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Disability research

C4EO commissioned a distinct piece of research separately from the disability theme. The research is being carried out by the Social Policy Research Unit at the University of York (SPRU) and led by Professor Tricia Sloper and Dr Bryony Beresford. It has been funded by DCSF (now DfE) and will be published in 2012.

The primary research is in two areas:

The effectiveness and costs of early identification and intervention for sleep problems

The effectiveness and costs of different modes of delivering behaviour management interventions to parents of disabled children

  • Rapid review of evidence on the effectiveness of behavioural approaches to behaviour management interventions.
  • Mapping of existing models of interventions to address behaviour problems in disabled children across the age range.
  • Selection of local services implementing a range of models of intervention that fit with the evidence on effectiveness, but use different ways of delivering the service.  Evaluation of the effects of interventions in terms of children's behaviour at home and school/nursery; parental stress and confidence.  Exploration of parents' and professionals' experiences of implementation, how problems are identified, and the history of the problem, including barriers to and facilitators of intervention; and comparison of different models on effectiveness and costs.


  1. Sleep study: accessible summaries of research evidence, including screening and assessment tools; guidance for practitioners on effective delivery of early intervention sleep programmes; guidance for parents on managing sleep problems; all co-produced with practitioners and parents, using facilitated participation techniques.
  2. Behaviour problems study: accessible summaries of research evidence; guidance on effective ways of training parents in behaviour management skills; guidance for parents on managing difficult behaviour.
  3. Both Rapid Evidence Reviews are now available.The first research study (on sleep problems) is supported by screening and assessment tools. These summaries are provided in hard copy and on the web – with separate versions written for practitioner and parent audiences.