Social Language


Social Skills are highly subjective from one social group to the next, and from one culture to the next. However, as a society, we can easily identify those people as having good or bad social skills. Many people learn by example of what is meant by being “socially intelligent” , while others of us are wired in such a way that social language isn’t second nature. Poor social skills are easily identifiable, but the definition and description of social language is rather vague. We often hear social skills as having good turn taking skills, good eye contact, recognizing emotions, reading non-verbal cues, topic maintenance etc. All of these descriptions are accurate, but they lack attention to a larger concept; that is, “ sharing space with others effectively, or adapting to others effectively across contexts”. (Winner, 2007) Many children, may excel in the areas of academia, but struggle to find friends and to keep them. We must also remember that a person cannot succeed on having average to above average intelligence alone, but must be able to relate to a variety of people across a variety of contexts.

What are some signs of having a social language delay?
  • Inability or difficulty taking the perspective of others
  • May have limited spoken language skills (but not necessarily)
  • Language is generally used to tell people what they want rather than sharing observations of
  • Difficulty with abstract language
  • Intelligence ranges from significantly below to significantly above average
  • Anxiety
  • Sometimes limited acknowledgment of those around around them
  • Sensory Challenges
  • Difficulty with transitioning tasks
  • Socializing isn’t a motivation
  • Limited abstract reasoning skills
  • Poor handwriting skills
  • Difficulty organizing
  • “no filter” in their speech
  • Seen as having “behavioral problems” or “emotionally disturbed”

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