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Provision must be tailored to individual child needs rather than diagnostic categories

As outlined in detail earlier in this digest, SEN categories have significant limitations in terms of accurately describing need46. However, there is strong evidence that some diagnostic categories result in markedly different levels of support being made available without any reference to the individual profile of need.  This was evidenced specifically in comparing the resources available to children and young people with a diagnosis of ASD when compared with those with a diagnosis of language impairment.  This is of particular concern in relation to children and young people with specific language impairments where the functional impact of their difficulties may be far more significant than others with a diagnosis of ASD. 

The BCRP research looked specifically at these two diagnostic categories. Similar issues are likely to exist between other diagnostic categories where speech, language and communication needs are part of the profile.