Any experience in bringing up child with an ASD bilingually?

(3 Posts)
lottytheladybird Sat 02-Mar-13 10:16:55

My DS is 2.5 years old and has an Autistic Sprectrum Disorder. His speech is delayed - he has about 60 words. We are bringing him up bilingually and I'm just interested if anyone else has any experience of bringing up a child with an ASD bilingually. Do they speak both languages well? Do you think they experienced greater difficulties with language for being brought up bilingually?

nextphase Sat 02-Mar-13 20:10:35

Bilingual here, without any ASD diagnosed.
At 2.3, we probably only had 60 words. It then just exploded, and we have no issues now, so it is possible that the speech delay has nothing to do with the ASD, but equally they could be linked.

Just under 4 now, and understands the second language without any issues, but usually replies in English.

Listening to DH and his bilingual brothers chat, they readily use words from the language they aren't speaking in if it is a better fit than anything in the conversation language. I'd have thought (from my very scarce ASD knowledge - sorry if I offend) that having more ways to express things can only be of benefit?

natation Sat 02-Mar-13 21:42:29

I work with children, some of which I'd rate as ASD, some officially diagnosed, some not even recognized by parents and in one case denied but obvious to all who are in contact with the child in school. I wouldn't say it's a direct correlation, speech problems with ASD, for some yes, for some no. The child exhibiting the severest needs now actually has not too bad speech. The child I've witnessed with the least amount of speech production (not even yes/no/mum at age 3 1/2) was being brought up monolingually, even had a tri-lingual child able to understand English and has started to speak age 3 1/2, same in other 2 languages according to parents.

It's really hard to know until the children are older. Some speech therapists might be quite justified in saying there should be a dominant language if possible, probably the school language + parent if possible, so that the extra help and assessments of progress can be measured and observed in that language.

Remember receptive language is far more important than productive language.

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