Theory of mind

Rita Jordan (1999) stated that 'it is not just that children with autism do not understand what others are thinking and feeling but that they do not understand that they are thinking and feeling' (cited by Cumine, Leach and Stevenson 2000) - they are not capable of putting themselves in someone else's shoes or even of realizing that other people are wearing shoes! (This saying would cause my boys to don my shoes and prove me wrong.)

This lack of'theory of mind' in autistic children seems to impact many areas of their lives - indeed it impacts many areas of their parents', carers' and teachers' lives too! One ofthe ways it affects Luke

(and therefore the rest of us) is that he seems to presume other people know what he is thinking and feeling. It is almost as though because he is lacking insight into other people, he has no ability to separate us as individuals. If Luke has pulled a muscle at Taekwondo, he will go around and ask everyone if their leg hurts. If Luke decides to go to the library after school or stay in the IT room, he presumes we know where he is because he does (though Luke assures me that he has never been lost because he always knows where he is.) More about Luke in Chapter 6.

Autism

Autism

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