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What is this research study about?

This research is developing our understanding of repetitive speech used by children. This pattern of speech is termed echolalia. In this phase of the study, we are particularly interested in the experiences and views of parents, legal guardians, and caregivers.

Repetitive speech is understood and responded to in various ways through different fields, such as speech and language pathology and behavioural psychology. However, echolalia has not been examined outside of these clinical disciplines. Consequently, this research seeks to examine how echolalia is experienced by parents, legal guardians and/or caregivers who are arguably the people who spend the greatest amount of time with these children.

Why should I help?

This research has implications for how echolalia is understood and defined, included in programmes of professional development (e.g., for teachers, speech pathologists, behavioural psychologists, and other allied health professionals), and ultimately responded to in practice by parents and professionals. How parents and professionals understand and respond to children using echolalia can influence the extent to which children engage in education and are included in their community.

If you agree to participate in the research project, you will be amongst the first contributors to the exploration of repetitive speech patterns as it is experienced through the lens of parents, legal guardians and/or caregivers.

Who can take part?

You are invited to take part in this study if you are:

  • A parent, legal guardian and/or caregiver of a child/children who exhibits repetitive speech patterns (i.e., echolalia).

Who is conducting this study?

Eli Cohn is a PhD Candidate at The University of Melbourne and is conducting this study under the supervision of Professor Keith McVilly and Dr. Matt Harrison. The project has been approved by the University of Melbourne Human Research Ethics Committee.

This study is not funded by a research grant. However, Eli Cohn is a recipient of the Australian Research Training Scholarship Program.

What will I be asked to do?

Should you agree to participate, you will be asked to undertake an online interview using a meeting tool such as Zoom meetings. The interview will take approximately 30 to 45 minutes of your time. The interview will be recorded (however, you might opt not to have your video camera switched on). Your interview will then be transcribed for analysis.

When and where?

Once you have agreed to participate in the study and have returned the signed consent form, the research investigator, Eli Cohn, will contact you via email to arrange a mutually convenient day and time to conduct the interview.

To find out more about the study and register to participate:

Should you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the research investigator, Eli Cohn, or his doctoral supervisors.

Eli Cohn
PhD Candidate
Research Investigator
The University of Melbourne

Professor Keith McVilly
Primary Research Supervisor
The University of Melbourne

Dr. Matt Harrison
Secondary Research Supervisor
The University of Melbourne

Please feel free to forward this information to others who might also be interested in participating.

Phone us to discuss how we can help you.

Call 1800 277 328

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Enquire with Autism Spectrum Australia