Language of Intervention in Bilingual Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders Selecting the appropriate language of intervention for bilingual children with language impairment is difficult, especially for bilingual children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) as their families are often encouraged by professionals to select one language only for communication. The limited evidence supports the use of bilingual language interventions when working ... Article
Article  |   December 21, 2017
Language of Intervention in Bilingual Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Connie Summers
    Speech-Language Pathology Program, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
  • Vannesa Smith
    Speech-Language Pathology Program, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
  • Vannesa Mueller
    Speech-Language Pathology Program, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
  • Victoria Alexander
    Early Childhood Intervention, Paso del Norte Children's Development Center, El Paso, TX
  • Amelie Muzza
    Department of Speech-Language Pathology, Magical Kids Therapy, Laredo, TX
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures ×
  • Financial: Connie Summers has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Vannesa Smith has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Victoria Alexander has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Amelie Muzza has no relevant financial interests to disclose.
    Financial: Connie Summers has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Vannesa Smith has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Victoria Alexander has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Amelie Muzza has no relevant financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: Connie Summers has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Vannesa Smith has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Victoria Alexander has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Amelie Muzza has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.
    Nonfinancial: Connie Summers has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Vannesa Smith has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Victoria Alexander has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Amelie Muzza has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.×
Article Information
Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Autism Spectrum / Part 4
Article   |   December 21, 2017
Language of Intervention in Bilingual Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, December 2017, Vol. 2, 203-211. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG1.203
History: Received June 2, 2017 , Revised October 27, 2017 , Accepted October 27, 2017
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, December 2017, Vol. 2, 203-211. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG1.203
History: Received June 2, 2017; Revised October 27, 2017; Accepted October 27, 2017

Selecting the appropriate language of intervention for bilingual children with language impairment is difficult, especially for bilingual children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) as their families are often encouraged by professionals to select one language only for communication. The limited evidence supports the use of bilingual language interventions when working with bilingual children with ASD. The current study sought to expand this limited work by presenting preliminary data of the effects of a bilingual and monolingual treatment condition on the language skills of two bilingual children with ASD (ages 3 and 5) using an alternating treatment, single-subject design. The two treatment conditions, a monolingual English condition and a bilingual English/Spanish condition, were alternated across 14 treatment sessions. Both participants improved in each condition. The treatment conditions were highly effective for one participant and minimally effective for the other participant. Within each participant, effect sizes were similar across the two treatment conditions. There were differences in the maintenance patterns of the two participants. These results support the available evidence that bilingual treatments do not have negative effects on bilingual children with ASD.

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