Father's Day 2013 found us at the zoo,...we saw elephants, zebras, giraffes and Isaac's favorite the hippo.
Never have I been so close to a hippo,...they are usually 25 to 50 yards away. However there were two fences between us and this big guy,...very heavy fences I might add.
Isaac was transfixed by that hippo while we watched the enormous creature shuffled around the pool deck.
When the hippo went into the water, Isaac turned to us and let loose and long - drawn out - bit of communication that obviously was about the hippo - complete with inflection and exclamation, only it sounded like this, "Blabla,...bla, blabla,...bla, bla,...beebla,...boobla,...bla, bla,...BLA!"
Utterly incoherent jabber which we have recently learned is labeled: echolalia.
Standing next to us was a young couple also watching the hippo, but when Isaac let loose his own brand of communication - they were staring at us - eyes wide and with curiosity all over their faces and it was all my husband and I could do to keep from laughing because it was so obvious they were wondering, "Where in the world are they from?"
Oh dear, oh dear,...how to you explain we live in the Land of Echolalia and our son speaks fluent Echolalian,...which we happily are able to translate: Isaac thought that hippo was really-really big and really-really cool.
From what I understand echolalia has more to do with the autism that apraxia,...however any and all verbal output from Isaac is encouraging and beneficial for his apraxia which takes an extraordinarily amount of verbal practice to help his motor planing sequencing.
Isaac is fortunate to be blessed with a high level of self-expression. He might not be able to speak clearly or have a large verbal or sign language vocabulary but through body language and his facial expression he invariably gets his message across,...
It is our hope Isaac's fluent Echolalian will eventually be replaced with even more fluent English, but until then we only too delighted to part of his unique world,...especially when he reaches out to communicate with us with whatever means he has.
Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!