Social and Communication Difficulties

Children with social and communication difficulties have problems with getting on with other people and understanding what other people mean. Like other children, every child with social and communication difficulties will be different.

What are Communication Difficulties?

Communication is not just what people say to each other with words. It is also body language, facial expression and the tone of voice. All of these things combined are communication.

Many people with communication difficulties may find it hard to understand the meaning you put into your voice, for example the tone of your voice. They may find it difficult to understand the messages we give to each other without speaking, such as the expression we have on our face or a gesture like waving, pointing or shrugging our shoulders.

What are Social Difficulties?

Taking turns can be very challenging to a child with social difficulties. This can often make it hard to make or keep friends and join in games. Many children will struggle with eye contact, knowing when to give eye contact and knowing when to look away to not make someone feel uncomfortable as it may appear that they are staring.

It may also be difficult to understand what other people are thinking or feeling. Many children will find it difficult to see things from someone else’s point of view. This can make children with social difficulties appear selfish or uncaring. They may do things which seem out of place, such as talking in a very loud voice to the person who is standing right next to them or talking continually about things that interest them to someone they have never met before.

These kinds of social difficulties need to be addressed carefully. Take the time to use social stories of visual symbols to work through these situations and guide the child into what is seen as appropriate behaviour.

Children with social and communication difficulties can become very frustrated when they do not understand situations; sometimes they hit out or find it hard to understand what other people are feeling. They may not understand that they have hurt other people.

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