Social communication is the term used for using language in a social context. This involves social interaction, cognition, and language processing.
Communication disorders affect these skills and can prevent you from:
- being able to communicate effectively
- understand the perspective of others
- and respond to verbal and nonverbal social cues.
Without the development of these skills, it can be very difficult to function in social situations.
Fortunately, there are things that you can do to improve these skills. Read on for a more in-depth look at communication disorders and learn what treatments are possible.
What Are Communication Disorders?
If you have difficulty using verbal or nonverbal language to communicate, then you may have a disorder and need treatment.
So what does having difficulty mean?
If you aren’t able to communicate your points in an appropriate way, it may impact every aspect of your life.
Another hallmark of these disorders is the inability to tailor a conversation to a specific social setting. Instead of altering the way you communicate to get a point across, you might fail to make sense to the listener.
This can happen when someone with a disorder doesn’t follow the traditional rules of conversation, is ambiguous, or doesn’t understand what’s stated.
While social communication disorder is bad enough on its own, there are many other diagnoses’ that present it as a symptom.
- Developmental Disabilities
- Learning Disabilities
- Expressive Language Disorders
- Receptive Language Disorders
- Attention Deficit Disorder
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Right-Hemisphere Brain Damage
Intervention options for communication disorders focus on two things. First, they take advantage of the strengths of an individual’s social communication. They also address their weaknesses.
Treatment allows an individual to take part in more activities and learn new skills and strategies to cope with their disorder.
Treatment planning starts with recognizing that everyone needs a support system and identifying who it is. This support could come from friends or family.
Treatment is then tailored to take into account the norms and values of people your age in your area.
A carefully created plan addresses the specific needs of the individual in a variety of different environments.
For treatment to be effective, it has to be a collaborative and universal effort.
Let’s take a look at some of the methods used to treat communication disorders.
Whether it’s modifying existing behavior or creating new practices, behavioral intervention therapy is a great way to respond to communication disorders.
The practice relies on the principle of identifying the desired behavior. The practice gradually brings the desired behavior into practice with selective reinforcement. The reinforcement fades as the behavior develops and becomes more natural.
Your peers are also a great place to look for help in improving your social skills.
With someone to show you how to manage social interactions, you will learn how to respond to a wide variety of different circumstances.
Online Speech Therapy
Using technology to learn social skills and vocab may not seem natural, but it simulates interactions. Technology helps users learn to interact with others in the privacy of their own home.
The best web-based programs offer both traditional and video-based instruction options. With video, instructors demonstrate a model of the desired behavior. Instructors can then provide real-time corrections for students.
Social Skills Strengthening Activities
There are a lot of different techniques used to develop social communication skills. Research and refinement have gone on for many years.
Let’s take a look at some of the programs that have had the most success.
Comic Strip Conversations
This therapy begins by illustrating a conversation taking place between two or people in a comic strip format.
In the drawings, you can see both what people are saying and doing and what they might be thinking.
As the participant begins to illustrate the conversation, they process the imaginary interaction.
Drawing is a slower process than traditional speech. The comic book practice lets those with disorders slow down and consider the conversation.
Score Skills Strategy
Score Skills Strategy is the name of a social skills program you can do in a small group.
It focuses on five parts of social behavior:
- Sharing Ideas
- Complimenting Others
- Offering Help and Encouragement
- Recommending Changes
- Exercising Self Control
In this therapy, a communication professional mediates group conversations. The therapist corrects any missteps as the group continues to interact.
Social Communication Intervention Project
In the school system, children who need pragmatic and social communication skills development can take part in a program called the Social Communication Intervention Project.
This is a long-term trial taking place targeting 6-11-year-olds. The study investigates the effectiveness of other various speech therapy options.
For children who are beginning, scripts are often used in therapy to help the child navigate through a conversation.
Both the verbal and physical cues that are correct are written into the script to be imitated by the child. Over time, the scripts are used less and less as more natural behavior and communication patterns begin to form.
Stories are a great way to explain complex social situations and help someone with a communication disorder. They help students learn the proper response.
While this technique has helped children with autism for some time, it’s a new addition to mainstream speech therapy practices.
Where to Go for Online Speech Therapy
Now that you have a better understanding of communication disorders and the methods used to address them, you’re ready to work towards being a better communicator.
Start today. Visit us online and schedule a free consultation for live, interactive, and individualized speech therapy services.