Language of Intervention in a Bilingual Child with Autism

Amelie Muzza, University of Texas at El Paso


This study was conducted to address language of intervention for the rapidly-growing bilingual population of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the United States. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a monolingual English or bilingual Spanish/English condition would yield a greater number of request types in a 3-year-old bilingual participant with autism. A single-subject, rapid alternating treatments design with baseline and a final maintenance phase was used to alternate between monolingual English and bilingual Spanish/English interventions. Results did not meet the criteria set for continuation of treatment in either condition; therefore, both monolingual and bilingual interventions were alternated through the end of the study. Treatment outcomes for types of requests were determined to be moderately effective in the monolingual condition and highly effective in the bilingual condition when interpreted using Percentage of Non-Overlapping Data (PND). Two sessions conducted without feedback after treatment concluded that treatment outcomes in the bilingual condition had better maintenance compared to those in the monolingual condition. In conclusion, not only did the bilingual Spanish/English intervention not have negative effects on the participant’s language, it also provided support to yield greater gains and generalization than the monolingual English intervention.

Subject Area

Speech therapy

Recommended Citation

Muzza, Amelie, "Language of Intervention in a Bilingual Child with Autism" (2017). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10278849.