Bilingualism and Autism Spectrum Disorders

by admin on February 17, 2008

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¡Bienvenidos! This month’s topic of discussion is Autism Spectrum Disorders and the Bilingual Individual. Given the increasing number of bilingual children in the United States, and the increasing frequency of autism diagnoses, there is surprisingly little information available for clinicians who work with children who are “on the spectrum” from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.A few of the questions communication professionals may face include:

  • How do I help these kids navigate the social constructs of two or more cultures?
  • How do I effectively evaluate pragmatic differences vs. disorders?
  • What is the home culture’s understanding/beliefs regarding autism and how will it affect assessment and intervention.
  • And of course, the same question asked of so many bilingual individuals, In which language do I provide treatment?

Sofia Carias, M.S. CCC-SLP, begins this month’s topic. Please take a moment to view her video and weigh-in on the subject with your questions, comments and experiences.

Thanks for participating in the ¡Adelante! forum this month! We have a lot to talk about!
If you would like more information on this topic, please visit the following articles and websites:

  1. Intervention Outcomes of a Bilingual Child with Autism (Disease/Disorder Overview). Seung, Hyekyung. Journal of Medical Speech Language Pathology, March 2006.
  2. Multicultural Perspectives on Teaching Students with Autism. Wilder, Lynn K.; Dyches, Tina T.; Obiakor, Festus E.; Algozzine, Bob. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, Summer 2004.
  3. Is Bilingualism Detrimental for Children with Autism? Dopke, Susanne (susanne@bilingualoptions.com.au). February 2006.
  4. To Be or Not to be Bilingual: Autistic Children from Multilingual Families. Kremer-Sadlik, Tamar (University of California, Los Angeles). Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Bilingualism, 2005.
  5. http://www.census.gov/
  6. http://www.nccrest.org/index.html
  7. http://www.azgala.org
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