Human Mockingjay



“And I am not ~ repeat not ~”
– The Suite Life of Zack and Cody

Echolalia is when someone repeats noises and phrases they hear. This can include not only the words spoken, but the exact imitation of a person’s inflection, tone of voice, and volume. Now it probably makes sense to you why I titled this post “Human Mockingjay.” (It doesn’t have a thing to do with the Hunger Games; yes, I used the word “mockingjay” just to play with some of you.) Echolalia can be classified into two types: immediate echolalia, which occurs immediately or soon after the original words are spoken; and delayed echolalia, which happens hours, days, weeks, or months after the fact.

Echolalia is in fact a natural part of language learning and development. All children experience it at some point in their lives, generally most around 2 ½ years of age. It usually declines significantly by the time the child turns three years old. Those who have been around children probably have noticed how boys in particular tend to deliver long, blurry, dramatic monologues that don’t make a lot of sense to the rest of us. In time, this shifts into a more specific and understandable style of speaking. This is the way language skills develop, which I will describe in four stages: First, the child learns to talk. This develops into communication through use of words. Then the child learns to take the phrases they know, take them apart in chunks, and recombine them into new phrases. After that, they break it down even further to where they’re putting together single words and creating two-word phrases. Finally, the child begins to create more complex sentences and independent thought. However, some children continue to repeat what they hear as they age. They hold on to echoed expressions much longer, and though they can say lots of words, they don’t seem to completely understand what they’re saying. This is echolalia.

Autistic children are particularly susceptible to echolalia. They typically progress slower than “normal” ~ or “neurotypical,” as they are sometimes referred to ~ children. (I don’t like to use the words “normal” and “neurotypical.” I think I would prefer “ordinary.” Have you met any autistic children? They are far more interesting than other children. Watch Mercury Rising.) Apparently researchers have found that up to 85% of autistic people who speak exhibit echolalia in some form, but I’m not certain yet if I believe this. I think I’ll need to do more research of my own before I take that as fact.

Children with apraxia ~ motor planning issues ~ can also get stuck in this phase. They begin speech therapy with very poor imitation skills, and once they learn to repeat what they’ve heard, they seem to want to hang on to it for a long time. This could be because repeating may become the “motor plan” they learn best, and it might be easier for them to use a rehearsed message rather than come up with a new one. Although it is true that apraxia children can come up with spontaneous utterances better than imitated ones, this is not usually the case if they have been in therapy for a while.

Although most children grow out of echolalia as they get older, some simply don’t. As a result, they may not be able to communicate effectively because they struggle to express their own thoughts. This may eventually cause them to go mute, and if asked a question, they may only repeat the question instead of answering it. You can see how this could cause them to lead very frustrating lives.

Adults who suffer from severe amnesia or head trauma may also experience echolalia as they try to regain their speaking abilities.

Symptoms of echolalia include repetition of phrases and noises, frustration during conversations, depression, muteness, and unusual irritability, especially when asked questions. Sometimes echolalia only appears when the person is distressed or anxious.

Doctors diagnose echolalia by having a conversation with the suspected patient. If the patient struggles to do anything other than repeat, he may have echolalia. However, some patients can combine phrases to make new ones, which makes it more difficult to determine if they have echolalia or not. The key to discerning this is noticing whether or not the answer actually reflects the question, or if it’s slightly off.

Doctors generally give antidepressants or anxiety medication to the echolalic person, which won’t treat the condition, but it will keep the patient calm. They are then expected to work with people at home to develop their conversation skills. There are also texts and online training programs that help parents get positive responses from their children. Some echolalics attend regular speech therapy sessions to help them learn to say what they are thinking.

Although echolalia can be difficult to conquer, it’s not a good idea to try to prevent your child from experiencing it completely. It IS a natural part of developing language skills, after all. Rather, a parent should encourage other forms of communication and expose their child to a wide variety of words and phrases. It’s also important to remain patient while your child is having echolalic “episodes.”

I don’t really have an ending to this post. But then, I’ve posted many a post without a proper ending. So I guess I will just leave off with this encouragement: echolalia is not permanent. Everyone seems to get over it eventually, even if it takes a really long time.

1 Timothy 5:21-25


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I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.

Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.

Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.

The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden.”

Paul ends the chapter by giving Timothy some suggestions. How do you end a letter to someone you care about? (Even though Paul isn’t technically ending the letter here.) You’d do the same thing, right?

First, he gives a not-so-subtle reminder that God is always watching. Being impartial is so important for ministers that Paul tells Timothy to be impartial, essentially, by everything he holds dear.

He then cautions him not to rush into appointing people to important positions. Ordaining someone for ministry shouldn’t be done without careful testing of the man’s abilities and qualifications. This is a note to us to keep an eye on ourselves all the time so we don’t take part in another person’s sin! As Matthew Henry’s Commentary says, “Those who are rash will become partakers in another man’s sins.” God’s grace keeps us pure, but it is by our own attempts that we remain so.

