What is a Social Communication Disorder (SCD)?
Social Communication involves the harmonic interplay of social interaction, cognition, and pragmatics, and receptive and expressive language processing (Adams, 2005, p. 182). The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), proposes that social communication disorder manifests when individuals experience difficulty with any or all of the three unique linchpins of social communication: social interaction, social cognition, and social-pragmatic language (verbal and nonverbal such as body stance, movements or gestures, volume or tone of voice, facial expressions, eye contact).
ASHA also maintains that “other conditions (e.g., psychological/emotional disorders and hearing loss) may also impact social communication skills. In the case of ASD, social communication problems are a defining feature along with restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior. “Social communication challenges can result in far-reaching problems, including difficulties with shared enjoyment, social reciprocity in verbal and nonverbal interactions, play, peer interactions, comprehension of others’ intentions, emotional regulation, spoken and written narratives, and literacy skills”.
But take heart, scores of individuals with Social Communication Disorder have overcome their challenges with social interaction, social cognition and social-pragmatic language. Indeed, the intricacies of social communication can be learned by motivated individuals who are at the very least, “willing to be willing” to dedicate themselves to the process.