Do children with Autism lack the understanding of others minds?
Autistic disorder is a long term disorder which has characters such as unresponsiveness to others, low communication skills and behavioural repetitive patterns. Autism mostly affects boys, five in every 10,000 children are affected from this disorder. Even the adults who have high function rates, have difficulties with communication, relating to others and repetitive actions.
Children’s understanding of other peoples mind is connected to the Theory of Mind. Theory of Mind refers to children’s ability of comprehend others mental state and their own mind and to differentiate between false beliefs. Researches have shown that between the ages of 3 and 4 children are developing the necessary skills for the Theory of Mind, and even before this they have some understanding of others moods.
In Theory of Mind we see that children with normal development have a special set of skills called the Executive skills which oversee and manage their cognitive function of brain. This skills are use do organise, sequence, sort, relate, differentiate and many other processes. With these skills children learn to plan and understand the world as well as other people in their life.
Deficiency of Theory of Mind would cause for a child to have a small depth of other people’s mind. This is also referred to, as mind-blindness. This proposes that children have a very difficult time to see things from other person’s point of view. How their own or the others behaviour could cause something else.
When a person is having a conversation, we use or analyse the context and behaviour of the other to understand the meaning of what they are trying to say. We also put ourselves in their position, which is very difficult for children with autism. They can’t comprehend that others might have different sort of beliefs other than their own. This is called the false beliefs. For this Baron-Cohen designed a false belief test....