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Can people with developmental disorders function successfully as bilinguals?

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Amber Ruigrok.

Among parents and professionals, there is a common, albeit empirically unsupported belief that bilingual exposure may be detrimental to the language development of children with neurodevelopmental and other related disabilities (Griswold, 2016). In this presentation we will first report the findings from a recent systematic review on the impact of bilingualism on the linguistic and social development of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities (Uljarević et al., 2016). We will then share some findings from research with bilingual children with ASD and their competence with core language and pragmatics (Reetzke et al., 2015). The overall conclusion is that while there are substantial gaps in research, bilingualism does not seem to have an adverse effect on the development of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities, while there are reasons to expect that it might even have a beneficial impact in certain respects. We will conclude by outlining a new project that will address some of the gaps in the literature.

This talk is part of the ARClub Talks series.

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