This presentation will provide participants with a full understanding of the Theory of Mind and how it relates to Asperger Syndrome/High Functioning Autism. This concept can help explain why many individuals with this diagnosis act the way they do.
Participants will learn of Baron-Cohen's attempt at assessing the Theory of Mind through the "Sally-Anne Test" and why this testing technique often creates a false negative allowing one to assume the skill is present when in reality it isn't.
You will understand why this test doesn't provide the necessary information needed to address the core social deficits of this population. You will learn how perspective taking is a fundamental concern when treating Asperger Syndrome/High Functioning Autism.
Participants will be provided with the latest research in Theory of Mind as it relates to how individuals with this diagnosis think and believe. It will describe the difficulty these individuals have in attributing mental states in context and help participants understand why prompts are critical for positive change for appropriate social behavior to occur. It will describe symptoms related to faulty Theory of Mind with special emphasis on paranoia, understanding emotions, predicting the behavior and emotional states of others, understanding perspective taking, inferring the intentions of others, recognizing that one's behavior impacts how others think and/or feel, joint attention, social conventions, as well as differentiating fiction from fact.
At the completion of this presentation, you will be able to view your clients diagnosed with Asperger syndrome/High Functioning Autism in a different manner. You will be able to develop strategies to help them achieve success, not only in your office, but also in any social setting. Learning how to develop the skill of social awareness is critical for generalization to occur. How one develops this skill is a major focus of this presentation.
Why should you Attend: Ultimately, we learn social skills by being shamed. When a three year-old child has an itchy butt, he simply reaches back and scratches. It doesn't matter who is nearby. He has an itch and it needs to be scratched. Eventually the child gets older and realizes that if he is observed, the likelihood is high that he will be ridiculed.
He doesn't want to be ridiculed and so he begins to realize that people are making judgment calls about him based on how he acts. This cause-effect concept is the basis for social awareness. Everything else in the field of social skills falls within this concept. People can and do, make judgment calls about other people. They base these judgments on what a person does or does not do.
In the field of counseling, a heavy emphasis is placed on how you feel about things. Unfortunately, the individual diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome/High Functioning Autism does not realize the importance of this scenario in the schema of social acceptance. "You shouldn't make fun of me! I needed to scratch my butt!" This is the reply often used by these individuals.
They fail to put the onus where it belongs - on them. Treatment must help these individuals understand the reality that no matter what they think, people will judge them. So how do you want people to judge you, positively or negatively? The choice is yours.
This session will provide you with evidence based tools to do just that.
Areas Covered in the Session: