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Communication Begins with Children

A Lifespan Communication Sourcebook

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Edited By Thomas J. Socha and Narissra Maria Punyanunt-Carter

Communication Begins with Children: A Lifespan Communication Sourcebook seeks to transform the field of communication, arguing that the field must stop neglecting and segregating children and instead adopt an age-inclusive lifespan approach that fully includes and fully considers children in all communication theorizing, research, and education from infancy and throughout the human lifespan. One-size-fits-all, adult-centric communication theorizing, researching, and educating is inadequate and harms the communication field’s potential as a social force for positive change for all communicators. The volume contains four sections (Foundations, Relational Communication Development, Digital Communication Development, and Navigating Developmental Communication Challenges) that showcase state-of-the-art chapters about the history of children’s relational and digital communication studies, methods used to study children’s communication, media literacy development, communication and children’s health, and much more. A must read for all communication researchers, educators, and students and an important addition to advanced and graduate level human and digital communication courses.

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14. Social (Pragmatic) Impairment: The Impact on Communication Development: JASON S. WRENCH, WENDY BOWER

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The Impact on Communication Development

JASON S. WRENCH

SUNY New Paltz

WENDY BOWER

SUNY New Paltz

The chapter examines the current state of research related to social (pragmatic) impairment and its relationship to children’s communicative behaviors. Social pragmatic communication disorder (SCD) is a relatively new diagnosis included in the Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5, 2013) by the American Psychiatric Association. This diagnostic category was recently added and intended to clarify confusions about pragmatic disorders not included specifically in the diagnosis of autism and to recognize individuals who have significant problems in using verbal and nonverbal communication in social interactions but who are not diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or intellectual deficit.

Currently there is much debate about whether social pragmatic disorder is simply a part of the autism spectrum, whether it defines all children with high functioning autism, whether it characterizes many communicative disorders, or is an entirely separate condition. At the moment, much confusion surrounds the use of this terminology at the convergence of neurology, psychology, communication studies, and speech and language pathology. As noted, recent changes in the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual (DSM V, 2013) have resulted in a definition of Social Pragmatic Communication Disorder as a language impairment characterized by a persistent difficulty with verbal and nonverbal communication that cannot be explained by low cognitive ability. Symptoms include difficulty in the acquisition and use of...

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