University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > MEITS Multilingualism Seminars > Autism and Bilingualism: A review of theory, policy and practice to inform evidence-based Speech and Language Therapy services

Autism and Bilingualism: A review of theory, policy and practice to inform evidence-based Speech and Language Therapy services

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Anne Helene Halbout.

Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) services offer ideal expertise to support the communication abilities of autistic children (Royal College of Speech & Language Therapist, 2009). However, whilst interventions have been evidenced to benefit monolingual children with autism (Adams et al., 2012), practice appears to crumble in face of linguistic and cultural diversity. Limitations are found at all stages of the care journey: referrals reflect inequitable access to services (St. Amant, Chrager, Peña-Ricardo, Williams, & Vanderbilt, 2018), clinicians report being under-equipped during the assessment phase (Arias & Friberg, 2017) and disclose the struggle to integrate more than one language in intervention programmes (Jordaan, 2008). In the age of globalisation, there is an urgent need to investigate the necessary adaptations for SLT services to best support the linguistic and culturally diverse autistic community.

This presentation aims to (1) critically analyse the literature on bilingualism and autism using the lens of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (World Health Organization, 2001); (2) review SLT evidence-based guidelines (Stow & Pert, 2015) and actual practice for bilingual children with autism; (3) identify research priorities to foster more inclusive and evidence-based SLT services.

This talk is part of the MEITS Multilingualism Seminars series.

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