Unfortunately, the question of whether or not to support bilingualism in students with severe disabilities is still a common question, even among educators and other professionals. Stephanie presents the research that has demonstrated that bilingualism, even in students with severe disabilities, has many cognitive as well as socio-emotional benefits. In addition, students with severe disabilities are able to learn both language just as well as their non-disabled peers when accounting for development age.
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Please find links to research mentioned in this module here:
Kay-Raining Bird, E., Cleave, P.L., Trudeau, N., Thordardottir, El, Sutton, A., & Thorpe, A. (2005). The language abilities of bilingual children with Down Syndrome. American Journal of Speech-langauge Pathology, 14, 187 – 199.
Smith, M. (2007, August 14). Literacy in Ireland. The ASHA Leader.