Difficulty diagnosing social communication disorder

With detailed analyses of over 200 children, Ash and colleagues attempted to find reliable tools to diagnose S(P)CD* as distinct from autism spectrum disorder or language disorders, but were unable to identify a distinct diasnostic profile unique to S(P)CD. They state that, “the inclusion of S(P)CD in the DSM-5 framework occurred before empirically validated measures were available to identify the disorder.” However, within their analyses they did find some significant differences between the socioemotional profiles of boys and girls, only some of which are currently accounted for in our diagnostic tools. This emphasizes a need for more research on how to best account for sex when measuring the pragmatic skills of our young clients.

Ash, A.C., Redmond, S.M., Timler, G.R., Kean, J. (2016). The influence of scale structure and sex on parental reports of children’s social (pragmatic) communication symptoms. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/02699206.2016.1257655

*Social (pragmatic) communication disorder [S(P)CD] is a pragmatic disorder, not attributable to autism, language disorder, or other known disorders or medical conditions.