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Theory of Mind and the Triad of Perspectives on Autism and Asperger Syndrome A View from the Bridge

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Book - Theory of Mind and the Triad of Perspectives on Autism and Asperger Syndrome A View from the Bridge

by: Olga Bogdashina

About the author:

Olga Bogdashina, MA, PhD, is Co-founder and Programme Leader and Lecturer at the International Autism Institute, KSPU. She has worked extensively in the field of autism as a teacher, lecturer and researcher. Since 1994, she has been Director of the first day centre for children with autism in Ukraine and President of the Autism Society of Ukraine. She is a visiting lecturer at universities in Europe, presents at national and international autism conferences and is an Autism Consultant for services for children and adults. She lives in West Yorkshire, UK.

ISBN: 978-1-84310-361-5

Year: 2005

Publication Info: 336pp


Inspired by the often uncomfortable interplay between autistic individuals, parents and professionals in understanding autistic spectrum conditions, Olga Bogdashina uses the concept of Theory of Mind (ToM) to consider these groups’ different (and often conflicting) perspectives.

ToM is the ability to imagine and make judgements about what others feel and think; its absence in autistic individuals is called ‘mindblindness’. This book addresses the ‘mindblindness’ of people united in their interest in autism but divided by their different angles and perspectives. Divided into four parts, the book first defines autism, then the views of the three main groups working with it – autistic individuals, parents and professionals – under the headings of classifications, diagnosis, causes, development, theories and treatment. By comparing and reconciling the different perspectives in this way, the book helps each group to understand and predict each other’s responses and behaviours.

This enlightening and innovative book offers a unique way of ‘stepping in each other’s shoes’ and is a valuable resource for all people living or working with autism.



Prologue: The Triad of Perspectives, the Theory of Mind and the Autism Jigsaw. How to use this book. Part 1: Autism as it is Officially Defined (External View). 1.1. Definitions and Classifications. 1.2. Diagnosis. 1.3. Causes. 1.4. Development. 1.5. Theories. 1.6. Treatments. 1.7. Miscellany: Thoughts to Share. Further Reading. Part 2: Autism from the Inside (Internal View). 2.1 Definitions and Classifications. 2.2 Diagnosis. 2.3. Causes. 2.4. Development. 2.5. Theories. 2.6. Treatments. 2.7. Miscellany: Thoughts to Share. Further Reading. Part 3: Autism: Parents’ Perspective. 3.1. Definitions and Classifications. 3.2. Diagnosis. 3.3. Causes. 3.4. Development. 3.5. Theories. 3.6. Treatments. 3.7. Miscellany: Thoughts to Share. Further Reading. Part 4: Autism: Professionals’ Perspective. 4.1. Definitions and Classifications. 4.2. Diagnosis. 4.3. Causes. 4.4. Development. 4.5. Theories. 4.6. Treatments. 4.7. Miscellany: Thoughts to Share. Further Reading. Epilogue: The APP Triad and the Theory of Mind. References. A contents list for `horizontal reading’. Index.



This book was written by a professional working in the field of autism as a teacher, lecturer, and researcher, who is also the mother of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The aim of the book is to improve the quality of life for those whose lives are touched by autism, that is, parents of individuals with ASDs, individuals with ASDs, and professionals who work with these individuals, and their families. This is achieved by providing an opportunity for them to “step into each other’s shoes and walk around for a while”. The author develops a theory of (different) minds (including a theory of autistic mind (To AM), from the familiar concept of theory of mind (ToM) that facilitations this process. The book provides a wealth of information on all aspects of autism thus providing a comprehensive guide for those new to autism and/or a valuable resource for those familiar with ASDs. In particular it provides a welcome addition to the relatively small corpus of literature written from the perspective of individuals with ASDs or Asperger Syndrome. The book is well researched and the sections on further reading particularly useful for those wanting to know more.


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