Challenges of listening to an autistic pupil in person-centred planning meeting

Tracey Barnard-Dadds, Carmel Conn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A consensus is emerging on the need to use person-centred planning as an approach to the identification of educational learning needs and goals for pupils on the autism spectrum. The aim of this study was to analyse the interactions of participants in one PCP meeting, specifically the nature of participation of the focal pupil with autism and the way in which this was supported by staff and parents. Conversation analysis was used to investigate interactional turns and the way in which social actions in the meeting unfolded. Findings are that, despite encouragement and prompting by adult participants, the contribution of the pupil with autism was minimal throughout, except for the mention of one potentially painful issue. The suitability of PCP meetings as a space for difficult issues is discussed along with the needs for prior preparation for meetings by both child and adult participants, particularly in relation to the management of autism as a transactional disability
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-24
JournalJournal of Research in Special Educational Needs
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Autism
  • person-centred planning
  • pupil voice
  • transactional disability


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