Looking At Social Communication Disorder

Looking At Social Communication Disorder| Voz Speech Therapy Services Bilingual Speech Therapist Clinic Washington DC

Being able to communicate with other people is an incredibly important skill.

For some people, this skill comes more naturally than it does for others.

Communication is about more than just the words you say.

It takes into account factors like tone of voice, body language, knowing when to speak, and making eye contact.

If you’ve noticed that your child is struggling to communicate with others, it might indicate the presence of social communication disorder.

People with social communication disorder may have more difficulty understanding meaning in language that isn’t explicitly and directly stated.

Here at Voz Speech Therapy, we’re speech-language pathologists in Washington and we can help you learn to recognize the signs of social communication disorder.

We’ll work with your child to develop the skills they need to better communicate with the people in their life.

Keep reading to find out more about what social communication disorder is, its signs and symptoms, and how speech therapy can help.

What Is Social Communication Disorder?

Social communication disorder is a condition that’s characterized by difficulty using both verbal and nonverbal communication in social settings.

It could involve struggles with language processing, practical matters, social interactions, and social understanding.

Behaviors associated with social communication include body language, facial expressions, and eye contact.

Most children will have some difficulties in social situations from time to time.

This is because they are still learning about social norms and ways to communicate.

However, those with social communication disorder will experience these issues more often than others.

Symptoms Of Social Communication Disorder

People with social communication disorder can have shortfalls related to areas such as social understanding, pragmatics, and social interactions.

The specifics of social communication disorder will vary based on one’s age and stage of development.

Early intervention is recommended to address your child’s communication issues so that they can continue to reach typical developmental milestones.

People with social communication disorder may have difficulties with the following behaviors:

  • Understanding and telling stories
  • Using and interpreting nonverbal signals
  • Choosing greetings appropriate for the situation
  • Using appropriate language features such as pitch, rhythm, tone, and pitch in interactions
  • Switching communication styles based on a particular social setting
  • Conversational skills, such as starting or joining conversations, turn taking, or how much information to share
  • Restoring breakdowns in communication (such as restating something when misunderstood)
  • Understanding figurative language
  • Inferring information which is not explicitly stated
  • Creating and maintaining close relationships

RELATED: What Speech Development Skills Should Your Child Learn At Each Age?

Social Communication Disorder Causes

Because social communication disorder is generally defined in relation to other conditions, its primary cause is unknown.

However, there are some factors which can lead to an increased likelihood of having social communication disorder.

Having a family member with autism spectrum disorder is one factor.

The presence of other developmental issues is another.

Some developmental issues that can increase the likelihood of having social communication disorder include:

Is Social Communication Disorder The Same As Autism?

Having issues with social communication is a common indicator of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Yet, social communication disorder can also occur in allistic (non-autistic) people.

Individuals who have both social communication disorder and autism spectrum disorder will tend to have difficulties that go beyond those associated with communication issues.

Some traits autistic people will often show, which don’t generally occur with social communication disorder, include:

  • Repetitive behavior patterns
  • Sensory issues
  • Focus on special interests
  • Adherence to strict routines

RELATED: How Can A Speech Therapist Help With Autism Spectrum Disorder?

What Can Speech Therapy Do?

If your child is dealing with social communication disorder, a pediatric speech therapist can help them to develop their communication skills.

A speech therapist will first do an assessment, which will typically involve:

  • Interviews with your child
  • Interviews with yourself
  • Interviews with your child’s teacher(s)
  • Observation of your child at school and at home
  • Engaging in play and structured activities with your child

The assessment will help your speech therapist identify which areas of communication to focus on and build a treatment plan.

Treatment plans will typically involve collaboration between you and your speech therapist, as well as teachers.

Speech therapy will typically involve practicing skills in three key areas:

  • Using language
  • Changing language
  • Following rules for conversation

Let’s have a closer look at each of these.

RELATED: Frequently Asked Questions About Speech Therapy

RELATED: Speech Therapy Screening & Evaluation

Using Language

There are different reasons and ways that we use language.

Using language is an important skill that allows you to communicate your feelings and desires.

Some reasons to use language include:

  • Requests (such as “I would like some more milk”)
  • Demands (saying “Give me a cookie”)
  • Greetings (“Welcome”, “Hello”, or “See you later”)
  • Informing (“I am going to play now”)
  • Promising (“I will share my ice cream with you”)

Changing Language

Changing language is a skill that refers to being able to adapt and use appropriate language for different situations.

Examples of this can include:

  • Sharing additional information for someone who doesn’t know about a topic
  • Knowing when to leave out details
  • Changing your communication style depending on who you’re talking to
  • Using different communication styles in different social settings (such as at school versus at home)

Following Rules

Participating in conversations involves following certain rules, which are not always explicitly laid out.

A speech therapist can help your child practice and develop the ability to follow language and communication rules.

Some things that your speech therapist may help them work on include:

  • Rephrasing things when others don’t understand
  • Telling others about the topic you’re going to talk about
  • Staying on topic
  • Practicing switching between talking and listening
  • Use of gestures in communication
  • Using and understanding facial expressions and when to make eye contact
  • Knowing how close to sit or stand to someone who is talking to you

How Can You Help Your Child With Social Communication Disorder?

If your child has social communication disorder, there are a number of things that you can do to help them improve their communication skills.

Here are some of the ways to help your child practice their social and communication skills.

  • Plan playdates with structured activities
  • Use visual cues such as toys and props to help your child communicate
  • Read with your child and ask them questions about what you’re reading
  • Play games to practice taking turns and encourage dialogue

With the proper support, alongside time and patience, you can help your child learn the social communication skills they need to succeed in school and in life.

If you need some extra support, then it might be time to…

Book Your Appointment With Voz Speech Therapy Today

Are you practicing social communication with your child at home?

Do you worry this practice is not going to be enough to give them the communication skills they will need to succeed?

Does your child have other issues which could benefit from speech therapy, such as autism spectrum disorder, learning difficulties, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?

At Voz Speech Therapy, we offer speech therapy services in the Washington DC area for both children and adults.

If you’re looking for extra support in areas related to speech and communication, book your appointment with us today.

Voz Speech Therapy
1331 H St NW Ste 200,
Washington, DC 20005

(202) 734-4884
- https://g.page/vozspeechtherapy

Voz Speech Therapy is a pediatric bilingual speech therapy clinic in Washington, DC that provides individualized services based on the specific needs of your or your child. Therapy sessions are provided in English or Spanish, depending on your child’s native language. Voz Speech Therapy es una clínica pediátrica bilingüe de terapia del habla en Washington, DC que brinda servicios individualizados según las necesidades específicas de usted o su hijo. Las sesiones de terapia se brindan en inglés o español, según el idioma nativo de su hijo.