Research and analysis

The relationship between speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (BESD)

This thematic report draws together evidence from 5 of the Better Communication Research Programme (BCRP) technical reports to extend understanding of the needs of and support provided for pupils with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). The report examines the relationship between behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (BESD) and SLCN. These studies include 3 that investigated specific groups of children and young people with SLCN and 2 that comprised analyses of the national datasets for England, the School Census and the national pupil database.

Detail

The 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 SLCN. 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 four thematic reports which synthesize the findings from the 10 technical reports that report the results from individual BCRP projects; there are also two interim reports and a report of the BCRP as a whole.

Previous research has suggested that pupils with SLCN and those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are at greater risk of developing behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (BESD) than typically developing children and young people. However, recent research has indicated that it is important to distinguish different types of speech, language and communication difficulties and also different domains of the generic category BESD. Both policy and practice require a careful analysis of these relationships in order that provision is appropriate to meet individuals’ needs and that the provision is made effectively and cost effectively.

Includes:

  • Introduction
  • The prevalence and nature of behavioural, emotional and social difficulties
  • Trajectories of children and young people with SLCN and ASD: evidence from the national data
  • Parents’ perspectives on their children’s behavioural, emotional and social development
  • Conclusions and implications

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