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ERIC Number: EJ1005159
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 60
ISSN: ISSN-1058-0360
Issues in Bilingualism and Heritage Language Maintenance: Perspectives of Minority-Language Mothers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Yu, Betty
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, v22 n1 p10-24 Feb 2013
Purpose: The author investigated the language practices of 10 bilingual, Chinese/English-speaking, immigrant mothers with their children with autism spectrum disorders. The aim was to understand (a) the nature of the language practices, (b) their constraints, and (c) their impact. Method: The author employed in-depth phenomenological interviews with thematic and narrative analyses to yield themes. Results: Interviewees reported that they adopted language practices perceived to be advantageous to intervention access and wellness. They valued Chinese language but did not pursue its use if it was believed to hinder the children's overall development of English acquisition. All of the mothers believed that bilingualism made learning more challenging. Many believed that it caused confusion or exacerbated disabilities. These deficit views of bilingualism were commonly reinforced by professionals. All of the mothers were motivated to help their children learn English but had no assistance to do so. Practices were sustainable only when they were aligned with families' preferred communication patterns. Conclusions: There is an urgent need for practitioners to be better informed about issues related to intergenerational language practices in minority-language families. Language use between parents and children is a complex matter that is unique to each family. Parents need to be supported to make language use decisions that are self-enhancing and congruent with their families' needs. (Contains 1 table and 2 footnotes.)
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Massachusetts