Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Does a bilingual environment impact language development in children with autism?

Had this question in the office recently. ... 

Does bilingualism impact language development in autism? No evidence of this.

Can it harm a child?

Note that the study found (though not the primary intention) that simultaneous exposure from infancy INCREASED social interaction scores!

The opposite may be true.

Thank you. Gracias. Merci. Danke. Dalu. Eshe.


 2012 Jul;42(7):1342-52. doi: 10.1007/s10803-011-1365-z.

The impact of bilingual environments on language development in children with autism spectrum disorders.


The impact of bilingual exposure on language learning has not been systematically studied in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. This study compared the social abilities and language levels of children (mean age = 56 months) with ASDs from bilingual (n = 45) and monolingual (n = 30) environments. Bilingually-exposed children were subgrouped based on simultaneous bilingual exposure from infancy (SIM, n = 24) versus sequential post-infancy bilingual exposure (SEQ, n = 21). Despite significantly different amounts of bilingual exposure across all groups (p = <0 .001="" adaptive="" and="" behavior="" class="highlight" compared="" differences="" group="" in="" interaction="" interpersonal="" nbsp="" no="" on="" p="0.025)," scales-ii="" scores="" seq="" significant="" significantly="" sim="" social="" span="" stronger="" subdomain="" the="" there="" to="" vineland="" were="">language
 level. Bilingually-exposed children with ASDs did not experience additional delays in language development.
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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