What is Social Pragmatic Disorder?

Social Pragmatic Disorder is a way of saying that a child may be having trouble communicating with others and understanding them in a practical way.   Parents and teachers may notice that a child with this disorder is "ignoring" directions.  But, children with "social pragmatic disorder" may understand things literally and directly and not understand other ways in which we communicate.  Additionally, these children can have trouble understanding another person's point of view.  So, people can mistakenly think that the child is insensitive or misbehaving in school.  This is all part of the social pragmatic disorder, which can be helped with therapy.

Are there different types of social pragmatic disorder?

There are several different categories that children with a social pragmatic disorder may be included in.  Here are a few types of broad categories:


Autism is a broad term that may cover a wide range of social disorders.  There are various terms for people with autism or who have ASD (autism spectrum disorder).  Some terms are Asperger's Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome or Rett Syndrome.  All of these terms have to do with the type of autism a person may have.  A child with autism may have trouble communicating or understanding thoughts and feelings that are not factual or literal.  They may also have trouble with intellectual skills in some areas.

Some websites with more information are:



Non Verbal Learning Disorder

People with non verbal learning disorder often have great skills at speaking, memorizing and vocabulary.  This can be very helpful at school.  However, people with non verbal learning disorder can also have a hard time understanding others or being able to ask for help.  These skills are essential in preparing your homework and interacting with others at school.  These problems may become more evident when the child grows up into elementary school and homework and social skills become more and more important.


More information on non-verbal learning disorder can be found on these websites:



Semantic-pragmatic deficit disorder or Pragmatic language impairment

Children with this disorder may have trouble in understanding social situations and how to interact with others.  Many children with autism may have this disorder.  Children with this disorder may also repeat memorized phrases instead of coming up with original language, mix up "I" and "you", have trouble understanding questions or following conversations.

http://www.hi2u.org/visitors/spd.htm is a helpful website with more information on this disorder.

Therapy Tips...

There is also information available on helpful therapy tips to use in the home at: