We examined the narrative abilities of bilingual and monolingual children on the autism spectrum (AS), whether bilinguals presented stronger social and pragmatic language abilities compared to monolinguals, and the link between narrative, social, and pragmatic language abilities.
The narrative, social, and pragmatic language skills of school-aged bilinguals (n = 54) and monolinguals (n = 80) on the AS were assessed using normed measures. Language exposure was estimated through a parent questionnaire.
Bilinguals performed similarly to monolinguals on measures of narrative, social, and pragmatic language skills. However, balanced bilinguals performed better on a nonliteral language task.
Overall, results indicate that bilingual children on the AS can become as proficient in using language as monolinguals and may enjoy a bilingual advantage.