Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 48, Issue 8, pp 2890–2895 | Cite as

Understanding the Linguistic Needs of Diverse Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Some Comments on the Research Literature and Suggestions for Clinicians

  • Nataly LimEmail author
  • Mark F. O’Reilly
  • Jeff Sigafoos
  • Giulio E. Lancioni


The practice of advising bilingual parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to speak in a single language, often the majority language of the region, with their child with ASD seems to be common. Such advice, however, is not grounded on empirical evidence but appears to be based more on logical arguments and assumptions. In this commentary, fears surrounding dual language exposure and empirical evidence supporting bilingualism in children with ASD are discussed. Suggestions for future research and three key steps that clinicians can consider taking to better address the needs of diverse learners are provided.


Autism spectrum disorder Bilingualism Best practices Diversity 


Author Contributions

All individuals who meet authorship criteria are listed as authors, and all authors certify that they have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content, including participation in the conception, planning, interpretation, writing, and/or revision of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Nataly Lim, Mark F. O’Reilly, Jeff Sigafoos and Giulio E. Lancioni declares that they have no conflict of interest.

Research Involving Animal and Human Rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  2. 2.Victoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand
  3. 3.Università degli studi di Bari Aldo MoroBariItaly

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