The Developmental Social-Pragmatic Model helps children with autism to reduce development delay and improve their communication through interactions between the child and the therapist. In this model, the therapist identifies the child’s interests and makes changes in the treatment accordingly. There is a limit of age too which varies in accordance to the type of therapy that is used. It helps children enhance their social interactions and makes communication easier for them with minimum interruptions. The way the child responds depends on the way their parents or therapists speak to them. Developmental Social-Pragmatic Model emphasizes more on the communication purpose, rather than what is being communicated. It helps the child overcome their development delay, which may include lagging behind in their social, motor and communication skills.
What Causes Development Delay?
There are various reasons that lead to development delays in children. It might be caused by heredity or genetic conditions, or if the child is deprived of food or the environment that is required by them. Serious infections or any injury to the brain might also lead to such deficits. Sometimes, exposure to a toxic environment which consists of harmful substance(s) might also be the cause. The signs or symptoms of the delay can be seen at different age levels. Some common symptoms that are indicative thereof might include:
- Slow learning and developing in a child than other children of the same age group
- Not doing actions- like walking, or sitting- at a level that are appropriate at the respective development stage
- Having problems in interacting or conversing with others
- Facing difficulty in talking or speech delays
- Inability to remember things
- Difficulty in connecting actions with results
- Facing trouble in learning at school
- Incapable of doing daily tasks on their own, rather needing help to perform them, like brushing hair
How is the Developmental Social-Pragmatic Model Practiced?
Developmental Social-Pragmatic Model is a behavior therapy approach, which is used for children with mental challenges and speech delays. This model is usually practiced at the child’s home, where parents or therapists implement relevant therapies. This approach can take several years depending on the goals determined for the child. A setting is created which attracts the child or makes him happy. A usual example is of a play area which includes the child’s favorite toys. Parents typically use multiple tactics to help their child respond in an effective manner, which can include the following:
- They could put the child’s much loved toy on a high shelf or at a place that is out of reach. The child will feel the need to interact with their parents to ask for that toy.
- Parents should respond to every communication effort put in by the child, no matter how s/he communicates. They should give the toy to the child whether they point, cry or speak up for it.
- Parents could also use other ways of communication, which would make the purpose more clear.
- They could also use words that articulate their feelings and the child’s thoughts about it. This would help the child in identifying emotions and how to communicate in different scenarios.
- Parents could interact with the child at their level and progress with it, time by time, based on the level of the child’s development.
Is the Developmental Social-Pragmatic Model Effective?
Previous researches have concluded that there was an improvement in children’s speech after communicating with the therapists as well as with the parents. It has showed that a developmental social-pragmatic approach helped children in overcoming the difficulties that they have been facing while communicating with others. Various language therapies play a vital role in helping children to reduce their speech delays. This model focuses on enhancing the efficacy of children’s social skills, so that they are able to convey what they want.
This therapy is encouraged by the professional team at Small Steps Big Dreams in Dubai, UAE as well. of course, the level of treatment varies from child to child depending on the complexity of their condition. As such, a combination of behavior therapy and educational therapy can help the child to minimize the development delay they may be facing.