Children with social skills dysfunction have difficulty understanding and using the rules of social communication. They have a hard time understanding verbal and non-verbal cues. They also have a hard time responding to social cues. Social skills dysfunction is often present in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Children with these disorders usually have a hard time connecting with others. Some children withdraw from social situations. Some children with social skill issues may desire social interaction, but don't know how to interact appropriately.


  • Difficulty making and keeping friends
  • Poor use of nonverbal language, such as eye contact and body language, difficulty reading nonverbal cues in others
  • Difficulty starting and ending conversations, choosing appropriate topics, staying on topic
  • Expressing emotions inappropriately, difficulty regulating behavior
  • Difficulty understanding others point of view
  • Poor problem solving skills


Speech language pathologists may evaluate play skills, receptive/expressive language skills, problem-solving skills, and pragmatic language skills. Informal evaluations can reveal information about nonverbal and verbal communication skills.


Direct instruction to teach the rules of social interaction, role playing and modeling to practice skills, group activities for carryover.

Doctors that treat Social Skills Dysfunction:

  • Primary Care physician
  • Mental Health providers
  • Pediatrician
  • Speech Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist

Related Conditions: Autism, Aspergers Syndrome, Angelman’s and ADHD

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