The Truth about Social Communication Disorder

Speech language pathologists Diane Paul and Donna Murray will inform us on what social communication disorder is and how to treat it. It is a new addition to the Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (SCD). It covers problems with interaction, social understanding and pragmatics which refers to using language in the right context. For example, it is important that a child from the early age learns how to communicate with parents at home versus communication with the teacher at school.

The Truth about Social Communication Disorder

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How is SCD diagnosed?

This disorder is mostly diagnosed if a child has difficulties with communication skills such as:

  • How a person responds to others
  • How a person uses gestures
  • Is it difficult for a person to talk about emotions or stick to the topic
  • How a person changes speech in different situations
  • Is a person asking and responding during conversation
  • Is a person having difficulties with making friends

Sometimes, it may be difficult to diagnose SCD, as symptoms may overlap with ASD. SCD can occur in the form of learning disabilities, speech disorder, attention disorder, hyperactivity. However, many centres are provided with speech-language pathologists which will recognize the symptoms and work with your child. Sometimes, pathologists work with children which have difficulties with non-verbal communication such as forgetting to wave goodbye or they shake head yes even though they mean no. The child will receive proper therapy. Apart from that, many clinics have implemented social communication services with many activities invented for a child diagnosed with this disorder.

What will the therapy be like?

In order for your child to improve, it is most useful to implement activities which will help your child learn in real-life situations. Therefore, children should be provided with lot of opportunities to practice social skills. It is recommended to include communication partners such as teachers or counsellor to help you in this process of therapy. Also, there are many things family can do at home such as:

Mirror life situations, take turns by practicing real life situations such as how to throw a ball or start with repeating the sounds that the child made, so that he could get the gist of how conversation between different people looks like.

Read a book. It is useful for a child’s skills to start reading at an early age. Once the reading is done, you could discuss the book with him or her.

Talk about feelings: It is important for a child to freely express its feelings. Books and stories are a great example since you could ask questions such as how did the character feel? Or try your child deduce what will happen next in the book.

It is easier with visual supports and planned gatherings. Many children process information more easily if they are provided with visual aids. Also, it could help them understand schedule or obligations properly. It is advisable to introduce your child to topics such as popular culture or interesting games and persons so that he could communicate with peers easily. It is recommendable to plan their games with peers and, for the beginning limit time spent with peers to one hour.
Do you want to know more? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help!


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