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ChildMuscleNerve, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 5
Experience:  Board Certified Child Neurologist. Training in neuromuscular disorders. Over 12 years experience
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My son will be 4 in November. Last year he would repeat the

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My son will be 4 in November. Last year he would repeat the ending sounds of words. An example would be cars-ars-ars. It lasted a few months and went away, returned a few months later, and went away. A friend of mine made the comment that his speech was so much clearer after not seeing him for a few months so I chalked it up to him practicing sounds. Now for the last few months he is repeating phrases he says, others say, and sometimes the last syllable of a word. I have noticed a little disfluency and wondered if this is contributing to it, or if something neurological is going on with him. He only seems to do it at home, so I am unsure what to think. He is also a singer, hummer, noise maker, and very verbal.

Repeating phrases and words is also known as echolalia. It can be normal in children you son's age and in at least 1/3 of children with this condition it resolves on its own by 5 1/2 years. The fact that he is very verbal and it only occurs at home are good signs that it is more behavioral in nature than due to a neurologic problem. It is similar to a tic, which can be seen in healthy kids your son's age as well (also known as benign tic disorder of childhood). I would try not to make much of it as bringing attention to it can reinforce the behavior. You can ask your pediatrician about getting a referral to a speech therapist if you are very concerned about it to get a more through evaluation done.

Please let me know if there is anything more I can answer for you.


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