Bilingual Children with Autism?
Struggling with the issue of bilingualism/multilingualism for your child with autism?
There are multiple opinions in the general public, and even among professionals regarding how many or which language(s) should be taught to a child with autism who is growing up in a bilingual family. But what does the research tell us? Click here for an excellent resource to help guide you in your decisions.
The take home points:
- Do not change the home language to accommodate your child. To insist on English (or another language) monolingualism for your child with autism is to leave him/her out of family interactions, a situation which will only increase social difficulties that he/she already struggles with.
- There is no evidence that multilingualism further harms a child's existent language delays. Therefore, encourage language development in all languages he/she is exposed to! It is likely you may not have a speech therapist available to provide services in your family's native language. However, if a therapist works with your child in English, for example, you may imitate the therapist's activities in your native language as further practice in the home environment.