Autism links and articles

Languages for children and young people with autism can be challenging, but as the work on these pages testify, it is far from impossible. There is research to support this contention, and some practical downloadable resources as well, that you can adapt for your own context.



  • Until now most logopedists and therapists believe that children with an auditive or communicative disability such as, deafness, down-syndrome or autism should be brought up in one language. Drs. Mirjam Blumenthal, researcher at the Royal Kentalis, proves the opposite with her presentation! – NL Article. 13/02/2012
  • Toppelberg, C.O., Snow, C.E. and Tager-Flusberg, H., 1999. Severe developmental disorders and bilingualism. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 38(9), p.1197.
  • Baron-Cohen, S. and Staunton, R., 1994. Do children with autism acquire  the same phonology as their peers? An examination of group identification through the window of bilingualism. First Language, 14(42-43), pp.241-248.
  • Wire, V., 2005. Autistic Spectrum Disorders and Learning Foreign Languages. Support for Learning, 20(3), pp.123-128. Vivenne has a page under this tab for her work.
  • The Barriers to Learning workshops will guide you in using this planning for second language learners with autism. Try using the  autism grid to observe, note and plan for language learners with autism. Here is a  downloadable version you can adapt  blankgrid.
  • Temple Grandin TED TalkTemple Grandin, diagnosed with autism as a child, talk about how her mind works — sharing her ability to “think in pictures,” which helps her solve problems that neurotypical brains might miss. She makes the case that the world needs people on the autism spectrum: “visual thinkers, pattern thinkers, verbal thinkers, and all kinds of’smart geeky kids”.
  • Children with autism: strategies for accessing the curriculum: modern foreign languages
    Published in 2004 by North West SEN Regional Partnership
  • Autism Toolkit: A resource to help local authorities and schools in Scotland who provide for children and young people with autism.