Language differences between monolingual English and bilingual English-Spanish young children with autism spectrum disorders

Maria D.R. Valicenti-McDermott, Nancy Tarshis, Melissa Schouls, Molly Galdston, Kathryn Hottinger, Rosa Seijo, Lisa H. Shulman, Shlomo Shinnar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bilingualism is common worldwide and increasingly prevalent, but there is little information about bilingual children with autism spectrum disorder. The goal of the study was to compare expressive and receptive language skills in monolingual English and bilingual English-Spanish children with autism spectrum disorder. A review of the multidisciplinary evaluations done in toddlers who were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at a university-affiliated center between 2003 and 2010 was performed. Data included demographics, developmental testing, autistic characteristics, and expressive and receptive language skills, obtained from formal speech and language evaluation. A total of 80 toddlers were identified, 40 classified as bilingual English-Spanish. Compared with monolinguals, bilingual children were more likely to vocalize and utilize gestures, with no other differences in language skills. There were no differences in cognitive functioning and autistic features between the groups. In this study, bilingualism did not negatively affect language development in young children with autism spectrum disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)945-948
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Volume28
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Fingerprint

Language
Multilingualism
Gestures
Language Development
Demography
Autism Spectrum Disorder

Keywords

  • autism spectrum disorder
  • bilingualism
  • English
  • language
  • Spanish
  • toddlers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Language differences between monolingual English and bilingual English-Spanish young children with autism spectrum disorders. / Valicenti-McDermott, Maria D.R.; Tarshis, Nancy; Schouls, Melissa; Galdston, Molly; Hottinger, Kathryn; Seijo, Rosa; Shulman, Lisa H.; Shinnar, Shlomo.

In: Journal of Child Neurology, Vol. 28, No. 7, 2013, p. 945-948.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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