Creating effective Speech and Language Therapy provision to support autistic children from multilingual families

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Faculty of Education

Abstract

There is growing evidence that high-quality Speech and Language Therapy (SaLT) provision can play a key role in improving the quality of life of monolingual children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), but an outstanding dearth of knowledge exists around best SaLT practices for their multilingual peers. The combination of increased autism diagnoses in the UK in an age where bilingualism has become the norm rather than the exception means that this research gap cannot be ignored. This research seeks to investigate the urgent need to further understand the lived experience of multilingual children (with ASD) and families, and positively influence SaLT provision. Through methodological triangulation, I will investigate (1) current SaLT best practice and evidence published to date (using realistic synthesis), (2) the impact of variation in linguistic and cultural exposure on social communication features
displayed by multilingual children with ASD (using case-series and play observations that will be analysed alongside specific literature on appropriate cultural and social communication practices), and (3) experiences of SaLT practitioners and multilingual parents (interviews). By using theoretical frameworks highlighting the importance of a person-based
clinical approach and social health models encouraged by the SaLT professional body, I aim to facilitate more tailoredassessment and intervention practices for multilingual children with ASD.

Publications

10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000738/1 30/09/2017 29/09/2027
2099737 Studentship ES/P000738/1 30/09/2018 15/03/2023 Mélanie Gréaux
 
Description Preliminary findings point to the fact that Speech and Language Therapists lack the confidence and face significant barriers for the provision of communication support to children with autism who grow up in linguistically and culturally diverse families in the UK. Follow-up in-depth qualitative interviews are still to be completed to complement these trends found in a survey distributed nationally. This data will help to inform policies and training opportunities to address the barriers of linguistic and cultural diversity faced by healthcare professionals.
Exploitation Route This data will help to inform policies and training opportunities to address the barriers of linguistic and cultural diversity faced by healthcare professionals.
Sectors Healthcare

 
Description Autism research in India 
Organisation Action for Autism
Country India 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Collaborators during fieldwork in New-Delhi (January 2020 - March 2020): sharing resources and research expertise.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborators during fieldwork in New-Delhi (January 2020 - March 2020): support with fieldwork logistics, access to facilities and consultation about research plans.
Impact None.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Autism research in the UK 
Organisation Autistica
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution PhD study contribution decided in agreement with the research priorities of partner; Publication of a paper in line with the ethos and impact desired by the partner; Volunteering at a Study Group.
Collaborator Contribution Financial contribution; Consultation and expertise.
Impact Volunteering at Autistica Study Group for Language & Communication (participatory research with autism community); Presentation at Autistica Research Festival (2019 and 2020).
Start Year 2018
 
Description Public engagement events to raise awareness of language difficulties to educators and teachers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public engagement stand for the Cambridge Festival of Ideas; Public engagement workshop for the ESRC Festival of Social Science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://fersacambridge.com/2020/06/01/organising-a-public-engagement-event-lessons-learned/