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Importance of Assessing Social Pragmatic Abilities in Children with Language Difficulties

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You’ve received a referral to assess the language abilities of a school aged child with suspected language difficulties. The child has not been assessed before so you know you’ll need a comprehensive language test to look at the child’s ability to recall sentences, follow directions, name words, as well as perform a number of other […]

Assessing Social Communication Abilities of School-Aged Children

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Recently, I’ve published an article in SIG 16 Perspectives on School Based Issues discussing the importance of social communication assessments of school aged children 2-18 years of age. Below I would like to summarize article highlights. First, I summarize the effect of social communication on academic abilities and review the notion of the “academic impact”. Then, I go over […]

What Does “Their Social Skills Are Just Fine” Really Means When it Comes to Children with Language Impairment

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As a frequent participant in a variety of speech pathology forums I’ve read through countless “mini scenarios” of SLPs asking for advice regarding various aspects of therapy service provision for children with average IQ and language impairment (characterized by weaknesses in the area of listening comprehension, language processing, vocabulary acquisition, sentence formulation, as well as conversational […]

Friend or Friendly: What Does Age Have To Do with It?

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In my social pragmatic language groups I target a wide variety of social communication goals for children with varying levels and degrees of impairment with a focus on improving their social pragmatic language competence.  In the past I have written blog posts on a variety of social  pragmatic language therapy topics, including strategies for improving […]

Improving Emotional Intelligence of Children with Social Communication Disorders

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Our ability to recognize our own and other people’s emotions, distinguish between and correctly identify different feelings, as well as use that information to guide our thinking and behavior is called Emotional Intelligence (EI) (Salovey, et al, 2008). EI encompasses dual areas of: emotion understanding, which is an awareness and comprehension of one’s and others emotions (Harris, 2008) and emotion regulation, which […]

Teaching “Insight” to students with language, social communication, and executive functions impairments

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One common difficulty our “higher functioning” (refers to subjective notion of ‘perceived’ functioning in school setting only) language impaired students with social communication and executive function difficulties present with – is lack of insight into own strengths and weaknesses. Yet insight is a very important skill, which most typically developing students exhibit without consciously thinking […]

What if Its More Than Just “Misbehaving”?

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Frequently,  I see a variation of the following scenario on  many speech and language forums. The SLP is seeing a client with speech and/or language deficits  through early intervention,  in the schools, or in private practice, who is having some kind of behavioral issues. Some  issues  are described as mild such as  calling out, hyperactivity, impulsivity, […]

Simplifying Testing Results to Understand the Student’s Difficulties

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Oftentimes explaining testing results in the form of standard scores, percentiles, and charts is labor-intensive for the SLP and confusing for parents and ancillary  professionals. Furthermore, just because you show testing results does not always ensure that the ramifications of testing are fully understood, especially when it comes to performance of high functioning students with […]

Dear School Professionals Please Be Aware of This

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I frequently get  emails,  phone calls,  and questions from parents and professionals  regarding academic functioning of internationally adopted post institutionalized children.  Unfortunately despite the fact that  there is  a  fairly large body of research  on this topic  there still continue to be numerous misconceptions regarding how these children’s needs should be addressed  in academic settings. Perhaps […]

Updated: The risk of social emotional deficits in language impaired young children

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In recent years there has been an increase in infants, toddlers and preschoolers diagnosed with significant social-emotional and/or behavioral problems.  An estimated 10% to 15% of birth-5 year-old population experience serious social-emotional problems which significantly impact their functioning and development in the areas of language, behavior, cognition and school-readiness (Brauner & Stephens, 2006). (more…)

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