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Individual Therapy

Each child has a unique set of circumstances and concerns, that are taken into account during therapy. Birth and medical history, second and third language learning, specific diagnosis (e.g. ASD, Aspergers, ADHD, Apraxia, OMD), and the child’s individual personality help to shape the therapeutic process.

Parents play an integral role in therapy, and are encouraged to join the sessions.

Both face-to-face and teletherapy sessions are available.


Social communication, or pragmatics, refers to the way in which we use language within social situations. It has three components:

  1. The ability to use language for different purposes (e.g. to greet, to inform, to command, to request, to protest, to share ideas or information).
  2. The ability to adapt speech, language, and behaviour to meet the needs of the listener or situation (e.g. talking differently to a baby versus an adult, talking louder when there is lots of noise, being aware of the listener’s knowledge and giving more, or less information when needed).
  3. Following the “unspoken, hidden” rules of conversation and storytelling (e.g. taking turns in conversations, looking at the speaker, standing at an appropriate distance from the speaker, using facial expressions and gestures).

Social communication (pragmatics) is important in order to be able to build social relationships with other people. It is also important academically, as many curriculum based activities rely on working in groups and communication between peers.

Persons with pragmatic difficulties may not know how to gain the attention of others, or may do so inappropriately. They may not stay on topic, dominate a conversation, or seem as if they are not listening. They may have difficulty understanding another person’s point of view. They may not ask for clarification when they haven’t understood, or modify what they said to be better understood. They may have difficulty looking at and attending to the speaker, or may look too intensely at the speaker. They may not have an awareness of personal space.

People with social communication issues may find making and maintaining friendships, or interacting with colleagues in a work environment, a challenge. Individuals with pragmatic disorders are often perceived as ‘rude’.

The following chart outlines the typical development of social communication:

alisa green
alisa green
alisa green



0-18 months

  • Brings objects to an adult to show them.
  • Tries to gain attention by using sounds, gestures, grabbing others by the hand.
  • Waves to say hello or goodbye, or says the word “bye”.
  • Requests things using gestures, sounds or words (e.g. reaches for the crackers in the cupboard).
  • Protests by shaking head, vocalizing or pushing away an object.
  • Comments on an object or action by getting the adult’s attention, pointing, vocalizing or saying a word (e.g. pointing to the dog and saying “woof woof” with the intention of showing the dog to the adult).
  • Looks at the speaker or responds with facial expression, vocalization or words when someone speaks.

18 months – 2 years

  • Uses words or short phrases for various language functions (e.g. greeting: “hello”, “bye bye”; protesting: “no”, “mine”; making a statement: “Mommy car”; giving a direction: saying “ball” while pointing for you to get the ball).
  • Uses phrases like “What’s that?” to get attention.
  • Names things in front of other people.
  • Engages in verbal turn taking.

2 – 3.5 years

  • Can take on the role of another person within play.
  • Engages in a greater number of turns within interactions with others.
  • Begins to recognize the needs of other people and will speak differently to a baby versus an adult.
  • Acknowledges their communication partner’s messages by saying things like “yeah”, “ok”, “mm”.
  • Begins using language for fantasies and make believe.
  • Requests permission to do things (e.g. “Mummy, can I please go outside?”).
  • Begins to correct others.
  • Is able to engage in simple story telling and is beginning to infer and guess at what might happen in a story.

4 – 5 years

  • Can use terms correctly, such as ‘this’, ‘that’, ‘here’ and ‘there’.
  • Uses language to discuss emotions and feelings more regularly.
  • Uses indirect request (e.g. "I'm thirsty", to request a drink).
  • Stories are developing and the child can describe a sequence of events (e.g. “The man is at the bus stop and he is going to get on the bus and then he is going to go to work”).

5 – 6 years

  • Narrative development continues and the child is now able to tell a story with a central character and a logical sequence of events, but still may have difficulties with the ending (e.g. “Once upon a time there was a girl named Sally who has a sister and they like to play jump rope. One day …….”).
  • Beginning to make threats and can give insults.
  • May praise others (“Well done, you did it”).
  • Beginning to make and keep promises (e.g. “I promise I will do it tomorrow”).