Monolingual and bilingual intervention outcomes in a bilingual child with autism

Victoria Alexander, University of Texas at El Paso


Background: When treating bilingual children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the language of intervention has been a controversial topic among professionals. There is limited research on the treatment of bilingual children with ASD. ^ Purpose: To extend the limited research on the use of language of intervention in bilingual children with ASD. This study compared a monolingual English treatment and a bilingual English-Spanish treatment, to examine which one was more efficient. ^ Methods: A single-subject alternating treatment design with a baseline was used to compare the efficacy of two treatment conditions in increasing language skills in a bilingual child with ASD. The participant was a 5-year-old bilingual child with ASD. Treatment targeted increasing mean length of utterance (MLU) production and following two-step oral commands. ^ Results: The participant presented with increased performance in the two treatment conditions. For MLU, there was a slightly better performance in the monolingual English condition, however an increase was seen in the bilingual Spanish-English condition too. For following commands, the participant performed better in the bilingual condition initially, but at the end, both conditions showed improvement. ^ Conclusion: The results show that the child benefited from both treatment conditions. The study supports the practice of bilingual intervention and suggests that bilingual exposure does not affect language development.^

Subject Area

Speech therapy

Recommended Citation

Alexander, Victoria, "Monolingual and bilingual intervention outcomes in a bilingual child with autism" (2015). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1592793.