Autism & Asperger's Syndrome Expert Forum
Why does my 5 year old repeat me and doen;t answer my questions?
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Questions in the Autism & Asperger's Syndrome forum are answered by researchers at the New England Center for Children. Topics covered include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Antisocial Personality Disorder, Asperger Syndrome, Autism, blindness, bullying, clinical depression, deafness, dyslexia, mental retardation, and social alienation.

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Why does my 5 year old repeat me and doen;t answer my questions?

My 5 year old repeats me when I ask him questions. He also answers no to a lot of questions I ask him. Since he was about a year old he has be in speech and developmental therapy because his doctors says he was delayed. I been having him in therapy for at least 3 years and I took him to different doctors and they still haven't found whats the problem with my son. They say he has some characteristics of autism but they say they have to do more test. I read about autism and most of the symptoms of autism my son has especially the repeating (echolalia). Should I be worried? I know something is wrong but I need to know what so I can get him treatment and learn more about autism if he has it.
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While echolalia is common in children with autism, that alone is not sufficient to make a diagnosis. I would suggest that you go try to identify a hospital in an urban area where they specialize in diagnosis of children with autism and other developmental delays. A comprehensive evaluation by a team of specialists will result in diagnostic information as well as treatment recommendations. You can then take these recommendations to your local school system.

The most effective treatment for children with autism is early intensive behavioral intervention. This means that your son should receive 20 hours of direct teaching in language, social skills and self-help skills. Services can be provided by the public school in your area. You may want to look for behaviorally trained professionals to supervise a treatment program by checking www.bacb.com for a person in your area.
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Echolalia is related to autism.  I don't know if you can have echolalia without autism.  My son is echolalic and he also can put together his own speech as well.  He is age 7.  It is very good that he is speaking.  Does he also use Delayed Echolalia eg. pieces of dialogue phrases or words from TV or films?  The Speech and Language Therapist should be able to tell you more about it.  I would specifically be asking for a Speech and Language Therapist who also has experience of autism.
Does your son mix up his pronouns eg. I, me, you, yours, mine, us etc.
What is your son's social interaction skills like?
Are there things that your son is good at eg. puzzles, lego, pattern recognition etc.
Are the people/professionals, who have seen him so far, experienced in diagnosising autistic spectrum disorders such as PDD/NOS, Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Aspergers, High Funtioning Autism etc.  If not I would be specifically asking for a referal to a centre/unit that does.
Google DSM IV for autism and read through the diagnositic criteria.  Does your child have diffficulties in the three areas it mentions?
What type of school does your son go to and what country are you in?
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Jason C Bourret, Ph.D., BCBA-DBlank
The New England Center for Children
Southborough, MA
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