The Client:

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), “Social communication disorders may include problems with social interaction, social cognition, and pragmatics.  A social communication disorder may be a distinct diagnosis or may occur within the context of other conditions, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), specific language impairment (SLI), learning disabilities (LD), language learning disabilities (LLD), intellectual disabilities (ID), developmental disabilities (DD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and traumatic brain injury (TBI).  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 Coaching (SCC),  LLC, exists to serve the social-pragmatic language needs of children through adults with Social Communication Disorder (SCD)_.  Typically social communication interventions have been most successful with clients who have at least an average to above average IQ and a documented, medical diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), High-Functioning Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome (HFA/AS), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  However, research and clinical outcomes data  increasingly support use of targeted SCC interventions for socially challenged individuals with SLI, LD, LLD, ID, DD and TBI.  

The Challenge:

Some of the more common social communication challenges faced by our clients included the following:

  • social anxiety
  • practicing flexibility
  • attending to the task at hand
  • understanding and adhering to generally accepted social communication rules including conventions of conversation
  • perspective taking (i.e., putting yourself in another person’s shoes, seeing things from another person’s perspective, etc.)
  • trouble “fitting in” at work, school and/or within their family dynamic; an inability to make and more importantly, keep friends
  • self-monitoring one’s academic performance or work-related productivity in order to appropriately plan, organize, manage one’s time, and effectively utilize resources to meet deadlines in a timely manner
  • difficulty regulating one’s emotions resulting in periodic “meltdowns” and/or self-imposed isolation both of which place an individual further at-risk for developing significant the relationships the majority of society appears to enjoy without incident.

The Approach:

SCC works best when individuals with SCD are in a small group with 2-4 other individuals who are at the similar points along the journey to developing appropriate and socially acceptable for the group members particular age range.  Every effort is made to place elementary, middle and high school students with group members who are no greater than 1 year apart in age with like social abilities and social challenges being the main factors in grouping.  For our adult clients, age is an important consideration but similar social abilities and social challenges are the prime factor in grouping.