The next verse is one that I think a lot of people twist to their own desires. They want to drink, so they use this as an excuse. “See? The Bible says it’s okay!” But I don’t think that’s what it means at all. I think this is a genuine concern from Paul for this young man that he cared deeply about. Timothy had a weak body and was frequently ill. God made wine for our pleasure, and it’s His will for us to take care of our bodies so we can use them in service to Him. Paul tells Timothy to drink a little wine to stay healthier ~ wine should be a help, not a hindrance! Also, back then, water was NOT that good at all. They didn’t have the fancy filters that we have now. Their water could very well have been infested with all sorts of bacteria, and wine was the only thing that would settle the discomfort that the bad water would certainly cause.

Lastly, Paul warns his young charge, as he has so many times before. Some sins are so obvious that people see them and begin to judge the person for committing them. And all sin ~ and all sinners ~ should be dealt with differently. Some people realize their mistake, seek forgiveness, and are humbled when they find it in God, but others are quite the opposite. Ministers need great wisdom to know how to deal with everything, and if I was a gambling sort, I would bet everything I’ve got that Paul prayed frequently for Timothy to grow in wisdom. If there’s one thing a young person should pray for, that’s it.

What Working at Safeway Taught Me

I began employment at Safeway as a courtesy clerk on December 11, 2015. The majority of my job was retrieving carts, bagging, taking out the trash, cleaning, and whatever else I was asked to do. Courtesy clerk is the bottom rung at Safeway, so I took orders from EVERYBODY.

The first thing I learned is my own working capabilities—and, in turn, the lack thereof of my coworkers. Among my family, I am considered lazy and unwilling to help, but at work, I turned into some sort of machine, and I guess I fairly quickly established myself as a hardworking asset to the company. The sad part is, though, it didn’t take all that much effort. My family is known for being hard workers, so I guess it’s in my blood, but seriously? This was a minimum wage job, not some top-of-the-line ordeal.

My final day was December 11, 2016, a year to the day from when I started. I planned it this way because when I first started working at Safeway, I promised myself that it was temporary and I wouldn’t be there for more than a year. So I put in my two weeks exactly a fortnight before December 11, and now I sit before you as a free homosapien.



When it’s your job to take care of the little details, make sure everything runs smoothly for the whole store, and ensure customer safety and satisfaction, you pick up pretty quickly what tasks are the most important to get done first. Prioritizing the many tasks that I had on my shoulders got to be really easy near the end of my employment, and my experience in that area made me much more efficient than the other courtesy clerks, so you can guess that I recognize the importance of good prioritizing skills now.

At Safeway, my top priority was looking after the customer—if asked to do a price check, fetch an item for someone, or do a carryout, I dropped everything to carry out that task. My second priority was store efficiency: fetching carts and baskets, fixing the recycling machines, and doing the hourly sweep logs that ensured that the store was clean. Bagging, emptying trash cans, and any other tasks were only carried out after all the carts were in and the recycling machines were functioning properly.

However, there were those “special orders” one had to factor in. If you’re me, you’re known for getting things done quickly and well, so the manager and other more important people than yourself (which, when you’re a courtesy, is everybody) are giving you special tasks all the time. I made it a point to carry out these tasks as quickly as possible, immediately if the store wasn’t too busy.

So you can imagine that my prioritizing was a big part of what made me the hardworking, efficient courtesy clerk that I was.



Confidence is something I think most people—if not everyone—learns while working their first job, but I found it to be especially useful to me, so I thought I’d mention it. When you’re given a position of responsibility, regardless of how much responsibility you’re given, you’re going to have to make decisions, and some of them you might not be too sure about. But the bottom line is that you know your job, your workplace, and your coworkers, and you are capable of making a decision. It’s also helpful to remind yourself that whatever you’re deciding on may have a drawback or two, it’s not going to ruin everything.



As if I needed another reason not to trust people, right? Working at Safeway confirmed what I thought, that people are just downright untrustworthy. Most of the problem here came from scheduling mishaps that were corrected multiple times on multiple different occasions, but I was still being scheduled for shifts that I’d told them I wasn’t able to work. They were also taking advantage of my reliability—my brain can barely process not showing up for my shift, especially without calling in to warn management first. It’s like those people who skip classes in school. How do they DO that?!?!

But anyway, I approached my managers several times about availability violations; my schedule was “revised” and I was promised that it wouldn’t happen again. But a couple weeks later, I would be scheduled to work those shifts. This started not long after I started working there, and continued for the duration of my employment. All faith I may have had in people’s words before has been completely shattered. I don’t know if I’ll ever take a promise seriously again.




