Social Communication Skills

In order to communicate effectively, we need to develop social communication skills using both verbal and non verbal aspects of language.

The social interaction skills of the majority of students are refined during adolescence, and sarcasm is often used within the secondary classroom to communicate information and instructions. 

Students may:

  • Take things literally and misunderstand jokes - This results in them not understanding and they can become the subject of jokes. 
  • Have difficulty with generalisation - Some pupils don’t always realise you can make similar comments in different situations.
  • Misinterpret Tone of Voice -This could result in taking things literally, leading to confusion and distress.
  • Have difficult adapting to different situations/people - Some students do not know when it is appropriate to say something in one situation but not another.

This may have an impact upon the student’s behaviour if they are having difficulties with social communication, such as:

  • Become withdrawn and isolated from their peers
  • Appear rude or aggressive
  • Become reckless or easily led
  • Try hard to fit in
  • Find negotiation and conflict resolution very difficult
  • Struggle to form and sustain friendships

Certain situations may be particularly difficult for these students such as:

  • Group or pair work
  • Break times
  • Other unstructured times
  • Change of routine - new staff
  • Change of routine - trips/special days
  • Transition
Does the student have difficulty with…..YESNO
Initiating and maintaining conversations  
Making and keeping friendships  
Using the appropriate body language and eye contact  
Understanding idioms such as pull your socks up  
Difficulty understanding jokes  
Talking appropriately to a person dependent upon context  
Using and understanding facial expressions  
Group work  
Negotiation  
Slang  
Taking someone else’s perspective  

If you have answered yes to several of these questions, it is a possibility that your student has a social communication difficulty.

Did you find what you were looking for?

Please give us your name, email address and any comments you have.

Last updated: 27 December 2012

Bookmark with:

What are these?