Social Communication

Social communication is a complex process that begins in infancy when a child begins to babble back and forth with others or make eye contact. Children of all ages can have difficulty learning and applying the unspoken rules of communication. These children may appear too shy, anxious, or even too friendly with others. Children must first process language effectively in order to be a competent social communicator, which involves:

Social Interaction

(e.g., speech style and context; linguistic rules)

Social Cognition

(e.g., emotional competence, understanding emotions)


(e.g., communicative intentions, conversational management, body language, eye contact)

Receptive and expressive language processing (Adams, 2005)

Social communication difficulties present differently from child to child. The Speech-Language Pathologists at SPS Atlanta are trained to diagnose and treat all presentations of social language deficits. We are trained in the most effective techniques for helping children learn to succeed in their social environments. Therapists at SPS teach specific skills in a comfortable environment and help children learn to interact with others and become more comfortable in their own skin.

Signs of difficulty with social communication/pragmatics:

  • Fidgety or tense in social environments
  • Clings to adults and has poor self-confidence around peers
  • Avoids starting social interactions with others
  • Trouble keeping up the flow of a normal conversation
  • Experiences frustration when trying to get ideas across in conversation
  • Sometimes is “awkward” in turn-taking interactions with peers
  • Has difficulty making friends, even when trying hard to do so
  • Takes things too literally and doesn’t understand the real meaning of a conversation
  • Difficulty interpreting the facial expressions of others
  • Facial expressions don’t always match what he/she is saying
  • Unaware of how his/her actions/comments affect others
  • Doesn’t always play appropriatetly with peers- difficulty following rules of games
  • May act too silly or laugh inappropriately
  • Difficulty answering questions directly- will talk around a subject
SPS Atlanta
10 Glenlake Parkway, Suite 130
Atlanta, GA 30328
[email protected]