Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder (SCD) is a relatively new diagnosis introduced to the DSM-5 in 2013. Prior to its inclusion, many individuals with SCD would not receive diagnoses of any kind, nor supports, or may have been diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS).

Common Traits of Social Communication Disorder:
Difficulty with verbal communication, such as:
-Taking turns in conversation
-Understanding greetings & small talk
-Changing voice level in new contexts
-Monologuing & oversharing

Common Traits of Social Communication Disorder:
Difficulty with nonverbal communication, such as:
-Reading between the lines in conversations
-Understanding jokes & figures of speech
-Communicating with gestures
-Making & sustaining eye contact

Some individuals may feel as though they relate to the social-communication traits of autism, but not the repetitive movements or desire for structures. If so, SCD may be a diagnosis to explore with a licensed professional.

In fact, the DSM-5 assessment for autism takes SCD into mind before diagnosing a person with Autism. The DSM-5 states that “individuals who have marked deficits in social communication, but whose symptoms do not otherwise meet criteria for autism spectrum disorder, should be evaluated for social (pragmatic) communication disorder.”

Keep in mind that since SCD is a newer diagnosis, many professionals may not yet be familiar with the condition. As such, if an individual wants to explore the possibility of SCD, it may be helpful to provide print resources for your doctor, therapist, or psychologist.

Sources: SpectrumNews & Manhattan Psychology Group, PC

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