Social communication is how and why we use language to interact with other people. There are many reasons why someone might have trouble with social communication. Speech-language pathologists, or SLPs, can help. To find an SLP near you, visit ProFind.
We all make decisions about communication based on where we are, who is around us, and why we are communicating. We learn how to make these decisions by being taught directly (like being told to say “please” when asking for something) and through experience (like noticing when someone isn’t interested in what you’re talking about). The ability to make communication decisions like these is called social communication.
We learn unwritten rules of social communication from our families, friends, and community. There isn’t a right or a wrong way to communicate, but over time, we learn how to adjust what or how we say something.
Knowing and using these rules makes communication easier. We hardly ever have to think about the rules once we’ve figured them out. Everyone is a little different from each other, but some people may have trouble learning and using these rules. If social communication problems are getting in their way, an SLP can help.
If someone has trouble using the social communication skills listed below, an SLP might be able to help if the person or their family would like to work with them. There are three major skills involved in social communication:
Every culture—and even every family—can have its own set of rules. Even different groups of friends might have their own set of rules. These rules are usually not written down, so it can be difficult to know how to act in different situations.
SLPs work with children and adults who have difficulty with social communication by supporting communication with others in various places such as at home, at school, or at work. SLPs might work with someone one-on-one or in a group. Below are some examples of social communication in action that SLPs may help someone practice:
Remember, these are just examples—the ways we communicate with others are so complicated that it’s impossible to put them all in one list. A hearing screening may be performed to better understand hearing levels, and the results may help the SLP tailor their treatment to the person’s individual communication needs.
To find an SLP near you, visit ProFind.