Date of Submission

Spring 2022

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Justin Dainer-Best

Project Advisor 2

Kristin Lane

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a widely diagnosed developmental disability. There is a discrepancy between research showing that bilingualism and code-switching have no negative effect on language development in children with ASD and advice given by practitioners surrounding the adoption of bilingualism. Research shows that children who practice code-switching may benefit more than those who do not. This proposed study will examine the effect of code-switching on the social interactions of bilingual children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), specifically focusing on Hispanic children during ABA intervention.

Code-switching is the practice of alternating between two or more languages in conversation. In this proposed study, therapists will conduct therapy sessions with 102 children, ages eight to ten. Children will randomly be assigned into two conditions, one in which the trained ABA therapists code-switch at least five times per session and the others in which the therapists do not code-switch. The first and penultimate sessions will be recorded to measure the instances of code-switching. Social interactions will be measured by using the direct observational measure, the Behavioral Assessment of Social Interaction in Young Children (BASYC).

I hypothesize that children in the code-switching condition will also code-switch and have higher social interaction scores than the children in the control condition. If future results from this proposed study suggest that the proposed hypotheses are correct, it can help practitioners and parents make a decision regarding language use and possibly find a strategy to increase social communication in children with ASD.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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