There are rules for how we use language in different situations and different groups of people. Children may have difficulties with these social communication rules and require speech and language therapy. Social communication skills include three major skills which are using language for different reasons, changing language for the listener according to the situation, and following rules for conversation and storytelling. Using language for different reasons could include greetings, informing, demanding, promising and requesting. Changing language for the listener includes talking differently to a child than an adult, giving more information to someone who does not know the topic and talking differently in different environments. Following rules for conversation and storytelling include taking turns to talk, letting others know the topic when you begin speaking, staying on topic, trying to say something differently for better understanding, using gestures / facial expressions / eye contact and body language. All these aspects of social communication are essential for proper communication with others.
A child with social communication problems may exhibit the following: