What is it?

Newly added to the DSM-5’s Communication Disorders section, SPCD refers to a "primary deficit" in both verbal and nonverbal communication used in social situations.
Such difficulties may include:
* inappropriate communication in certain social contexts
* difficulties with using language to socialize
* not knowing how to use and understand both verbal and nonverbal cues
* a lack of understanding regarding nonliteral language

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Signs & symptoms

SPCD symptoms may vary in type and intensity between individuals. Below are just some of the signs of SPCD:
* difficulties with adapting communication skills to different social contexts, such as greetings and initiating conversation
* inability to switch between formal and informal language
* problems with taking turns during conversations
* difficulties with using nonverbal communication techniques during social interactions, such as eye contact and hand gestures
* difficulty understanding nonliteral language, such as inferences, sarcasm, metaphors, and idioms made during conversation
* making and/or keeping friends

Having one or more of these symptoms doesn’t automatically mean you have SPCD. To be diagnosed with this communication disorder, the DSM-5 notesTrusted Source that the symptoms
must significantly interfere with:
* interpersonal relationships
* your ability to socialize
* work
* school


as the criteria in the DSM-5


Treatment for SCPD focuses on speech therapy given by a speech-language pathologist (SLP). SLP services are available for children in schools who qualify, and you may also obtain speech therapy in private practices.
While individual, one-on-one sessions are essential, group therapy can also help improve social pragmatic skills. Group therapies are also used in school settings. Some private practices may also offer group social skills classes.
Before you can begin treatment for SPCD, you must be screened and assessed by professionals, such as SLPs. These assessments may be provided in school, private practices, or both.
They will use a combination of:
* interviews (with yourself or parents, depending on your age)
* questionnaires
* self-assessments
* reports from teachers or caregivers
*hearing tests

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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