Pragmatic impairment (also known as social or pragmatic communication disorder) can be defined as any breakdown in the use of language across a range of communicative contexts. Deficits in the pragmatics of language pose a significant barrier to effective communication and can compromise social, academic, and occupational functioning. To mitigate these adverse consequences, individuals with pragmatic impairment are assessed and treated by Speech–Language pathologists. This entry examines the different etiologies that can cause pragmatic disorders and significant distinctions in the classification of these disorders. It also considers the contribution of cognitive deficits to these disorders and addresses how clinicians assess and treat pragmatic disorders.

The pragmatics of language involves a wide skill set, including the use and understanding of nonliteral language (e.g., metaphor, idiom); the introduction, ...

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