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ERIC Number: ED527167
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 268
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-3781-3
Talking with Bilingual Chinese-American Immigrant Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders about Intergenerational Language Practices
Yu, Betty
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have received considerable attention in recent years due to the significant increase of students with ASD in schools. Education is currently the most effective form of treatment for children with ASD; communication intervention and family involvement are key components. Today little research exists to inform educational practices for bilinguals or linguistic minorities with ASD. In this study, I interviewed 15 Chinese-English bilingual immigrant parents of children with ASD about what they perceived to influence their language practices with their children, especially in the context of special education. The data were analyzed using both cross-case thematic analysis and a single case narrative analysis. I drew on Bourdieu's (1991) "theory of practice" as a framework for interpreting findings. The findings show that parents' language practices with their children were logically fitted to their situations and varied over time, creating diverse practices across participants. Although no factors dictated practices, having a child with ASD introduced many factors that discouraged HL maintenance and bilingualism. Indeed, all of the parents interviewed believed that children with ASD would be confused or further delayed by bilingualism (a belief that was commonly reinforced by educational and health professionals). Nearly all education and therapeutic programs were offered exclusively in English; special education programs did not offer English language learning (ELL) supports for students; and most parents assumed the responsibility of teaching English themselves, frequently by speaking more English at home. Although the communication difficulties reported for these parents' children were also common for ELLs, in this context they were often misrecognized as developmental difficulties associated with the ASD condition itself. The findings of this study show that social, ideological, and institutional constraints can have significant influences on language use in families living with ASD, and highlight the pressing need for linguistically and culturally appropriate educational services for minority language students with ASD, as well as better information dissemination to parents and professionals. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A