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Social communication needs or Autism Spectrum Disorder

Communication is more than just the words we say to each other. Children with social communication difficulties may struggle with:

  • Interacting with other people
  • Switching their attention between people and activities
  • Understanding and using eye contact, facial expressions, body language
  • Listening and paying attention to the world and people around them

To help your child develop their social communication skills:

  • Special time: spend 10 minutes a day with your child playing with a toy/activity of your child’s choice.
  • Reduce background distractions where possible. Turn off the T.V and try to find a quiet space.
  • Let your child take the lead. If they choose the activity / toy, they are more likely to have fun, pay attention, and learn.
  • Try to wait for your child to look at you before you say something
  • Comment on your child’s play using simple language.
  • Encourage all attempts at communication, whether it is a sound, eye contact, a gesture or a point.
  • WAIT – LOOK – LISTEN! Remember to ‘look before you leap’ and follow your child’s interests.
  • Slow down the pace of play and interaction, allowing for silence whilst your child decides what they want to do next.

Further advice on how to support your child’s social communication skills is available in our
How to support your child's social communication skills

Some children with social communication difficulties may have a diagnosis of Autism.

You may find the following links helpful:

Local support groups:

Shepway Autism Support Group: covering Folkestone, Hythe & the Romney Marsh

Groups, activities and information: