Social Pragmatics for Autism
and Down Syndrome

Does your loved one have difficulty communicating and interacting with others?

Help improve their quality of life through speech therapy.

Help Them Build Relationships
with Friends and Family

Many disorders that affect brain functions also affect fundamental speech and language skills needed for social interactions. While people with ASD and Down Syndrome could be diagnosed as children, they may need continuous support as the challenge persists till adulthood.

There may also be cases where camouflaged symptoms or lack of understanding of the disorder can lead to people and their loved ones thinking that these social quirks are normal. In some cases, the disorder was not addressed at all, even with a diagnosis. All hope is not lost for these people, even as an adult.

If you would like to help your loved one…

to be willing to communicate with others

build relationships with the people around them

use language effectively in their daily lives

… speech therapy can assist. Treatment and practice is never too late for bringing confidence to your loved one in social environments.
What is Autism in Adults

What is Autism in Adults?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (or called as ASD or simply Autism) is a complex developmental brain condition. It is called a spectrum because of its wide range of symptoms and impacts.

There is no one known cause for autism. It may develop from a combination of genetic, nongenetic, and environmental factors. Because of this, every person with ASD may display different set of symptoms and need different levels of support.

Autism is not only treated or addressed during childhood. Adults with autism also need help and support. Unaddressed ASD in adults may lead to decreased communication skills and other disadvantages. This affects their way of living, both in their careers and personal life.

Autism is not something that doctors treat outright. However, therapy can help reduce ASD symptoms. Autistic individuals can interact better with their environment with speech therapy interventions.

What is Autism in Adults
What is Down Syndrome in Adults

What is Down Syndrome in Adults?

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by a difference in one’s chromosomes. It is the best-known and most common chromosomal disorder.

Chromosomes help makeup a person’s characteristics. Each person is born with 23 chromosomes from each parent with a total of 46 chromosomes. A person with down syndrome is born with an extra chromosome.

Persons with Down syndrome usually display some physiological differences. Changes in their brain development can also lead to varying levels of intellectual disability. Due to these challenges, Down syndrome can challenge someone’s social skills especially for adults.

Therapy helps improve their communication skills, social skills, and intellectual abilities. These bring out their unique talents, confidence in their daily life tasks, and ability to thrive.

Why is it hard for people with Autism or Down Syndrome to communicate?

Since ASD and Down syndrome affect the brain, they also affect someone’s ability to communicate. There are a lot of factors in play for people with ASD and Down syndrome.

People with autism often have restricted interests and prefer to live in their own world. This leads to difficulties in understanding social cues and expressing themselves. They could also be overwhelmed with sensory input such as sounds, including voices.

For people with Down syndrome, delayed cognitive development can affect their communication. Poor articulation and speech intelligibility also occur due to lack of muscle tone and control.

It is important to understand that language problems display differently for each person. They experience varying difficulties in functional, social, and occupational aspects of their lives. And this is why along with language development, social pragmatics is also a valuable skill that speech and occupational therapy can support.

The Value of Social Pragmatics

The Value of Social Pragmatics

Social pragmatics refers to the way we use language to interact with others. This includes everything from what we say to how we say it.

Our tone and body language can say a lot more than our words. Showing interest, knowing when and when not to talk are also crucial for social pragmatics.

People with Autism and Down syndrome need guidance and evidence-based practice in social pragmatics. With the right support, they can communicate their needs, build relationships, and improve their overall wellbeing.

Here are examples of language development activities and interventions for adults:

Social scripts

Roleplaying and practicing scripts can detail what to do or say in social situations. These scripts can guide them in internalizing appropriate behavior and responses.


Games that encourage talking and collaborating like board games or charades can help make learning more fun.

Social Groups

Online and offline social skills groups can provide a thriving social environment. A speech-language pathologist or occupational therapist may also moderate their social interactions.

The Value of Social Pragmatics


How Apheleia Speech Therapy Can Help

Online speech therapy will help bridge your communication difficulties with your loved one. With your speech therapist, you can help bring out their confident and best selves.
Apheleia Speech Therapy
Speech Therapy for Social Communication
Our speech language pathologists will guide your loved one through online activities. They will build treatment plans to develop their social communication and language skills. We will also give you feedback and instructions on how to help your loved one outside of our sessions.
Lauren Templeton - Apheleia Speech Therapy
Lauren Templeton

Owner & Speech-Language Pathologist

Get Started and See How it All Works

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