What is Social Communication?
Social communication is a set of verbal and nonverbal skills that one utilizes in order to navigate relationships in work, life, and academia.
Pragmatics is a big word used when describing social communication. It’s the subtle nuances and unspoken rules that make up a language, such as the use of facial expressions, hand gestures, and turn taking. Also included as aspects of social communication are syntax (sentence structure when speaking) and semantics (meaning/implications).
These are skills that are developed over time and through the observations of those around us. From a very young age we start learning about what’s acceptable and appropriate when speaking, and what’s not.
Why It’s Important
For students, social communication skills are integral in students getting involved on campus, as well as developing relationships with fellow classmates and professors. Students learn how to be active listeners, stay on track in conversations, ask questions comfortably in class, know when to change the conversation path, know how to decline and initiate social invitations, develop interview skills, and discuss their concerns with peers.
The role of social communication is just as important in the workplace. Our students learn to become “team players”, know when to speak in meetings, understand what behavior is appropriate in a work setting, and learn how to talk to others depending on their role or status (e.g. customers, bosses, etc.). Having a good grasp of social communication skills can lead to social inclusion and healthy career.
How We Teach Social Communication
We work with students on a one-on-one basis through in person or virtual coaching sessions, usually between 1 to 5 hours per week. Each program is customized for the individual. We begin our work by meeting each student where they are, building a trusting and supportive relationship between our staff and families, with a focus on individualized goals and objectives. We use the backdrop of real life activities, experiences, and environments to teach independence, social communication skills, and problem solving in the moment.