People with SCD have trouble following the “rules” of spoken communication. They may take over conversations and interrupt a lot. Some say things that are off-topic. Others hesitate to talk at all. These challenges make it hard to connect with people — at school, on the job, or in social settings. And that can take a toll on self-esteem.
Symptoms and signs
If you have a child with SCD, you may notice they have trouble with verbal and nonverbal communication skills, like:
- changing speech to fit different people and situations — for example, knowing how and when to talk differently with a peer versus an adult, or family member versus someone they just met
- taking turns in conversation, such as how and when to respond to others, letting others speak, and staying on topic
- responding appropriately to others — for example, they may have unexpected or slightly off-the-mark answers
- social greetings, like saying hello, introducing themselves, or asking others how they’re doing
- talking about their feelings
- using nonverbal communication gestures like waving and pointing
Effects of Social Communication Disorder
- Social Isolation
- A poor parent or peer relationship
- High levels of frustration and anxiety.
- Reduced literacy skills; including reading, writing, and comprehension.
- Emotionally volatile
- May cause a child to fall behind academically and become disinterested in learning.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)
The criteria for social communication disorder include:
- difficulty with social communication, like greeting people or sharing information
- challenges adjusting communication to match the context or the needs of the listener
- difficulty following rules of conversation and storytelling (like taking turns in conversation, rephrasing when misunderstood, and using nonverbal, or unspoken, communication)
- challenges decoding what’s not verbally stated and nonliteral meanings of language (like idioms, humor, and metaphors)
Parenting a child with social communication disorder
If your child has SCD, they may have difficulty with the “give-and-take” nature of conversations. They may tend to have a literal way of thinking, or they may not understand certain humor, like sarcasm.
As a parent, you can help your child learn and practice social skills in a safe, supportive environment. Some ways to do this include:
- Read books. When you read to your child, consider asking open-ended questions about the book. Take turns offering ideas of what characters may be thinking and why.
- Plan structured playdates. Invite a friend over and have a structured activity for the children to engage in. Over time, you can invite different or more children to a variety of places (such as home or the playground).
- Play games. This can be helpful when practicing taking turns. Talk to your child while playing, ask open-ended questions, and encourage back-and-forth dialogue.
- Use visual supports. Props, toys, or pictures could help your child communicate when they can’t find the right words.
The treatment for Social Communication disorder needs the support of family, friends, teachers, therapists. If the people around the affected individual help him in improving, this will help in an increased rate of improvement in the individual.
Possible treatments include:
- Therapies by Specialists. Professional therapists- Speech-Language Pathologist specializing in SCD (social communication disorder) can do wonders for your child. They provide speech therapy to the child. This therapy can take place anywhere in school, center, or at home.
- Education & tools used by teachers, coaches, and other elders. The child will gain more support if teachers, coaches, and friends and family members possess the information and tools with which they can engage your child more fully.
- Involvement of Family. The therapist will train the whole family with techniques, strategies, games, tools, etc., to help you communicate with your child. This practice helps in your child’s interactions with other social groups and communities, too.
A word from CBT Kenya
One-on-one support from a speech therapist can help your child improve social skills in myriad ways. In a closed, controlled environment, practicing pattern recognition, conversation order, and role-playing can show a marked increased in communication skills.
Getting professional help does not mean you are weak or broken. It’s choosing to get better and take care of yourself. CBT-Kenya (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-Kenya) counseling center offers counseling and therapy sessions for persons from all walks of life. We focus on helping clients gain insight into themselves by going through a healing process. Our purpose is to help you to achieve your therapeutic and life goals, to improve the quality of your life and to help you to build strong relationships in your life. Get in touch or book an appointment on +254 739 935 333, +254 756 454 585 or firstname.lastname@example.org.