Talking to oneself - is it a recognised trait of Downs Syndrome


One of our customers has dramatically increased the level and frequency of talking to herself.

Could anyone inform us if this is a recognised trait of Downs Syndrome and whether they have any experience of this?

Many thanks


I know a lot of people with Down’s Syndrome who talk to themselves and I know there have been studies on “Self Talk” so it is recognised as a trait. As a child my daughter did it a lot and if I listened in she was actually reliving moments through the day, which I think helped her understanding and memory. She still does it at 27yrs but generally if something is bothering her. So I would try to make sure nothing is upsetting this lady first, especially if is a new and dramatic change to her normal behaviour. Perhaps there have just been changes that she is consolidating in her mind.

Dear Phil,

It is difficult to comment without a bit more information, like your client’s age, the content of the “self talk”, and whether it is interfering with her life in any way. This article summarises research which highlights that talking to yourself isn’t necessarily anything to worry about, but notes that it can be more common in people experiencing depression / anxiety who struggle to organise their thoughts and “switch off” - As with any marked change in behaviour, it might be useful if an assessment could be undertaken, to explore any precursors to this change, e.g. life events / medication alterations, or the possibility of whether she could be experiencing mental ill health / responding to auditory hallucinations.

Hi Phil

You may be interested in our information about self talk

Kind regards

Stuart Mills
Information Officer
Down’s Syndrome Association