Trixie, something for you to think about.... DS13 (not diagnosed with ASD but close to the spectrum) scored in the average range for expressive and receptive on language testing (he had the CASL) but still has language difficulties that impact him at school. I sometimes wonder if we should pursue additional language testing to try to tease out the underlying issues, and maybe we will someday. In the meantime, there are two areas that we know he has trouble with that affect language and communication for him, and they are areas that are often troublesome for kids with ASD.
1) Pragmatic language. The CASL does test for this, and he was low in that one area. This is an aspect of language related to social skills https://en.wikipedia...uage_impairment
2) Nonverbal communication. DS has nonverbal learning disability, which means, among other things, that he does not process the underlying nonverbal cues of language. Nonverbals can account for around 50% of communication, so kids who miss nonverbal cues miss a lot. Here is an overview of the kind of things that are part of nonverbal communication https://www.skillsyo...munication.html
We have found that DS really functions much better in a small group. By small group, I mean two or three people, instead of 10 or 20 (which some people would consider small, but is a large group for DS). In a larger group, DS disengages and misses tons of information. In a group of just a couple of people, he is much more able to interact and contribute and understand. It impacts his learning, for sure. When you think about it, the more people that he has around him, the more nonverbal communication he has to process, from all directions. Which he can't do, so he doesn't take things in.
Just something for you to ponder. Language issues go along with ASD, but they aren't always measurable by the expressive/receptive categories. It's good to have the language testing, to see if there are issues in those areas. But keep in mind that there are other aspects of language that can trip people up. Psychologists can test for pragmatic and nonverbal language skills.
By the way, I do think that you may want to consider whether auditory processing could be an issue, as others have mentioned. But the things you describe could be explained by language issues as well. DS13 struggles in the ways that you mentions, but he happens to be an auditory learner. In groups, however, the pragmatic and nonverbal language issues are just much more complex for him.