When a child shows signs of issues with social interactions because they are having difficulties using verbal and non-verbal language for the purpose of socializing, it is possible they may have social communication (pragmatic) disorder or SCD. Children with this condition often have difficulty with social perception, social interaction and pragmatics. The DSM-5 used to group this condition in with Asperger's Syndrome until its 2013 update, which aimed to more accurately define SCD so that medical professionals could provide more targeted treatment. SCD can impact children across several environments where they must interact with others. Thus, it's critical to know the signs and symptoms of SCD. Here are some key signs and symptoms you should know:
1. Making and Keeping Friends is Difficult
If you notice that your child is having a difficult time maintaining friends or having issues making friends at all, then it's possible she may have SCD. Start by asking your child to name a few friends, explain why they are friends and discuss the type of activities they do when they are together. By inquiring about her friends and her interactions with them, you will gain more insight and understanding on how she is communicating with them.
2. Your Child Doesn't Understand Humor
Humor is also a tough concept for children who have SCD. That's because those with SCD have a rather difficult time understanding metaphors and jokes. If you notice your child is watching a show that includes jokes children would typically find amusing but she doesn't react to it, it's possible she may have SCD.
3. Your Child Struggles During Conversations
It's important to take note of the conversations your child has to determine if he is struggling when he speaks. One way to recognize this is when your child abruptly changes from verbal communication to non-verbal communication. Someone with SCD has a hard time keeping the flow of conversation going and may even change the topic to something that doesn't relate to what the conversation is about. They may even keep the conversation short.
SCD can make interacting with others a challenge. However, you can quickly identify if your child has the condition by knowing the signs. By being able to know the symptoms of SCD, you can catch it early so you can get the help your child needs through early intervention. To learn more about why our whole-child approach is the most effective way to help your child, contact us online or find a center near you.