Being able to speak a language connects us to people, culture, and family. Now imagine being able to speak 2 or even 3 languages. You become part of new communities, new cultures, and in many cases closer to our families. The census bureau released data from 2013 stating that 1 in 5 families living in the U.S speaks language other than English at home.
Learning two languages seems twice as hard, especially for kids who may be struggling with one language already. Here at Speech Point we have heard time and time again from families who report that their pediatrician, family friend, or other therapist have told them that they should only talk to their child with autism in one language. They have been told the myths that teaching them a second language will impair they cognitive ability and delay their speech. Well, were here to tell you....
IT'S NOT TRUE!
The research is very clear when it comes to learning a second language in children with autism. Bilingual children with ASD do not experience additional delays in language compared to monolingual children with ASD. Researchers Peterson, Marinova-Todd and Mirenda found that bilingual children with ASD didn’t have significant differences in understanding or speaking between their two languages, indicating that children with ASD can successfully become bilingual.
Parents, speak to the child in your native language! This exposes them to a whole new culture and language and that is really beautiful! We encourage our bilingual families to do all the same things language techniques that are recommend for families who speak 1 language. Reading books in the second language, interacting with your child, expanding the language by modeling. And expanding so If they are using one word, you use two.
Language is a gift and it should be passed to your children!