People would ask me to do the stupidest things—things that would take them a minute or less to do. It seemed like they would pass off even the simplest tasks to someone else if they could, and they were CONSTANTLY asking for help bringing in carts when it only takes one person half an hour or so to bring them all in on a regular day. Another courtesy would ask me to do something and I would think, “Yeah, I could do that…or YOU could, since you’re obviously not doing anything.” They’re just so blasted INEFFICIENT! I don’t know how it’s even possible!

But really, if you think about it, if you can’t excel at a minimum-wage job, don’t you think maybe you should work a little harder?

ESFJ ~ the Consul



Likes to feel valued and appreciated

Psychopaths and sociopaths don’t particularly care about other people. Psychopaths are emotionally detached, non-empathic, and confident. Sociopaths don’t care about society. Those with APD are manipulative and disregard others. All of these are contradictions.


People pleasers

While the ESFJ wants people to be happy, psychopaths and sociopaths, as I mentioned before, don’t particularly care about other people. Psychopaths are emotionally detached, non-empathic, and confident. Sociopaths don’t care about society. Those with APD are manipulative and disregard others. All of these are, again, contradictions.


Concerned with their social status and what people think about them

This is another trait that brings up the same contradictions as before. Psychopaths and sociopaths don’t particularly care about other people. Psychopaths are emotionally detached, non-empathic, and confident. Sociopaths don’t care about society. Those with APD are manipulative and disregard others.


Genuinely concerned about other people

Psychopaths have no empathy, and people with APD disregard the rights of others.



This is a correlation with psychopaths’ outer trustworthiness and charm and a correlation with their inability to empathize, which cancels each other out. It contradicts APD’s disregard for the safety of others, and sociopaths’ inability to have a normal family life or job.


Likes to be in charge

People with APD might deceive or manipulate in order to achieve or maintain power. However, they are also irresponsible. These traits cancel each other out.

Puts a lot of effort into organizing social events

This is a direct contradiction to sociopathy. On the other hand, psychopaths are confident and meticulous, which is good for organizing. People with APD don’t plan ahead and are irresponsible, so they wouldn’t be good at organizing an event.



This is a direct contradiction to APD and its aggressive tendencies. It contradicts sociopathy’s tendency toward anger and agitation.



This is a contradiction to psychopaths, who easily detach themselves from emotion and empathy. APD includes lack of remorse or guilt, which is a contradiction to sensitivity. Sociopaths are simultaneously influenced by emotion and also have a lack of empathy, which cancels each other out.


Uses memories to determine who they are

Psychopaths learn a great deal on their own, but they are also emotionally detached. These traits cancel each other out.


This directly contradicts psychopaths, who cannot empathize with people easily. It also contradicts APD’s disregard for the rights of others.


Understands people very well

Psychopaths are viewed as charming, but cannot empathize. Those with APD can be manipulative, which speaks of an understanding of people. Sociopaths, however, have trouble empathizing.


Correlation to APD adds up to -13. The final count stands as:

-25 Psychopathic
-20 Sociopathic

ISTJ ~ the Logistican




Psychopaths are confident in all ways. APD, however, as well as sociopathy, is impulsive.



Psychopaths are very intellect-focused, while sociopaths are driven by emotion.



ISTJs are very accurate in their information, as are psychopaths. Sociopaths, on the other hand, are disorganized.



Psychopaths are very calm and confident, which correlates with patience. APD tends to include impulsiveness, aggression, and violence, which do not point to a patient person. Sociopathy is also impulsive, as well as easily angered.


Tirelessly dedicated

Psychopaths and sociopaths cannot form attachments very easily, and therefore are not very dedicated. Sociopaths also have trouble maintaining jobs and family.


Can have trouble with relationships

Psychopaths are very bad at relationships. They can, however, be charming, which can lead people to like them. Sociopaths also have trouble with relationships, and cannot maintain a job or family life very well.


Good leader

This contradicts APD’s irresponsibility and sociopaths’ ability to stick to one job.



This is a direct contradiction to APD.

-1 APD


Psychopaths can be viewed as charming.


Wants clearly specified facts

Psychopaths can easily detach from their emotions and focus on the intellect, and they are very intelligent. Sociopaths, on the contrary, are influenced by emotion.


Honors tradition

Sociopaths are spontaneous, not focused on how things have been or should be done.


Not risky

This is a direct correlation to psychopaths’ tendency to minimalize the risk to themselves. It contradicts APD in four ways: impulsiveness, violence, aggression, and breaking the law. It also contradicts sociopathy in four ways: impulsiveness, lack of regard for consequences, lack of regard for society’s rules, and spontaneity.


Overly sensitive

Psychopaths easily detach themselves from emotion and empathy. APD includes lack of remorse or guilt, which is a contradiction to sensitivity. Sociopaths are simultaneously influenced by emotion and also have a lack of empathy, which cancels each other out.


Correlation to APD adds up to -11. The final count stands as:

-6 Psychopathic
-23 Sociopathic