Signs and symptoms of social communication disorder include deficits in social interaction, social cognition, and pragmatics (see ASHA’s resource on
components of social communication [PDF]).
Specific behaviors affected by social communication disorder depend on the individual’s age, his or her expected stage of development (see ASHA’s resource on
social communication benchmarks [PDF]), and the communication context. Some examples of behaviors affected by social communication disorder include
- using appropriate greetings;
- changing language and communication style based on setting or partner;
- telling and understanding stories;
- engaging in conversation (e.g., initiating or entering a conversation, maintaining the topic, taking turns);
- repairing communication breakdowns (e.g., rephrasing when misunderstood);
- using appropriate verbal (e.g., prosodic) and nonverbal (e.g., gestures) signals to regulate an interaction;
- interpreting the verbal and nonverbal signals of others during an interaction
- understanding ambiguous or figurative language;
- understanding information not explicitly stated (inferring); and
- making and keeping close friendships.
Variations across all areas of social communication occur within and across cultures. Differences related to cultural norms are not considered disorders.