The impact of bilingual language exposure on expressive vocabulary size in children with ASDs
Montreal Childrens Hospital
Basic & Clinical
The overall goals of this study are to lay the foundation for studying bilingualism in children with ASDs by profiling the skills of bilingual children with ASDs as compared to those who speak only one language. This study will survey children diagnosed with ASD and describe the language environments of children at 3 centers in the Montreal English- and French-speaking communities. The results of this research will identify factors that influence language choices for families of children with an ASD, and evaluate if a difference in expressive vocabulary exists from monolingual versus bilingual environments. Finally, an additional sub-analysis of all data from bilingual children will explore the relationship between child factors and the amount of and contexts of bilingual exposure to identify conditions favoring the development of bilingual expressive vocabulary in children with an ASD. Significance: Professionals and families should evaluate the evidence from this study prior to making recommendations for changes in language environments in both children "at risk" for autism and those not at risk for developmental language deficits. Results will allow researchers across all disciplines will use this pilot work to determine how bilingualism factors into language development in future studies, and help clinicians in their diagnostic evaluations and recommendations for intervention.