We've been providing speech, language, and social communication services to children and young adults for over 15 years! We specialize in physically-supportive services to individuals with autism diagnoses, and others who benefit from sensorimotor supports.

ASHA 2017

Echolalia and Gestalt Language Processing in Children: It's Not Just About Autism, presented by Marge Blanc, Lillian Stiegler, Alexandria Zachos, and Sarah Scheurich

You can find follow-up information about the seminar here!

Described as "the 'language soup' from which useful phrases will be extracted," Marge has written that "Echolalia signals a delay, not a disorder." In her 2012 book, she reviewed the research and presented evidence that echolalia is an integral part of language development for gestalt language processors, neurotypical and autistic. A succinct introduction to the topic can be found in the article Echolalia on the Spectrum: The Natural Path to Self-Generated Language.

The ASHA seminar described and illustrated this system for understanding the developmental value of echolalia. Coming from a variety of settings, the presenters shared their experiences in clinics, schools, and university, interfacing with students, teachers, and families. Even if you missed the seminar, the following links will help you to apply the strategies with your clients and students!

Follow these links for useful information after the seminar:

1. Natural Language Acquisition: 1 Page Parent Friendly Handout
2. Natural Language Acquisition: Summary and Scoring
3. Natural Language Acquisition: Blank Scoring Pages
4. Developmental Sentence Analysis: Assessment Procedure
5. Developmental Sentence Scoring: Blank Scoring Pages
6. Echolalia on the Spectrum: The Natural Path to Self Generated Language
7. Using Developmental Sentence Analysis: "Finding the Words: To Tell the Whole Story Part 3
8. Examining the Echolalia Literature: Where Do Speech-Language Pathologists Stand? by Lillian N. Stiegler.


We are now on Amazon Smile! If you shop on Amazon.com, consider shopping at smile.amazon.com and select "Communication Development Center, Inc" in Madison, WI. Each purchase you make helps support our mission and everything we do here at the CDC!

NLA Study Group

Have you seen the NLA study group on Facebook? Check it out and join!

Students and professionals with background in understanding echolalia and gestalt language development can now share ideas for supporting our kids next steps in language development.

If you have not taken the NLA course through Northern Speech Services, that will bring you up to date.

Please join us, click here for more!

In case you haven't read the NLA book, here's a nice review:

"It is hoped that this important work will help educators, therapists and parents move to more contemporary understandings and practices."

Barry M. Prizant, Ph. D., CCC-SLP
Adjunct Professor
Brown University

"Natural Language Acquisition on the Autism Spectrum: The Journey from Echolalia to Self-Generated Language is a wonderful resource that provides the most comprehensive consideration of echolalia and language characteristics of persons with autism to date."

"In this seminal work, Marge Blanc, an experienced clinician and clinical researcher, brings us back to a crucial understanding of language characteristics and language acquisition in ASD based on her deep understanding of language development from a social-pragmatic, child-centered perspective. Unfortunately, too many educators and therapists hold on to outdated and disproven perceptions of echolalia and gestalt language and attempt to 'treat' echolalia with a lack of knowledge of the historical context and research basis of our understanding of language development in ASD."

"By looking at echolalia only through a behavioral lens of pathology rather than through a developmental perspective based on research on autism and typical development, such practices may actually be hindering functional language development. It is hoped that this important work will help educators, therapists and parents move to more contemporary understandings and practices."

"This book is a 'must-read' for all who care about supporting social communication for persons with ASD based on research and sound clinical practice."

Barry M. Prizant, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Adjunct Professor
Brown University

Director, Childhood Communication Services
Cranston, RI

Echolalia unscripted!

Echolalia communicates! And it jump-starts our students’ natural language development!

This ground-breaking book will show you how to:

  • Recognize the meaning and intentions behind echolalia
  • Support students on the autism spectrum from echolalia to self-generated language
  • Bring this information to families and your school teams
  • Connect with your students on the autism spectrum, and watch them grow!

NLA Book

Order your copy today!
$29.95 plus shipping and handling.


A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words

Welcome to the CDC!

We are a small, non-profit clinic on the west side of Madison, WI, specializing in communication services for children who benefit from play and physical activity to support their interactions and language: children with challenges associated with autism, dyspraxia, and sensorimotor coordination. Please browse our site to learn more about us!

For some of the latest thinking on ASD and child development, please like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter!


Spring Session:
Ends on May 25

Summer Session:
June 25th - August 10th

We will miss you mitchell!

Mitchell has been an SLPA here for 2.5 years. His presence at the clinic has brought everyone so much joy! He has to leave for school now, but this is certainly not a forever goodbye. Until we see you next time Mitchell...we will miss you!

New NLA course

The second level NLA course has been viewed many times now and the reviews are in:

"I can hardly express how important this information is – it has the potential to revolutionize language therapy for autistic children all over the world. I hope it will become one of our field’s ‘best practices’ to embrace echolalia as the first step in the natural progression of language development for our clients with autism who are gestalt language processors. I believe ALL speech-language pathologists who work with children with autism should have to take this course – it’s that important. (I think it is telling that Barry Prizant recently praised Marge’s work in his recent book, Uniquely Human.) I plan to strongly recommend Levels 1 and 2 to my students and colleagues. I certainly hope there will be a Level 3 follow-up course, and that NLA will be a topic of discussion ASHA-wide!"

Check out the course here!

What's new on facebook?

Check out this thought-provoking and eye-opening blog post about "Motor Difficulties in Severe Autism," and other links in our CDC Facebook page!

even if you've read the articles on echolalia, you may want to read about: dyspraxic speech support, language retrieval, and self-regulation.

Read more at our articles page.

articles by Marge Blanc

Bringing It Home: Physical Supports for Speech at Home and in Other Environments

It's All Gibberish to Me: Redefining "Non-verbal"

More Than Words (Parts 1-6)

Click here for more articles by Marge Blanc