Social Communication

What do we mean by Social Communication?

Social communication is about being able to communicate functionally and appropriately within social situations by using non-verbal means (e.g. gesture, signing or pointing) and/or verbal means (e.g. vocalising or speaking). It encompasses being able to make requests and greet people, as well as adapting communication according to who you are talking to. At a higher level it includes conversational skills such as staying on topic and taking turns. It also includes supporting your conversation with non verbal skills, such as facial expression and gesture.

Social communication

Social Interaction


Accessing learning and coping with change

Online resources available to support with social communication

  • - National Autistic Society
  • – a research-based educational approach and multidisciplinary framework that directly addresses the core challenges faced by children and persons with ASD and related disabilities, and their families.
  • – videos and workshops available on Facebook by Gina Davies, creator of Attention Autism.
  • - free topical vocabulary, guidelines and other resources available from Makaton, the language programme that uses symbols, signs and speech to enable people to communicate.
  • - daily videos, songs and stories using Makaton signing.
  • – Free 21 day trial of Widgit Online to create, print, share and translate symbol material online.

Coronavirus Specific Resources

  • A digital book for primary school age children, free for anyone to read on screen or print out, about the coronavirus and measures taken to control it.
  • Covibook – an interactive resource compiled in order to support and reassure children aged 7 and under. It is designed to help children explain and draw the emotions that they might be experiencing during the pandemic.
  • Place2Be – Guide to helping parents answer questions from their children and to support family wellbeing.
  • Young Minds - Talking to your child about Coronavirus and 10 tips from their Parents Helpline to support family wellbeing.
  • This freely accessible and easy to navigate blog post puts together some selected resources.
  • These links from trusted sources have been grouped by age to make it easier for you to find age-appropriate information for your child/ the child you are supporting.
  • Mencap – easy to read guide to Coronavirus.
  • A special edition podcast about helping children with autism during this time of great upheaval.

Social Stories about Coronavirus

Alternative and Augmentative Communication