Many children have difficulties in the area of social interaction which may be caused by lack of peer interaction, language delays, and or autism spectrum disorder.

Difficulties in social language are:
  • Delayed language development
  • Learning to talk by memorizing phrases, instead of putting words together freely
  • Problems with understanding questions, particularly questions involving 'how' and 'why'
  • Difficulty following conversations
  • Difficulty understanding nonverbal signals

Children with this disorder have problems understanding the meaning of what other people say, and they do not understand how to use speech appropriately themselves.

Pragmatics involves three major communication skills:
  1. Using language for different purposes such as:
    • Greeting
    • Informing
    • Demanding
    • Promising
    • Requesting
  2. Adapting or changing language according to the needs or expectations of a listener or situation such as:
    • Talking differently to a baby than to an adult
    • Giving enough background information to an unfamiliar listener
    • Talking differently in a classroom than on a playground
  3. Following rules for conversations and narrative (telling stories, giving books reports, recounting events of the day) There are rules for:
    • Taking turns in conversation
    • Introducing topics of conversation
    • Staying on the topic
    • Rephrasing when misunderstood
    • Telling a Story
    • Appropriate use of nonverbal signals in conversation
      • Distance between speaker and listener
      • Facial expressions
      • Eye contact

Rules may vary depending on language and culture