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for Autistic Children

What is Echolalia / Scripting / Gestalt Language?
How do I know if my child is a Gestalt Language Processor?

Gestalt language processing is a natural way to learn language. At least 85% of autistic children learn language this way - moving from repeating things they hear (song lyrics, catchy phrases, movie lines) to using more original and spontaneous language.


While some children will make their way through the language learning stages with ease, others may get stuck at the early stages of their language development. Our goal is to support your child in moving through the stages to eventually start using novel, self-generated language!

Your child may be a gestalt language processor if they:

  • Repeat lines from movies and TV shows

  • Use rich melody and intonation when they speak, even if the words are not clear

  • Seem to be "stuck" using single words

  • Don't speak yet, but sing or hum rhythmically

  • Use a limited inventory of words and phrases and/or repeat words and phrases over and over in the same way each time

  • Make pronoun "errors" or talk in the 3rd person

  • Have difficulty answering questions 


Our approach to working with autistic children & their families

Total Spectrum Speech Therapy understands that autism is a neurotype and a valid way of being human. As a neurodiversity-affirming practice, we honor each child's unique interests, sensory needs, and play styles while building communication skills. Our speech therapy sessions are child-led and centered around play, including:

  • Motor movement activities

  • Regulating sensory activities

  • Special interest activities

  • Games and toy play 


By affirming your child's echolalia/scripting and modeling new language during play, we can help them express their wants, needs, and ideas. Our goal is to intentionally guide them through the Natural Language Acquisition (NLA) stages until they are able to say what they want to say in their own words.

Autistic children moving in speech therapy for delayed echolalia and scripting
Therapy Approach
Evaluation for ASD cliens
Autistic child playing in sensory sand bin during speech therapy for delayed echolalia and scripting

Evaluation of language learning style

To make sure that sessions are as personalized and meaningful as possible, our services begin with an evaluation. We will gather information about your insights as a parent, get an idea of your child's strengths and challenges, and collect a sample of their current language skills. The evaluation process often includes the following:

  • Parent Interview

  • Parent Questionnaires

  • Language Sample Analysis

  • Standardized Assessments (when appropriate)


Once the evaluation is complete, the Total Spectrum Speech Therapy team will work with your family to write goals and make a plan for therapy.

Parent Coaching
Parent and caregiver coaching

Speech therapy is most effective when all of the adults in your child's life are involved! As your child's most frequent communication partner, we will teach you about gestalt language processing, answer your questions, and help you confidently use language strategies at home.


By joining in on speech therapy sessions, you will gain the skills to connect and communicate with your child in new, effective ways!

Parent in parent coaching session for gestalt language processing and speech therapy for echolalia

Accepting New Clients!

Total Spectrum Speech Therapy provides clinic based services for children in Sacramento CA, as well as teletherapy services throughout CA.

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