, which then in turn helped solidify the lesson in his own. Sometimes I'd give the $1 if he could catch me, himself, or anyone else in the house. We did this with the self echo after pointing it out and it was gone in no time.
Important: I would never go with this type of a reward strategy unless I thought the child had an excellent chance of achieving it and it could be rewarded right away. $1 was a pretty big incentive at the time and I didn't want to make this frustrating--I wanted to make it fun.
Joined: 1 Jan 2007
Joined: 19 Apr 2007
My son, too, has always muttered under his breath especially when he's playing alone. I'm not sure what he's saying, but I know he's lost in his imaginary play. Most times, he is explaining something to somone or instructing. Funny.
I do talk to myself and have been known to repeat words or what someone said under my breath.
Joined: 2 Mar 2007
Location: Virginia, USA
Z often talks to himself and frequently Stutters when talking to himself, not single letter stuttering but entire phrases or whole sentences. May not be the same thing you are dealing with but when it becomes a problem, like when he is really excited or needs to accomplish a task we help him stop , put his thoughts in order and then proceed with his question or statement.
Aspies, the next step in evolution?
Joined: 12 Apr 2012
WOW, finally an answer to my childhood oddness- it's called Palilalia and I used to whisper words under my breath and my parents bring up to this day (i suppose as a joke).
I remember doing it for ritualistic purposes; though, it has been over 20 years since I last experienced Palilalia.
I was what? six or seven at the time?
Wikipedia mentions Autism related to 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, obsessive–compulsive disorder, or autism. Palilalia can also occur in neurological sydromes, such as stroke or epilepsy."
|Not whispering = AS trait ?||
10 Oct 2007, 8:13 pm
|Whispering should be banned.||
29 Feb 2008, 1:50 pm
|Does whispering annoy you?||
01 Aug 2011, 8:32 pm
|Mouthing or whispering||
27 Jun 2013, 6:46 pm