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

Catherine Hambly, Eric Fombonne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

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) and significantly stronger social interaction scores in the SIM group compared to the SEQ group on the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-II Interpersonal subdomain (p = 0.025), there were no significant group differences in language level. Bilingually-exposed children with ASDs did not experience additional delays in language development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1342-1352
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of autism and developmental disorders
Volume42
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Bilingualism
  • Children
  • Language
  • Socialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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