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Eugene Ryan

Affiliation Insthitute for Global Network Innovation in Technology Education
Title Associate Professor
Fields of Research Linguistic development of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) children, Teaching methodology of Elementary School English
Academic Societies JALT, JALT Bilingualism SIG, National Autistic Society (NAS)
E-mail eugeryan@las
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Researcher information URL(researchmap) Researcher information


My area of research is a consideration of whether or not bilingualism is harmful to the language development of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). As many as two thirds of all children around the world grow up in a bilingual environment, and that proportion is likely only to increase. The proportion is less in Japan than many countries, but growing all the time.
It follows naturally that the number of ASD children growing up in bilingual settings is increasing too. The traditional approach, still considered orthodox in Japan, is that such children should switch to monolingualism until the dominant language is established. Only after that point should the secondary language be introduced. However recent research suggests that not only is there no proof that bilingualism harms the development of ASD children, in fact it may benefit them in certain areas of development such as concept formation. On the other hand, imposing a monolingual setting on the child may have harmful effects, as the child can end up being deprived of the exposure to natural conversation in their parents' mother tongue which is a crucial part of linguistic and social development.
There are as yet very few studies which examine the effects of bilingualism on the linguistic development of autistic children. Consequently I am currently involved in gathering developmental data of bilingual children (English and Japanese) both with and without autism over a number of years. This work is being carried out in co-operation with researchers from other universities.

Theme1:Assessing the influence of bilingualism on the linguistic development of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) children


Collecting linguistic development data from Japanese-English bilingual children. A comparison will be made between those children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and those who are typically developing. This will be used to test the hypothesis that bilingualism does not delay language development for ASD children.


Autistic Spectrum Disorder Bilingualism Children

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