The use of repetitive speech is common in individuals with autism, but little is known about factors that increase or decrease its use. Four categories of repetitive speech (delayed echolalia, immediate echolalia, vocal stereotypy, verbal stereotypy) were evaluated in 11 school-aged children with autism. The researchers measured speech during play and storytelling activities to determine if there were specific contexts during which repetitive speech would occur more frequently. They found that immediate echolalia was the most common type of repetitive speech, and that it was used significantly less frequently during storytelling tasks than during play. Due to the small sample size, more research is necessary to draw conclusions about the effects of storytelling on use of repetitive speech.
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