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What is social communication?

At the Social Mind Center our speech pathologists emphasize and prioritize the development of language. Social communication refers to the language used in social situations. Social communication is also commonly referred to as pragmatics. For children with social communication challenges pragmatics or the social use of language is less developed.

Social language use (pragmatics) consists (but not limited to) of:

  • Using language for different purposes, such as
    • greeting (e.g., hello, goodbye)
    • informing (e.g., I'm going to get a cookie)
    • demanding (e.g., Give me a cookie)
    • promising (e.g., I'm going to get you a cookie)
    • requesting (e.g., I would like a cookie, please)
  • Changing language according to the needs of a listener or situation, such as
    • talking differently to a peer versus an adult
    • giving background information to an unfamiliar listener
    • speaking differently in a classroom than on the playground
  • Following rules for conversations and storytelling, such as
    • taking turns in conversation
    • introducing topics of conversation
    • staying on topic
    • rephrasing when misunderstood
    • how to use verbal and nonverbal signals
    • how close to stand to someone when speaking
    • how to use facial expressions and eye contact

At the Social Mind Center we believe that the limits of your language are the limits of your world. All Center programming and intervention emphasizes and prioritizes the development of language. Our speech pathologists work with all therapists in the center to ensure that the child’s social communication goals are implemented across disciplines.

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