What are the Symptoms of Social Communication Disorder?
by Janice Rodden, ADDitude
September 19, 2018

Social communication disorder (SCD) makes it difficult to communicate with other people in social situations. It is a relatively new condition, first recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V) in 2013.

Many symptoms of SCD overlap with those of other conditions – like autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or learning disabilities – which often complicates diagnosis.

If you think you or a loved one might have symptoms of this condition, watch this video to learn more.

What is Social Communication Disorder?
Social communication disorder (SCD) is a developmental condition that impacts a person’s ability to participate in social settings, develop relationships, and perform well at school or work.

It was previously considered part of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but its symptoms now merit a standalone diagnosis.

People with SCD struggle, specifically, to shift their communications to fit different circumstances. The following may seem out of sync or inappropriate in some situations:

  • Tone of voice
  • Pitch
  • Volume

People with SCD may also fail to:

  • Use gestures like waving or pointing
  • Talk about emotions
  • Take turns when talking
  • Stay on topic
  • Ask and respond to relevant questions
  • Make and keep friends

In children, early warning signs include:

  • Delay in reaching language milestones
  • Low interest in social interactions

SCD can occur alone, or alongside another condition – like ASD or a learning disability.

Screening involves interviews, observations, and questionnaires completed by parents, teachers, or significant others.

Learn more here: Social Communication Disorder: Symptoms Similar to Autism