Echolalic responses often occur when the child realizes a response is expected, but doesn’t know what to say, so repeating seems the best option.
Location 2004, Teaching Communication Skills to Children with Autism
Let me repeat how my last post started, but this time screaming (as evidenced by the all caps): UH, WHAT!?
Let me get this straight, the author, who is a woman who teaches communication skills to autistic children thinks that this is why echolalia exists? Amethyst Schaber, of Ask an Autistic, comments that while this is partially true, echolalia is also used to bide some time to process how to respond.
Schaber goes on to give a few more examples of purposes of echolalia: an example of self-expression.
What the quote implies is that they repeat what someone said and that’s it, they don’t process anything. But that most likely is not the case. Really, it’s a way of communicating, but because it’s not a neurotypical way of communicating, we need to get rid of it. (That is their line of logic, I disagree).