Autism and Multilingualism guest post.

I did a guest post for Multilingualmania last week, on bringing up our son trilingual. This is a great blog for anyone interested in all the issues surrounding multilingualism, one that I wish I'd known about when we started speaking to our children in Turkish - French - English!
I did the post in honour of autism awareness day, and it felt good to come clean about why we ended up speaking so many languages to our autistic son, going against the advice of countless well-meaning, and utterly unqualified strangers and friends!
You can read the post here.
And many many thanks to Melanie of Multilingualmania for giving me the chance to rant about this!


multilingualmania.com said...

Thank you to you! You are welcome anytime to post whatever you want! I really enjoyed your post! I'll come around begging you again one day for more!!

Sandrine said...

Thanks Melanie! I can assure you you won't need to beg - I'll come pestering you as soon as I've thought of something else to write!

Anonymous said...

I loved reading your post on multilingualmania. I am in strong need for this type of info. We speak 3 languages at home: French, Spanish and English. Our 2 year-old twin boys are strongly delayed in communication and social skills, and look like they might be on the spectrum. A lot of red flags at least... The issue of dropping our native languages to speak only in English already came up. That would break my heart, if I was forced to speak to a non native language to my own sons. But I do not want to hinder their development. I feel guilty to oblige them to learn 3 words for one object when they can't seem to be able to use one for it. So I am trying to get more info on the issue.
And that pressure of one parent one language... I hear you! J'en ai plus que par dessus la tete a vrai dire! J'aimerais en savoir plus. BTW, I am from France, we have a daughter who has always been ahead, and we also have 2 PhDs!

Sandrine said...

Hi Marina,
So glad you got in touch - it's good to know there are other people like us out there! I think one thing to remember is that even if it turns out to be advisable for one reason or another that you focus on one language with your boys, that certainly shouldn't mean that you stop using the other two with other members of your family! Your daughter needs you to speak to her in all three! Also, even when our son was speaking only Turkish, he was listening to us and picked up a lot of vocabulary in French and English passively. He's now using this. Max was never confused about which words belonged to which language, and who spoke what when, even when he only spoke Turkish. So even though he would only use one word, he'd pick up the other two (or the other one - I don't know yet how much english he's picked up as he's only just started using it!)
En tous les cas bonne chance et tenez nous au courant!

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