Social Pragmatic Disorder Treatment: how a Speech Language Therapist can help

Social Pragmatic Disorder Treatment: how a Speech Language Therapist can help

When a child progresses in his or her development and continuously shows signs of communication issues, take heed. There are many reasons for this, most of which are worthy of investigation by parents especially for children 4 and over who show no remission of symptoms. A common communication disorder we would like to highlight on this page is social-pragmatic communication disorder.

Approximately 7.5% of the worlds population of children have this disorder, with males showing a higher prevalence over females. This is a fairly new classification for what was once known as Pervasive Prevalent Disorder (PPD) – Not otherwise Specified, under the umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Additionally, it used to also be classified under Communication Disorder – Not otherwise Specified.

Social Pragmatic Disorder Treatment

Below we will list the symptoms as well as a few suspected causes of Social Pragmatic Communication Disorder.

Individuals in general and children who have difficulties such as the following may be diagnosed as having social pragmatic communication disorder:

  • Introducing oneself socially or saying “hello”
  • Sharing details about themselves or sharing information on general things
  • Knowing how to adjust ways of communicating, based on the person with whom one is speaking. Eg. Child to parent, child to friend, child to teacher, child to stranger, etc.
  • Staying on topic within a conversation
  • Taking turns in conversations
  • Understanding nonverbal communication, facial expressions and gestures
  • Understanding use of indirect language and literary devices such as metaphors and personifications.

Causes of Social Pragmatic communication Disorder may include genetic susceptibility, a history of Autism Spectrum Disorder in the family, as well as histories of Specific Learning Disorder or Communication Disorder in  the family.

How is Social Pragmatic Communication Disorder treated?


The following are techniques and strategies used to treat Social Pragmatic Communication Disorder:

  • Social Scripts:

This technique is used in the beginning of speech language therapy for this disorder. Different conversation scenarios are practiced between the therapist and child with the aid of verbal and physical cue taught to the child. After some time, the child is made to rely less on these cues as he or she eventually learn correct responses to certain social situations and scenarios.

  • Social Stories:

Social stories are used to introduce children to complex situations and provide them with the preparation and communication skills necessary to successfully navigate these circumstances. These strategies also make for great communication between the therapist and child which is also an excellent opportunity for the child to explore their verbal repertoire and add new skills to it.

  • Small Groups centred on Score Skills Strategies

Usually a program done in a small group setting, this provides a platform to work on deficits involved in Social pragmatic Communication Disorder. This strategy focuses on five main areas of social behaviour: sharing ideas, complimenting others, offering help and encouragement, recommending changes and exercising self control.

SPD treatment Vancouver

If you are in the Vancouver area or its surrounds, be sure to visit Vancouver Speech therapy for assessment and help with your child’s Social Pragmatic Communication Disorder. Be also sure to read, research and be an informed and proactive parent, as early intervention makes a big difference in your child’s life.