Linguistic skills and Cognition in bilingual children with Autism

N. Meir, R Novogrodsky

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Monolingual children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) show deficits in linguistic abilities that involve perspective-taking and pragmatic judgments[1]. For example, monolingual children with ASD have notorious problems with pronoun use[2]. In children with typical language development (TLD), pronoun use is related to syntactic knowledge, discourse-pragmatic knowledge, Theory of Mind (ToM) skills and Executive Functioning [3]. Little is known about the interface of ASD and bilingualism. In the current study, monolingual and bilingual children with and without ASD were tested. Language measures were pronoun production and complex syntax. Cognitive skills measures were ToM and Executive Functioning skills. Forty-five monolingual Hebrew-speaking children (28 with TLD and 17 with ASD) and 44 bilingual Russian-Hebrew-speaking children (30 with TLD and 14 with ASD) aged 4;6-9;2 participated. Children with ASD received their diagnoses prior to the study, and it was verified using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS[4]). All children scored within the norm on non-verbal IQ[5]. The findings show that pronoun production is impaired in children with ASD, yet bilingualism is NOT an aggravating factor for children with ASD, which is reflected in the similar performance of bilingual and monolingual children with ASD. The core deficit of pronoun production in children with ASD is associated with their linguistic complex syntax difficulties and cognitive ToM difficulties.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2019
EventThe 6th Israeli Conference on Cognition Research - Acco, Israel
Duration: 12 Feb 201914 Feb 2019 (Website)


ConferenceThe 6th Israeli Conference on Cognition Research
Internet address


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