The Theory of Mind

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What is the Theory of Mind?

The Theory of Mind

The Theory of Mind recognizes that people with autism have difficulty understanding that other individuals have different thoughts, interests and feelings than they do. The autistic individual assumes that everyone experiences and thinks the same as he does. The Theory of Mind may explain why an individual with autism seems to lack empathy. The autistic person does not lack empathy because he is indifferent but because he is simply unaware of the other person's perspective and emotions. There are ways to help an individual with autism recognize the unique feelings of others. Using social stories is a great approach for building understanding that other people have different feelings. Emotion drills in discrete trial can also be used to explore feelings. The therapist can present scenarios that can be explained and the therapist can use images of faces showing different emotions and have the child choose which face goes with which situation.



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