Speech Therapy

Semantic Pragmatic Disorder

Usage of social language which is also called pragmatics is quintessential in everyone’s life. Semantic pragmatic disorder can occur in adults who have suffered a stroke or an injury to the brain, in children who have not yet mastered their social skills completely and in individuals who suffer from communication problems.

Pragmatics: Let us first observe the major communication levels that one needs to master in order to avoid semantic pragmatic disorder.

Firstly, usage of language. When people speak, it is based on the situation that one needs to modulate his/her style of speaking. The various situations where one uses language are-

  • greeting – wishing good morning or good bye, saying a hello et.
  • informing – intimating about the action that is going to be performed
  • demanding – an authoritative wish for something
  • promising – letting the listener understand that the task is going to be done
  • requesting – a pleading tone

Secondly, change of language. Depending on the listener’s capacity, one would want to modulate his/her tone and speech. For instance,

  • when one speaks to a baby, the kind of voice used is completely different to that of an adult
  • when the listener is unaware of a particular situation, one changes his/her style of statement in order let the listener know what is happening
  • children at classroom speak differently when compared to their speech at home

Thirdly, rules of language. Depending on the situation or depending on the topic one is speaking about, speech variances occur. Like,

  • taking turns during a conversation
  • introducing a topic
  • sticking to a topic
  • facial expressions

Depending on the country and the background that one comes from, the above skills would supposedly vary.

Problems with Pragmatics: Any kind of inappropriate usage of the above three skills would suggest that one would be suffering from a semantic pragmatic disorder. For instance,

  • including unwanted topics in a conversation
  • misuse a particular pattern of speech
  • lack variety while using the language

Children would possess pragmatic problems because they lack the experience to judge or assess a particular situation. But, with age, the child starts learning and begins to mould his/her speech.

In case, problems persist, the child should be checked for any related disorder.

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