Ask Experts Questions for FREE Help !
Ask
    heartyangelgirl's Avatar
    heartyangelgirl Posts: 14, Reputation: 2
    New Member
     
    #1

    Jan 15, 2018, 04:08 PM
    Autism and theory of mind?
    So we have this thing called "theory of mind" which basically means the ability to see that others have beliefs, intentions and perspectives that may be different from your own and to put yourself in their shoes, something which is said to be lacking in people with autism and Aspergers'. However, I find it inconsistent that "neurotypicals" who supposedly have a stronger theory of mind and can skilfully put themselves in the shoes of others could hold such a negative attitude towards these people and can't understand how their minds work. Does anyone get what I'm saying?
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,770, Reputation: 5427
    Jobs & Parenting Expert
     
    #2

    Jan 15, 2018, 04:26 PM
    I'm not sure what you mean when you say NTs "hold such a negative attitude toward" autistic people and those with Asperger's. One of the characteristics of autism is lack of empathy. That doesn't mean that autistic people are mean or have no feelings and emotions. Part of lacking in empathy has to do especially with poor social connections and experience. Here's something from Wikipedia:

    Theory of mind appears to be an innate potential ability in primates including humans, that requires social and other experience over many years for its full development. Different people may develop more, or less, effective theory of mind. Empathy is a related concept, meaning the recognition and understanding of the states of mind of others, including their beliefs, desires and particularly emotions. This is often characterized as the ability to "put oneself into another's shoes".

    NTs don't "hold a negative attitude." Why do you think that?
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
    Pets Expert
     
    #3

    Jan 15, 2018, 04:28 PM
    I don't know a single person that has a negative attitude for people with autism or aspergers etc. Who are these "neurotypicals" that have a negative attitude towards these people?

    As for understanding how the mind of someone with autism or aspergers works, no one other than someone dealing with autism or aspergers, knows how their mind works, and no two people with autism or aspergers are the same, so the person with autism or aspergers can only really know how their own mind works, not how others with the same coniditon work. Just like no one knows how my "neurotypical" mind works. No one can truly ever know how someone else feels or how their mind works, it's not possible. Just like no one can truly know how someone else feels about something.

    Being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes is more about having compassion for their situtation, and feeling sad because you feel like you know how you'd feel in the same situation. But you really can never put yourself in someone else's shoes because we're all different people that react differently to situations.
    heartyangelgirl's Avatar
    heartyangelgirl Posts: 14, Reputation: 2
    New Member
     
    #4

    Jan 15, 2018, 05:00 PM
    Well I suppose I can't say that all neurotypicals hold a negative attitude towards people with Asperger's' and autism, some have become very accepting of them in fact, but some do remain ignorant as to how the person with Asperger's or autism experiences the world. As an example, and this is just one example in one case of a person with Asperger's because I do agree with your point about no two people with autism being the same and such, but say if this person has a narrow topic of interest that most others would not find particularly interesting and then talks about it at length, why doesn't the "neurotypical" person in question make the effort to listen to them and take an interest in what they're saying the way they would with anyone else? If they supposedly have a stronger theory of mind and can skilfully put themselves in other people's shoes, then why can't they put themselves in the shoes of the person with Asperger's and genuinely appreciate that they have a passion for something entirely different from what they're generally interested in? Like they will just put a negative spin on the whole interaction and just assume that the person with Asperger's is just being rude and deliberately not giving them the chance to throw a word in so to speak instead of just considering for a minute t"Oh she is such an interesting person, I like her and it's so awesome she knows a lot about her passion, I feel like I've learned something new today!" If the neurotypical person is supposed to have really good listening skills and able to understand that people have interests and beliefs that are different from their own, then why won't they make the effort to listen to the person with Asperger's for as long as it takes without giving off signals that they are bored and annoyed with the other person?
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 53,915, Reputation: 10852
    Expert
     
    #5

    Jan 15, 2018, 05:32 PM
    why won't they make the effort to listen to the person with Asperger's for as long as it takes without giving off signals that they are bored and annoyed with the other person?
    Is it any different that most humans without autism or Asperger's get the same reaction from other humans for the same reasons you have cited? Some humans are just more accepting of others, that are different in some ways, than other humans. It almost seems to me that all humans have a degree of autism and many other conditions, though it's not been OFFICIALLY diagnosed that way.
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
    Pets Expert
     
    #6

    Jan 15, 2018, 07:03 PM
    If someone is going on and on and on and on about a topic that I have no interest in, then I will listen in the beginning, but after a prolonged amount of time I will cut them off and ask that we discuss something else. Nobody I know has enough patience to sit there and listen to something they find uninteresting for a long period, and no person should have to if they don't sincerely want to. That has nothing to do with not accepting someone with aspergers, but has to do with people being busy, stressed, and not able to sit for hours listening to a topic they have absolutely no interest in.

    It's a lot like this site. I don't answer every question posted, but every person that posts thinks their question is important, and should be read and answered. But I don't know everything and can't answer every post, and then there are just subjects I have no interest in and therefore I avoid them. Life is too short to spend long periods on things that don't interest you.

