Betty Yu

Associate Professor
Photo of Betty Yu
Office Information: 
Burk Hall
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Betty Yu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. Before joining the faculty at San Francisco State, she practiced as a speech-language therapist primarily serving young children and their families in immigrant communities. Her research interest is in how children's language development interfaces with the development of sociocultural competence. Her current research focuses on the communication and language learning experiences of children on the autism spectrum and their families within bilingual contexts (visit the Autism & Heritage Language Learning Research website). She is a member of the Conversation Analysis Research in Autism (CARA) research group. She teaches courses related to language development, atypical language development, cultural and linguistic diversity, intervention in young children, and counseling in communicative disorders. The emphasis of her clinical instruction is on the provision of family-centered services to support communication development in children on the autism spectrum. She is the co-director of Project ALLIES, a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education to prepare speech-language pathologists and special educators to collaborate effectively to serve diverse children on the autism spectrum. She supervises the Autism Spectrum Communication Clinic. She is the President of the Asian Pacific Islander Speech-Language-Hearing Caucus.

Educational Background

  • University of California at Berkeley/San Francisco State University, 2009, Ph.D. Special Education
  • New York University, 1999, M.A. Speech-Language Pathology
  • University of California at Berkeley, 1996, B.A. Linguistics

Certification and Licenses

  • Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 1999-present
  • California State License in Speech and Language Pathology, Speech Language and Audiology Licensing Board, 1999-present
  • Hanen certified speech-language pathologist for “It Takes Two to Talk”, “More Than Words” and “Talkability”

Recent Publications

Yu, B. & Luo, F. (In Press). Augmentative and alternative communication. In G. Hao & Z. Shao (Eds.), Autism spectrum disorders: Assessment and intervention. Chongqing, China: Chongqing Publishing Group. (Will be published in Chinese)

Kashinath, S., & Yu, B. (In Press). Embedding intervention strategies within everyday family routines. In M. Siller & L. J. Morgan (Eds.), Handbook of Family-Centered Practice for Very Young Children with Autism. New York: Springer.

Epstein, L., Solomon-Rice, P., & Yu, B. (2018). Speech/Language Impairments and Communication Disorders. In Y. Bui & E. L. Meyen (Eds.), Exceptional children in today's schools: What teachers need to know.

Yu, B. (2016). Bilingualism as Conceptualized and Bilingualism as Lived: A Critical Examination of the Monolingual Socialization of a Child with Autism in a Bilingual Family. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. doi:10.1007/s10803-015-2625-0.

Yu, B. (2016). Code-switching as a communicative resource within routine, bilingual family interactions for a child on the autism spectrum. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 1(14), 17-28.

Soto, G., & Yu, B. (2014). Considerations for the provision of services to bilingual children who use augmentative and alternative communication. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 30(1), 83-92. doi:10.3109/07434618.2013.878751

Yu, B. (2013). Issues in bilingualism and heritage language maintenance: Perspectives of minority-language mothers of children with autism spectrum disorders. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 22(1), 10-24.


For Children with Autism, Multiple Languages May Be a Boon
By Ann Griswold, Spectrum, reprinted in Scientific American (July 26, 2016).

Language Barriers or Boosters? Autism Spectrum Researchers Take Aim at a Multilingual Myth
By Steve Hockensmith, SF State Magazine (Fall/Winter 2016).


  • 2013 Distinguished Achievement Award, California Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • 2009 SFSU Joint Doctoral Program in Special Education Distinguished Doctoral Student
  • 2008 Spencer Foundation Mentored Research Fellowship for Doctoral Research