CRAE Webinar Series: Rachael Davis

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TITLE: Understanding the impact of bilingualism for autistic children

While all children should have access to their linguistic and cultural identities as a fundamental human right, this is currently not the case for all autistic children. Although studies have shown that children living in a dual-language environment benefit from the close family and cultural connections that their shared language affords, parents of autistic bilingual children remain concerned about the potentially harmful effects for their child’s development. While these concerns are not based on evidence, language access for some autistic children is being prevented, and our current understanding of how bilingualism impacts autistic children is limited. 

In this talk, Rachael will be presenting findings from three research projects in this area. First, a project looking to understand the relationship between bilingual language exposure and executive function skills. Second, a qualitative research project that aims to capture the perspectives of autistic children regarding their bilingual experiences, and the intersection of their identities. Third, a qualitative study that asked speech and language therapists about the barriers and facilitators to good practice when working with autistic bilingual children.

The webinar took place online on Thursday, 1st December 2022, at 16.00 -17.00 GMT.

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