The Characterisitics of Autism:
- inactivity or hypersystematising
- poor speech development
- lack of social imagination- difficulty imagining what will come next.
- problems with social interaction- problems interacting with others and understanding or expressing emotions.
- problems with verbal (use of informal language, failure to get jokes) and non-verbal (no eye contact, touch, gesture) communication
- inappropriate emotional response
- specialism in certain intellectual tasks (savant syndrome)
- difficulty in forming relationships
Autism is diagnosed through DSM 4.
There are two explanations to the cause of autism:
1) Theory of mind- Cognitive explanation:
Theory by Baron-Cohen (1997)
- idea that social problems could be explained by the way a child percieves themselves and others
- people without autism can understand that others think differently and have different feelings from ourselves
- Baron-Cohen believed autistic children lacked this. This is called 'mindblindness'
Baron-Cohen (1985) adapted a study to test the theory of mind in 20 autistic children- The 'Sally-Anne task'
Concluded that autistic children seemed not to have…