Delayed echolalia is a fancy name for repeating back what has been heard at an earlier time. It's a huge part of Janey's talking---I'd say the majority of it. And I think it's what often makes people think there is a hidden world in there, that suddenly Janey or kids like her might all of a sudden talk in full, meaningful sentences. Because she DOES talk in full sentences---when she is engaging in delayed echolalia. It can be startling to hear even for me---all of a sudden, she's saying something complex, with emotion. This morning "I lost Polka. I'm terribly sorry, Grandpa!...Well, I'm proud of you, Angelina!" then "Do you think she needs a diaper change? You were supposed to be babysitting and you SAT on the egg?" "We came all this way to see the Pyramids!" All lines from assorted videos. They are said with tons of expression, with a clear tone and in a voice I don't hear at other times. Once in a long while, they are thrown out in appropriate situations, but I think often that's because she hears a key word that starts her off---we tell her to say she's sorry, and she recites a line about being sorry, for example.
I wonder if the d.e. (as a shortcut) is a placeholder sometimes when she isn't talking a lot otherwise. Lately her talking is at a very low ebb. Lots of crying, lots of single word demands, using a very few words. But also the d.e. all day. Maybe it keeps her able to say all the sounds, to use all the intonations, until the real talking kicks in again for a while. I don't mind it---it's interesting to hear, and a lot more bearable than all day whining. I hope it does serve some kind of purpose. If nothing else, it certainly is an illustration of how interesting the human mind is, and the human autistic mind.