Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Speech-Language Pathology


Connie L. Summers



Background: Code-switching may be seen as a weakness in the eyes of many who do not truly

understand bilingualism. Several professionals consider code-switching to be a compensatory

strategy, however other professionals perceive code-switching as a functionally motivating behavior

(Chung, 2006). Whether is it consciously or subconsciously that a child code-switches, there is

limited research on when bilingual children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are likely to

code-switch as well as what patterns they utilize when they code-switch.

Purpose: To grow the limited research on the use of code-switching in bilingual children with ASD.

Introduce and compare two language treatments; a bilingual Spanish/English language intervention

treatment and a monolingual English language intervention with two bilingual children with ASD.

From the data gathered, examine their use of code-switching and during which treatment condition

the children code-switched most. The data also helped identify the different patterns found in the

code-switching used.

Methods: A time series design across 2 participants was utilized, which allowed measurements of

the same variable to be taken at different points in time for two different participants.

Descriptive statistics were then used to compare the use of code-switching between the two


Results: The participants exhibited an increased production of code-switching in the Bilingual

treatment condition. Though both participants showed greater production of code-switching between

utterances as well as a higher percentage of code-switching in elicited responses, Participant A, who

was older, showed fewer instances of code-switching than Participant B.

Conclusion: The results show that when a bilingual child with ASD comprehends that they are

allowed to speak two languages, they will use all the resources they have in both languages in order

to get their message across.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

48 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Monica Yolanda Ponce-Lawler