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4 Ways Language Disorders Can Affect Your Child’s Social Life

grade-schoolers-laughing-one-child-looking-sadLanguage disorders can make it hard for children to engage in the normal give-and-take of conversation. Depending on your child’s particular language issue, different social skills may be affected. Here are some common social challenges—and ways to help.

Social Challenge #1: Your child monopolizes conversations.The language link: Social communication disorder (SCD) often makes it hard for kids to understand the rules of polite conversation.

Tip: During conversations with your child, remind him to slow down and listen to you. Maintaining eye contact with your child can also help him develop turn-taking skills.

Social Challenge #2: Your child is quiet around friends.The language link: Expressive language disorder (ELD) is a condition that makes it hard to put thoughts into words. This causes some kids to become shy.

Tip: Use everyday activities to encourage conversation. For example, while grocery shopping, ask your child to discuss what he likes to eat and why.

Social Challenge #3: Your child doesn’t understand jokes or sarcasm.The language link: Children with SCD can be very literal-minded and have trouble interpreting tone of voice.

Tip: Watch TV shows together, and discuss the characters’ moods. Explain how you can sense a character’s emotions. This will help your child to learn to interpret nonverbal cues.

Social Challenge #4: Your child gets tongue-tied.The language link: Kids with ELD and mixed receptive expressive language disorder have trouble finding the right words.

Tip: Help your child expand his vocabulary. When introducing a new word, explain what it means, then use it in a context he’ll remember: “I need a vehicle to take me to the store.”

Having social issues on top of learning difficulties can take a toll on your child’s self esteem. But there are many techniques you can use to help your child develop stronger social skills—there are even ways watching TV can help!