“It’s Like Stealing What Should be Theirs.” An Exploration of the Experiences and Perspectives of Parents and Educational Practitioners on Hebrew–English Bilingualism for Jewish Autistic Children
Sher DA., Gibson JL., Browne WV.
AbstractParents of autistic children are routinely advised to raise them monolingually, despite potential negative effects of monolingualism and no evidence of harm from bilingualism. There is, however, limited research on this topic. This study explored experiences and perspectives of educational practitioners (‘practitioners’) and parents of Hebrew–English bilingual autistic children on bilingualism and monolingualism. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis, we explored the experiences of 22 parents and 31 practitioners using both oral and written interviews. The analysis revealed that religious continuity is a crucial factor in bilingual decision-making. Unexpectedly, both practitioners and parents felt that having to adopt a monolingual approach was unjust, in line with conceptions of forced monolingualism. This article recommends awareness training on community languages and research in other communities.