What is symbolic dysfunction
Not medical advice: Symbolic dysfunction is more commonly known as social impairment. It may manifest in a number of ways involving speech and other forms of social interaction.
A person with such a condition may experience a lack of ability to initiate and/or terminate a conversation, as well as difficulty with other forms of communication such as body language. Many of these characteristics are also seen in subjects with Autism.
Social impairments themselves have been widely recognized in many fields. Such deficits range from early social markers, called communicative functions/intents, to more advanced social skills.
Newborns and infants show an interest in people, seek eye contact, and cry to get attention. These early precursors are the building blocks to higher social communicative skills.
Social impairments may involve the more basic precursors such as establishing joint attention with a communicative partner, turn taking in simple mother-child interactions (vocal play) or demonstrating overall reciprocity in interaction. Basic skills for such acts as requesting objects/actions, giving, calling attention, commenting, and showing may be reduced or absent.
To learn more, see http://www.childspeech.net/u_iv_k.html
Good news! Microsoft launches a program to hire people with autism. Find out more at CNET.