chapter  10
27 Pages

Mind Reading and Social Functioning in Children with Autistic Disorder and Asperger’s Disorder

WithCheryl Dissanayake & Kathleen Macintosh

The inability to represent and reason about the mental states of others has been viewed as a core feature of individuals with autism ever since Baron-The Cohen, Leslie, and Frith (1985) first charted this deficit. There is now a wealth of evidence confirming this impairment in a theory of mind (ToM) among those with a diagnosis of autism (see Baron-Cohen, 2000, for a review), and wide consensus as to its utility in explaining many of their manifest social difficulties (Baron-Cohen, 1989; Baron-Cohen, Tager-Flusberg, & Cohen, 2000; Frith, 1989; Happé, 1994). Nonetheless, there has been a surprising lack of work directly investigating the association between ToM and social functioning in individuals with autism.