Bilingualism and students with ASD: A world with possibilities
Presenter: Dr. Tamara Sorenson Duncan, Dr. Isabel Smith, Dr. Elizabeth Kay-Raining Bird
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a common neurodevelopmental condition characterized by differences in social communication and restricted and repetitive behaviors. These behavioral differences are often accompanied by difficulties in language acquisition, leading many to conclude that bilingualism is too challenging for children with ASD. Emerging empirical evidence, however, contradicts this assumption and instead suggests that bilingualism can be feasible for children with ASD. Guided by this emerging evidence, this webinar provides an overview of bilingual development in children with ASD. The presenters also discuss available evidence as to the influence of bilingualism on the cognitive abilities and academic achievements of children with ASD. Through this webinar, the presenters illustrate the potential for bilingualism within children with ASD, while acknowledging some practical challenges of bilingual education.