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  • Writer's pictureGuillaume Burel

Social Communication Disorder: What You Need to Know

Social Communication includes a variety of skills such as starting a conversation, greeting others, taking turns in a conversation, handling disagreements, and staying on a conversational topic to name a few. If you have a child who is struggling to communicate with others and has difficulties making friends, or joining conversations with peers, for example, you may be wondering if they have a social communication disorder. A social communication disorder can impact your child's life and he or she may benefit from structured support to develop and foster social language and social skills.

What is Social Communication Disorder?

A social communication disorder is a language-based disability that affects an individual's ability to communicate with others in social contexts. Social communication disorder (SCD) is an umbrella term for a range of conditions involving difficulties with social skills, communication, and language. It is characterized by difficulty understanding and using the language norms necessary for effective communication in a social setting, such as sharing ideas, responding to questions, or introducing a topic.

How social communication disorder can impact daily life

People identified with a social communication disorder may have difficulties expressing themselves effectively among peers, understanding jokes and sarcasm, or recognizing facial expressions and body language to name a few of the many symptoms. They might also struggle to make inferences about what someone else is saying and may tend to take statements too literally. This can lead to problems initiating and maintaining conversations, communication breakdowns, participating in group activities, and engaging in meaningful relationships with peers. Furthermore, misunderstandings can lead to erroneous interpretations of events which can precipitate further isolation. Social communication disorder can be diagnosed at any age, so if you’re experiencing difficulties like these then it could be worth getting a professional opinion to figure out how best to manage them and explore specifically designed interventions. Understanding the full scope of one's difficulties is key to developing tools and strategies to help one better navigate daily life scenarios that involve social interaction. A Speech-Language Pathologist can help your child, teen or young adult develop the social communication skills they need to engage with peers and in their social environment. Therapy may include building vocabulary, improving understanding of nuances of conversations like humor, learning strategies for managing emotions related to communication deficits, and more. It could also include role play and watching short videos illustrating targeted skills for example. Social Communication Disorder is a complex disability requiring specialized treatment and support that can help individuals engage more effectively and positively with their social setting (e.g. school, clubs, community). With proper support and treatment, individuals with social communication disorder can lead socially stimulating lives and build meaningful relationships. At ‘LITERALLY SPEECH’ we provide evidence-based intervention to foster social skills in children, teens, and young adults with social communication difficulties. We work closely with the individual and their family to develop a client-centered treatment plan focused on generalizing practical strategies to help your child connect to their social environment and thrive in their communities. Get in touch for a free 15-minute consultation.


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