As a speech therapist, one of my primary areas of focus is helping people communicate more effectively. Social communication is an essential part of effective communication. Most of us don’t even realize we are paying attention to the social factors of conversation. For most of us it is just second nature to change our volume when we are talking inside versus outside. Or to change the way we talk to adults versus children. Most of us know that people have a personal space bubble and we shouldn’t get too close when we are talking to them. We can understand emotions and facial expressions, body language and sarcasm. Most of us recognize that other people may have different thoughts or opinions than we do. We know that we have to take turns while talking and that we need to say on topic for what is being discussed. However, for people who struggle with social communication these things are very difficult and can make conversation and interaction almost impossible.
If you know a child or adolescent who is struggling with the social interaction aspects of communication, call the clinic and make an appointment for a speech therapy evaluation.
FIVE SIMPLE WAYS TO PRACTICE SOCIAL COMMUNICATION
1. RETELLING STORIES
We talk about what characters are feeling, why they reacted the way they did or how they solved a problem. We discuss figurative language and sarcasm. We use experiences of characters to work on topic maintenance and thinking about what someone else might think that is different from what we are thinking.