About SMC

At SMC Speech Pathology based in Moonee Ponds, Melbourne, we pride ourselves on providing a quality service. Our aim is to improve the quality of life for all children who require support be it for a simple lisp or for a more severe disability. We strive to provide evidence based practice and care above and beyond what is necessary or expected. We are approachable and always willing to listen to parents/guardians, as your thoughts, feelings and expertise as a parent are always welcome.

Pragmatic Language

What is pragmatic language?

Pragmatics refers to a child’s ability to use language in context in real life situations. Pragmatics may sometimes be referred to as a child’s social skills. Children with pragmatic difficulties may have trouble:

  • turn taking
  • introducing topics of conversation
  • maintaining topics of conversation
  • adequately using eye contact
  • using appropriate body language and facial expression
  • requesting
  • greeting i.e. saying hello and goodbye


A child’s pragmatic language skills may be affected by the person they are speaking to, the time, the environment and the context.


Children with pragmatic language difficulties will often need some help to correctly read social situations and make appropriate and socially accepted choices. 


Is it possible to have a pragmatic language delay without having a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder?

Yes it is. While all children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have pragmatic language difficulties, this alone does not subsequent a diagnosis. A number of different characteristics are needed for a diagnosis of ASD.