chapter  2
32 Pages

Theory of Mind and Asperger's Syndrome

Psychologists describe children and adults with Asperger's syndrome as having impaired theory of mind. The term originates from a study of the chimpanzee by Premackand Woodruff (1978); who described Theory of Mind (ToM) as the ability to attribute independent mental states to self and others to predict and explain behavior. In the 1980s the term was used by developmental psychologists Leslie and Morton, who suggested that young children have an innate mechanism that enables them to think about and distinguish between the real world and thoughts. Frith and Baron -Cohen, colleagues of Leslie and Morton, first started to apply the concept of ToM to children with autism.