UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A comparative study of executive functioning behaviours in bilingual and monolingual children with autism spectrum disorder. Macaro, Stefanie


Weaker Executive Function (EF) abilities have been consistently noted in individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) relative to typically-developing children, specifically with deficits in planning, mental flexibility or shifting, inhibition, and working memory. There have been mixed findings in terms of typically-developing bilingual individuals demonstrating a bilingual advantage compared to monolingual peers on tasks of EFs. However, there is currently no research comparing the EF skills of bilingual and monolingual children with ASD. The current study compared the parent and teacher ratings of EF deficits and academic achievement in 42 8.5-to-9.0-year-old bilingual and monolingual children with ASD. Results indicated no significant differences in ratings of EF deficits or academic achievement scores. The results from this study support past research that indicates bilingualism does not have a negative impact on the cognitive development of children with ASD.

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