This report presents the findings from a 3-year study of pupils with language impairments and autism spectrum disorders in the education system.
The Better communication research programme (BCRP) was commissioned as part of the ‘Better communication action plan’, the government’s response to the Bercow review of services for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs. This had recommended a programme of research ‘to enhance the evidence base and inform delivery of better outcomes for children and young people’.
This is one of 10 publications reporting the results from individual BCRP projects. These contribute to a series of 4 thematic reports and the main report on the BCRP overall in which we integrate findings and present implications for practice, research and policy from the BCRP as a whole.
Despite increasing research examining the cognitive and behavioural profiles of pupils with language impairments (LI) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) relatively little is known about the needs of these pupils in mainstream classrooms, the ways in which their needs are met, or the extent to which the level of support provided is related to the severity of their language difficulties and/or social behaviour.
The increased numbers of pupils identified as having ASD has also led to a consideration of the nature of provision required for pupils with LI and ASD. Two complementary BCRP reports analysed the national data set for pupils with speech language and communication needs (SLCN) and ASD and highlighted differences between these cohorts. These complementary reports focussed on a broad group of pupils with SLCN; nonetheless they form a backdrop for addressing questions relating to pupils with more specific language difficulties and ASD.