Do you think your child is struggling with social communication?
For many of us, social communication comes naturally and feels ingrained. We picked up appropriate social communication skills by observing the people around us from an early age. However, some children have difficulty learning and understanding our communication norms.
If your child has trouble greeting or sharing information appropriately, changing their communication style to match a situation, or taking turns in conversation, they may have a social communication disorder.
As a child progresses through school, social communication becomes vital. Children who struggle with social communication may have difficulty with reading comprehension, making inferences, and non literal language because they miss subtleties of language. A social communication disorder can also lead to difficulty developing friendships, participating in extracurricular activities, and decreased academic success.
If you are concerned about your child’s social communication, a speech-language pathologist can help. The speech-language pathologist will assess your child and create goals based on your child’s needs. Therapy may take place in groups or natural settings to encourage genuine communication scenarios with peers.
At home, there are many fun games and activities parents can do to encourage social communication skills.
1) Play charades: This is a fun way to get your child to recognize nonverbal communication, such as gestures and facial expressions
2) Use abstract language: Try using idioms and slang in conversation with your child. Be sure to explain in literal terms what each phrase or word means.
3) Plan something: Have your child pick something they would like to do with a friend. Rehearse asking the friend and talk about all of the information they will need to tell the friend.
4) Model good communication skills: Make eye contact and speak at an appropriate volume when communicating with your child. Praise your child when they communicate successfully.
5) Interactive reading: When reading with your child, ask them to make predictions about what will happen next, or how a character feels. Spending this extra time talking about the book may help your child’s reading comprehension.
Social communication is a crucial skill for school-aged children. If you have concerns about your child’s skills, reach out to a speech-language pathologist today!