Social communication disorder is a disorder characterized by unconventional and awkward communication patterns. While similar to — and often mistaken for — autism spectrum disorder, it’s void of many of the symptoms which characterize autism.
Wondering what social communication disorder entails? We’re going to get into that below. Without further ado, here are 11 common symptoms of social communication disorder.
What is Social Communication Disorder?
Social communication disorder is a disorder wherein an individual has difficulty in communicating with others. Individuals suffering from this disorder not only have verbal communication difficulties but non-verbal communication difficulties, social cognition difficulties, pragmatics difficulties, and language processing difficulties as well.
In many cases, affected individuals will shy away from situations in which communication is necessary. They might also be delayed in reaching standard communication milestones.
This disorder can seismically affect one’s life, causing his or her personal and professional relationships to suffer. As such, it’s important for affected individuals to seek treatment.
Symptoms of Social Communication Disorder
There are quite a few symptoms associated with social communication disorder. While the presence of one of these symptoms isn’t necessarily an indication that the disorder exists within you or your loved one, it is an indication that you or your loved one should seek professional help. A speech therapist can help you get to the bottom of your symptoms, and then help you to combat them.
Without further ado, the most prominent symptoms of social communication disorder are as follows.
1. Lacking Eye Contact
One of the most common symptoms of the disorder is a lack of eye contact. If you find yourself peering down or to the side while you speak with someone, you could very well be suffering from social communication disorder.
Note, however, that this is a symptom of other conditions as well. In fact, in some cases, it might just be a sign that you aren’t being forthright about something. All of that being said, if it’s a chronic symptom, you should consider seeking treatment.
2. Greeting Others Inappropriately
Another symptom of the condition is the tendency to greet others in inappropriate ways. For instance, some sufferers will fail to say “hello” to others who have just said “hello” to them. They might even act as if they’re ignoring the people who initially greeted them.
Other individuals might use nonsensical phrases for greetings, confusing those that they’re speaking to. At the same time, those individuals might use inappropriate hand gestures.
If your greeting style is unconventional in any way, social communication disorder could be present.
3. Failing to Alter Communication Styles
Communication is complex. The style of communication that a typical person might use on a construction site is different from what he or she might use in church. However, in those suffering from social communication disorder, these distinctions often don’t exist. In other words, they have one communication style, and it’s used for every interaction.
For instance, one individual might speak loudly regardless of where he or she is. He or she might even use foul language. This can come across as rude at times, but truthfully, it’s the core of the condition.
4. Talking Over Others
Another symptom is the tendency to speak over others during conversations. If you’re known as a chronic interrupter, social communication disorder could be at the root of the problem.
Make note, though, that the disorder is not always the cause of this behavior. Everything from absentmindedness to downright rudeness can cause one to be a chronic interrupter as well.
5. Utilizing Inappropriate Body Language
Body language irregularities are a sign of the disorder as well. Everything from overly-emphatic hand motions to a tendency to stare at the ground while speaking can be tied to this condition. A lack of body language can also be a symptom, particularly if it causes the affected individual to appear rigid or awkward.
6. Telling Stories in a Disjointed Manner
Those with social communication disorder often have trouble with storytelling. While they can usually recall and recite events, they have trouble piecing them together in a straightforward manner. As a result, their monologues often come across as scatterbrained, disjointed, and difficult to follow.
7. Failing to Stay On Topic
Another symptom is an inability to stay on topic. So, if you tend to veer off into other ideas while you’re in a discussion, you might have social communication disorder.
It’s important to note, however, that everyone does this from time to time. As such, it’s only a cause for concern if it’s a chronic habit.
8. Communicating Awkwardly During Conversations
Essentially any form of awkward communication can be a sign of social communication disorder. This includes saying words that don’t make sense in the context of a conversation, failing to make eye contact during a conversation, and looking disinterested during a conversation.
Treatment for Social Communication Disorder
Social communication disorder is a fairly new classification. As such, the exact treatment for it is still debatable. However, many believe speech therapy to be an effective tool.
Speech therapy is beneficial because it can help to pinpoint the sources of the disorder. Then, once these sources have been identified, they can be combated.
Generally, this condition is best treated when the affected individual is a child. Nonetheless, adults can benefit from treatment as well.
Participate in Online Speech Therapy
Do you feel that you or someone in your life might suffer from social communication disorder? If so, you would be well-served by participating in speech therapy.
If you’re in a remote location or are not interested in going to in-person therapy, you can instead participate online. We here at GreatSpeech have helped countless individuals to combat their speech issues from remote locations, helping them to improve their private and personal lives.
Contact us today to discuss therapy options!