Code-Switching as a Communicative Resource Within Routine, Bilingual Family Interactions for a Child on the Autism Spectrum In today's global society, bilingualism is increasingly regarded as an asset. Bilingual competencies have been associated, for example, with cognitive benefits, increased ethnolinguistic pride, and access to more expansive sociocultural experiences. Currently, there is a convergence of research findings showing that bilingual children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) perform comparably ... Article
Article  |   April 26, 2016
Code-Switching as a Communicative Resource Within Routine, Bilingual Family Interactions for a Child on the Autism Spectrum
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Betty Yu
    Department of Special Education & Communicative Disorders, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures ×
  • Financial: The author has no relevant financial interests to disclose.
    Financial: The author has no relevant financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: The author has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.
    Nonfinancial: The author has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.×
Article Information
Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Autism Spectrum / Part 1
Article   |   April 26, 2016
Code-Switching as a Communicative Resource Within Routine, Bilingual Family Interactions for a Child on the Autism Spectrum
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, April 2016, Vol. 1, 17-28. doi:10.1044/persp1.SIG14.17
History: Received January 8, 2016 , Revised March 12, 2016 , Accepted March 12, 2016
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, April 2016, Vol. 1, 17-28. doi:10.1044/persp1.SIG14.17
History: Received January 8, 2016; Revised March 12, 2016; Accepted March 12, 2016

In today's global society, bilingualism is increasingly regarded as an asset. Bilingual competencies have been associated, for example, with cognitive benefits, increased ethnolinguistic pride, and access to more expansive sociocultural experiences. Currently, there is a convergence of research findings showing that bilingual children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) perform comparably to monolingual children with ASD across measures of social-interactional, linguistic, and cognitive performance. In other words, bilingualism has not been shown to put children with ASD at a disadvantage. We have not yet, however, begun to examine bilingualism as a benefit for children with ASD. We currently have no information on how bilingual abilities are displayed by children with ASD and how the children draw on those competencies to navigate the demands of bilingual social interactions. This study is a conversation analysis (CA) of the code-switching behaviors of a bilingual child on the autism spectrum as he engaged in routine interactions with family members. The findings reveal that code-switching was used by this child strategically and systematically as a unique pragmatic resource.

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