    That doesn't mean that I don't respect the people posting, or that I don't think their question is imortant or interesting, I just have to pick the ones that interest me the most because I'm busy, I have a life, a family, responsibilities, and I don't want to waste my time on things that don't interest me. And no one should have to, no matter what the other person is going through. Aspergers doesn't mean that everyone has to go out of their way to make you feel special and heard, and those that don't shouldn't be labeled as haters.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,770, Reputation: 5427
    Jobs & Parenting Expert
     
    #7

    Jan 15, 2018, 07:17 PM
    If someone (e.g., my husband and older son, both of whom have Asperger's) go on and on about a topic (e.g., husband: the weather; son: the Peloponnesian War), I listen for a while, ask a few questions, then gently and carefully steer the conversation to something related or to a timely topic.
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
    Uber Member
     
    #8

    Jan 16, 2018, 03:08 PM
    Fact of the matter is.. the world doesn't bend over backwards for people without issues.. and its not responsible for doing so for people that do. As was mentioned most people give others somewhat of a break, but nobody really has unlimited time or patience for people they aren't friends with or related to.

    Has absolutely NOTHING to do with being rude or uncaring... it has everything to do with having way too much to deal with that they DO have a degree of responsibility for, or an established relationship with.

    Example... I'll entertain questions from just about anyone, I'll generally take the time to give them a well thought out answer, but I won't spend hours helping them understand it... because I don't have unlimited time or attention to devote to them... and like most people.. I tend to give those I have a closer relationship with more of my attention and my time. Its not about being rude, or having a lack of empathy, its all about time management. Its an exercise in futility to worry about things you have no control over... especially when it detracts time from those things that you do. I like most others however do NOT go out of our way to be rude towards those with issues. Lack of time does not = lack of empathy.

    Your priorities are not everyone else's , and vice versa. Everyone has their own.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
    current pert
     
    #9

    Jan 17, 2018, 06:12 PM
    ''....why doesn't the "neurotypical" person in question make the effort to listen to them and take an interest in what they're saying the way they would with anyone else? If they supposedly have a stronger theory of mind and can skilfully put themselves in other people's shoes, then why can't they put themselves in the shoes of the person with Asperger's and genuinely appreciate that they have a passion for something entirely different from what they're generally interested in?''

    You took a huge leap there. They CAN put themselves in the shoes of the Aspie, but choose not to. Empathy, caring, considerateness - all the traits you hope for may be either lacking or selectively lacking, e.g., they may go home to a schizophrenic whom they love very much, but who is annoyingly obsessed with a whole bunch of other concerns, and they are just plain tired. Heck, maybe they are in a lot of pain and are thinking about themselves at the moment. You are expecting a rigidly defined group, when the world just isn't rigidly defined.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
    current pert
     
    #10

    Jan 18, 2018, 09:22 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Wondergirl View Post
    If someone (e.g., my husband and older son, both of whom have Asperger's) go on and on about a topic (e.g., husband: the weather; son: the Peloponnesian War), I listen for a while, ask a few questions, then gently and carefully steer the conversation to something related or to a timely topic.
    So sweet and funny!
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,770, Reputation: 5427
    Jobs & Parenting Expert
     
    #11

    Jan 18, 2018, 01:11 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by joypulv View Post
    So sweet and funny!
    Thanks, joy!

    We have humidifiers running all through the winter, digital thermometers set up throughout the house, total silence is in force when the TV weatherman is on, the appropriate clothing and equipment are readily available for whatever weather has been forecast, drapes and curtains are open wide so we can actually see the weather changes, and we have morning and afternoon discussions about past/present/future weather predictions throughout the world.

    I want to get the Peloponnesian kid on "Jeopardy." He's a truckload of arcane facts and trivia from history, religion, culture, geography, science, and literature. Hopefully, math WON'T be a category on the "Jeopardy" board.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
    current pert
     
    #12

    Jan 18, 2018, 03:45 PM
    Good thing you don't live in NW CT. I am in a very unpredictable little spot, because the prevailing weather west to east either takes a deep dip south right at my house (LOL), or it swoops gently into and across MA. Plus there is no national weather station near me, so I have to take the local weather news with a grain of salt. They are getting better though. And I read what NOAA says each month around the 24th.

    My very brainy ex had a life long dream of being on Jeopardy, easily passed the 1,000 question written test, went to the mock contest, but was rejected based on his demeanor. They said he looked nervous or something. Too bad! One of those people who knows everything. (Oh except when I first met him, I found out that he didn't know what a yeast infection was, so I didn't feel intimidated.)

    Please do help the Pelo Kid try out!

Not your question? Ask your question View similar questions

 

Question Tools Search this Question
Search this Question:

Advanced Search

Add your answer here.


Check out some similar questions!

String theory or tibe theory [ 3 Answers ]

Are we on the verge of something new Plasma tubes in the sky: Cleo Loi proves existence of phenomenon Has our understanding of the universe suddenly changed? The question is are there really tubes out there?

String theory and M-theory [ 4 Answers ]

What are the basic ideas behind the string theory? What about the M-theory : how advanced is it? Is it the truly unifying theory we all wish to see?

Bohr theory vs modern theory [ 2 Answers ]

Can someone explain the differences between the bohr and the modern atomic theories in the description of the electron Thanks :p


View more questions Search