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Raising multilingual autistic children: Challenges and opportunities

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  • UserDr. Jenny Gibson and Dr. Napoleon Katsos, University of Cambridge
  • ClockMonday 01 February 2021, 17:00-18:30
  • HouseOn-line.

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Abstract

Among parents and professionals there is a common, albeit empirically unsupported, belief that multilingual exposure may be detrimental to the development of children with neurodevelopment disorders such as autism. In this presentation we will first review studies that capture the lived experience of multilingualism by autistic children and their carers and then we will report on a systematic meta-analysis of the emerging literature which reveals that multilingualism has no adverse effect on the linguistic and cognitive development of children with autism. Moreover, we will outline in what ways multilingualism may actually be beneficial for autistic children and reported some unpublished trends in recent work with colleagues. The interplay of qualitative and quantitive methods and the benefits of participant-informed research will set the background for this presentation.

Bio

Jenny Gibson is a developmental psychologist at the University of Cambridge working on children’s linguistic and social development. Much of Jenny’s work focuses on multilingual children with developmental difficulties.

Napoleon Katsos is a linguist at the University of Cambridge working on language acquisition and processing in monolingual and multilingual children.

This talk is part of the Second Language Education Group series.

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