A question about echolalia

Hi! I have a new complex vocal tic known as echolalia where I repeat things other people say. I am in college, and it happens on occasion while I am in class. I am able to muffle the repetitions to a whisper where it isn’t noticeable, and it happens maybe once a class and is only a sentence or two that I repeat.

When I go home and visit one of my friend’s, I have a tendency to unleash all my tics. They know about my TS and are used to all the tics, so I feel comfortable not suppressing them there. I don’t like to complain, but it can get annoying when I am trying to have a conversation and it is broken up by me repeating a sentence.

I was wondering if anyone has experience with echolalia or how to gain control over this tic? Thanks!

My TS is under enough control that I have made the choice only to tell a few close friends about it. I have gotten better at controlling my tics to the point where if I met someone, they wouldn’t realize I was ticcing at all.

So, like any of the other tics, I just need to figure out how to manage this one. With the others, I allow myself time away from people to let them out. Like for instance, I walk a way to class across the green where most kids don’t walk since they use the side walk. That way I can tic as much as I want.

Thanks for the help in advance, and be sure to visit my Facebook page, Tourette Syndrome Talk!




  1. My vocal tics are like this…when I get going I’ll mutter under my breath things that others say. It doesn’t seem to be related to my other vocal tics, which are just loud weird sounds. When did this start to devleop for you? I started getting it when i was 8. I’m 17 now and the tics are pretty much the same. I have more control over them, and they don’t happen as often, but when they do they are the same.

    • Joshua- I developed tics when I was 17, which is late typically. I also have OCD, which kicked in at 12, so doctors think that is why the tics didn’t become noticeable until 17. I developed this tic recently within the last month or so and am 18 now. I have other vocal tics that I can muffle or control long enough to step outside if needed. Like you, my other tics are weird noises like lip smacking, kissing, clicks with my tongue, and so on. I don’t have as much experience under my belt since i have only had the diagnosis for less than a year. The year or so leading up to my diagnosis, I didn’t think to control the tics since I wasn’t really aware of them and because I didn’t know what was going on. It is nice to know other people are in the same boat, thanks!

      • Joe, in our travels, we find that A LOT of teens have Tourette Syndrome AND OCD, and that the OCD is co-morbid to the TS. You are one of the first, though, that seemed to develop OCD first and the TS/tics second. What have your doctors had to say about that? Is that more common that we think?

        • Well, when the OCD kicked in in 7th grade it was pretty severe. i was basically obsessed with school and it got to the point where i would spend hours on homework not accomplishing as much as expected, I would sometimes be awake all night worrying about school, or find myself doing homework she i had woken up at 3am. So it was pretty clear cut OCD, but we feel like I may have always had some discrete tics that we never really noticed. Like in tenth grade I had uncontrollable yawning and had always been a very fidgety student. My doctors were never really concerned that the OCD appeared first though. It just helped make the diagnosis of TS more concrete since about 50% of people have it. I am always curious why the OCD showed up first though. We never expected TS since neither of my parents or relatives have it, but my doctor said it is likely to be inherited from a parent. So we think my Dad may have passed it on since he doesn’t have any noticeable symptoms, but has always been hyper (ADD), particular about certain things (OCD), and was one of eight kids so it was unlikely that if he had tics they weren’t noticed. My doctor concluded this is probably the scenario.

  2. I only really get pallilalia where I get stuck on one of my own words! Usually gets greeted by blank faces while people wait for me to finish my sentence. I usually just grit my teeth and wait for it to pass. Not helpful at all really :’)

    • Any advice is helpful in my case. I have had a TS diagnosis for less than a year, so I am still figuring things out.

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