Social Pragmatic Language Therapy

Humans are social creatures, yet skills for being social and forming relationships don’t come naturally to everyone. Some people lack pragmatic skills—the unspoken, subtle rules of spoken language that allows them to connect with other people.

Does your child have a hard time when talking with other children or adults, even though he or she speaks and hears just fine? Does he or she interrupt often or wait too long to talk? Your child just doesn’t seem to pick up on social cues or understand the give-and-take involved when people interact.

Children who struggle with pragmatics often don’t understand the basics of conversation: how to start one, listen, the phrase of a question, stay on topic and know when it is over.


If this sounds like your child, or if he or she has been diagnosed with a social communication disorder, our Social Pragmatic Language Therapy can help. Your child can develop the skills he or she needs to make friends and build healthy relationships.

What Is Social Pragmatic Language Therapy?

Our speech and language pathologists work with you and your child to design a treatment roadmap that meets his or her specific needs. We take a naturalistic approach to therapy – that is built around the idea that learning should be fun.

Goals are addressed through activities that are enjoyable and motivational to your child, usually in a play environment. Therapy goals, approaches, and treatment plans vary for each individual, depending on the specific needs of that person.

We offer both individual and group Social Pragmatic Language Therapy so that your child can learn and practice the skills he or she needs to succeed socially.

What Causes Pragmatic Or Social Communication Issues?

We don’t know for sure. Sometimes there are other things going on, such as spoken or written language disorders, ADHD, or developmental disabilities. But, other times the social and pragmatic issues occur on their own. Pragmatic/ social communication issues are a hallmark of Autism Spectrum Disorders and other conditions involving problems with multi-sensory processing. Because another common symptom of ASD is auditory processing disorders, at CTS we have observed that as auditory processing skills improve, social pragmatic language skills often improve as well. The same is common for adults and children who exhibit sensory processing disabilities. We find it effective to address the individual’s root issues of listening language and executive function deficits while supporting multi-sensory processing needs prior to addressing pragmatic language skills. Most individuals with social pragmatic language deficits have difficulty recognizing and imitating facial expressions as well as the movements of others. This makes predicting actions of others very challenging increasing anxiety and distancing from relationships. Improving predictive abilities often allows social pragmatic communication skills to emerge.


The important thing to remember is that it’s not your fault or your child’s. There is nothing you could have done to prevent your child from developing social communication or pragmatic issues.

But, there is hope. We can find a solution that works.

How Are Pragmatic And Social Communications Issues Evaluated?

We’ll use several different strategies during the evaluation to uncover the root cause. We’ll take time to understand exactly what will work for your child.

Our goal is to analyze his or her verbal and nonverbal communication skills based on what we see, what you tell us, and where appropriate, what your child’s school has observed. We may also test his or her speech and language skills to rule out any hearing or processing difficulties that could be getting in the way of his or her ability to communicate.

Areas impacting social pragmatic language skills include:

  • auditory processing skills for sequencing/ timing/ discriminating and localizing sounds
  • speech and language understanding and production skills
  • moving in synchrony to outside visual and auditory stimuli
  • specific social pragmatic language skills for perspective taking, draw conclusions and making predictions
  • imitating skills for body movements and facial expressions
  • executive function skills for awareness, engagement, working memory, emotional inhibition, focus and attention, and handling multiple inputs with responses

Find Your Miracle With CTS Dallas

We are on the cutting edge of speech and language therapy and have been for decades. Our founder, Jane Shook, is well-known for her innovative and highly effective approach to treatment.

Jane has developed cross-disciplinary treatments that combine the best approaches from speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. Her strategies also include elements of psychology, social work, art therapy, biomedical treatment, functional neurology, and developmental optometry.

At CTS Dallas we adhere to Jane’s credo that a wise teacher makes learning fun. Our therapists are among the most competent, compassionate, and dedicated in the country.

Let’s Find A Miracle Together