Social Communication Problems

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What to expect

Social Communication Problems

Social communication is the communication we use to appropriately interact with others around us. Individuals with social communication problems will find it difficult to interact and get on with others. Speech and language therapy helps to support and treat individuals with social communication problems, and can be very beneficial.

What is a social communication problem?

A social communication problem is a difficulty in getting on with others and understanding what they mean.

Communication is a means of expressing or receiving a message, idea, or thought. This can be through spoken, written or non-verbal (body language, tone of voice and facial expressions) forms of communication.

Social skills are a set of skills used by an individual in order to produce socially acceptable behaviour when interacting with others.

Individuals with social communication problems will have a difficulty in using social skills when communicating with others. Individuals with social communication problems often have difficulty with:

  • Getting on with others and making and maintaining friendships.
  • Taking turns with others, in activities and conversation.
  • Understanding others thoughts and feelings e.g. emotions.
  • Maintaining eye contact.
  • Understanding social cues, jokes or sarcasm.
  • Understanding non-verbal communication e.g. facial expression, tone of voice and body language.

What conditions can cause social communication problems?

There are many conditions or disorders which can cause social communication problems in both children and adults, these can include:

Children

  • Neurological problems
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Learning difficulties
  • Communication problems
  • Language delay
  • Down syndrome
  • Selective mutism
  • Auditory processing disorder
  • Fetal anti-convulsant syndrome
  • Sensory integration dysfunction
  • Hyperlexia
  • Fragile X syndrome

Adults

  • Neurological problems
  • Speech disorders
  • Communication problems
  • Autistic spectrum disorders
  • Learning difficulties
  • Mental health problems

How is a social communication problem diagnosed?

Social communication problems are identified and diagnosed by a team of professionals including the speech and language therapist. An initial assessment will be carried out by the speech and language therapist. This initial assessment will identify if an individual has a social communication problem and also the severity of their social communication problem.

How can speech and language therapy help with social communication problems?

Speech and language therapy can treat and support individuals with social communication problems. Speech and language therapy will focus on maximising the individual's ability to communicate effectively and appropriately with others.

The speech and language therapist will work with the individual, parents / carers and other professionals in helping to support an individual with social communication problems.

The speech and language therapist will deliver individualised treatment plans for each client. The type of treatment given will depend on many factors such as, the individual's current and past communicative ability, their overall ability and their underlying condition or disorder.

What speech and language therapy treatment can benefit social communication problems?

There are many forms of speech and language therapy which can benefit social communication problems. The type of treatment given will be tailored to the individual's specific needs and abilities.

Different types of treatments available for social communication problems include:

Training

Training can be given to individuals, parents / carers and other professionals regarding social communication problems. Training can provide education on communication difficulties and also provide skills and strategies in helping individuals with social communication problems.

Find out more on training.

Consultative role

A consultative role advises and supports individuals, parents / carers and other professionals on social communication. A consultative role will give advice on how best to support an individual with social communication problems.

Find out more about the consultative role.

Home Programmes

Home programmes include take home activities, which allow the individual and their parents / carers to practise what has been learnt in therapy. The speech and language therapist can additionally provide home programmes for parents and carers to help maximise the individual's communicative ability. Educational programmes are also given for individuals with social communication problems. Educational programmes support educational staff in maximising the individual's communicative potential and social skills within the educational environment.

Find out more about therapy programmes.

One to one therapy

One to one therapy involves individual treatment for the client. One to one therapy will work on specific tasks in helping the individual to maximise their communicative ability. One to one therapy will also help the individual to communicate more effectively when using social skills.

Find out more about one to one therapy.

Group therapy

Group therapy is where a group of clients receive therapy together. Group therapy can help to increase the individual's motivation, social skills, self-esteem and confidence.

Find out more about group therapy.

Speech and language therapy for social communication problems may also include the following:

  • assessments
  • school visits
  • clinic visits
  • home visits
  • reports
  • review
  • early intervention

How do I arrange a speech and language therapy assessment?

To arrange an initial assessment with one of our speech and language therapists then please call us on 0330 0885 643.

Summary

A comprehension problem is a difficulty in understanding verbal, non-verbal and written forms of communication. An individual with a comprehension problem will have difficulty in communicating effectively with others. The speech and language therapist will aim to increase the individual's understanding and maximising their communicative ability. If you feel you may benefit from speech and language therapy, then please contact us by emailing office@slt.co.uk or calling 0330 0885 643.



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Next steps

To speak to a Speech and Language Therapist or to book an appointment, call us on 0161 883 0111 or email office@slt.co.uk

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All our speech and language therapists are registered with the RCSLT and the HCPC

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