Can a 5 yr old with AS answer 2nd order theory of mind ?

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cvam
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13 Jan 2011, 7:34 am

My 5 yr old answered this correctly and since he did it within 2 seconds, it didn't look like a logically arrived response.. I play acted the scenario with action figures so there were a lot fewer words said.

Based on what I read on this board, the aspie traits are accentutated with age, and we will know in due course of time. My dilemma is that I have to change immediate plans radically depending on whether the dx is accurate.



aann
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13 Jan 2011, 9:10 am

I am a NT, kinda math oriented, and did not find it hard to follow. I did come up w/ a different - very NT - answer. I just put myself in Tom's position. I know I would go back to the zoo, all the time wondering if Sam or his mom had seen the balloon man and knew he had moved. Upon not finding either at the zoo, I'd trudge up to the fairgrounds.

Cvam, I think using action figures makes is really easy to follow and to answer! I use stuffed animals to teach my Aspie son many things, especially social stuff. Works great, as you have found.



angelbear
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13 Jan 2011, 9:15 am

If your son was able to pay attention long enough to go through the whole scenario, I would say you are in pretty good shape. I honestly do not think my 5 yr old would be quiet long enough for me to explain the story. My son does however have an extraordinary memory. He remembers names of people we met when he was 2 years old. He can look at pictures of people that we met when he was 2 and tell me their names. I think he may have a photographic memory for faces.

Anyway, every case of AS is different, so your son will have many gifts and abilities. but will probably have deficits in other areas. Only time will tell. I know you want to plan for your son's future, but this is going to be tough to do. It sounds like he is a pretty bright kid, so I would give him the benefit of the doubt and start saving for college. With my son, I honestly have days when I think there is no way this kid will ever be able to live independently, and then the next day he will do or say something that will change my mind. So I am just being cautiously optimistic, and saving for his future. He will either use the money for college, or it will go towards his living expenses.

There is really no guarantee for the future for any child. No one is promised tomorrow. Even an NT child's life can be cut short or they can go off on a bad road no matter how smart they are or how much you do for them. So my advice would be to just learn as much as you can about AS and how to work with your son to be the best that he can be. There could be a chance he was misdiagnosed, but I would bet that the doctor had good reasons to diagnose him. Just because he does not fit one of the criteria does not mean he doesn't have it. For instance, my son makes excellent eye contact and enjoys being around other people (mainly adults) He also does not rock or bang his head or walk on his toes. But, he still has it because he has a deficit in communication skills and social interaction with his peers. He also has no problem with very loud noises. In fact, I think he enjoys certain ones.

So I guess my point is, that whether your son has AS or not, obviously he has areas of concern, or you would not have sought a diagnosis. So, I would just learn to work with him on everything that is an issue for him.

Best of luck to you, and I hope you will be able to make good decisions for your son. As the parent of a child with AS, I can say, it is not always a picnic, but it can be done!



momsparky
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13 Jan 2011, 10:49 am

Zur, thank you for the heads-up for the teen years 8O I would not be expecting that outcome; it seem like a logical progression, though logical - so it's good for me to know to keep an eye out for it.

My personal theory on Theory of Mind: my son misses all the cues that people give off that indicate what they might be feeling or thinking, but he's aware that other people somehow have information. He's a pretty logical little guy. Therefore, if people can interpret what he's thinking or feeling without asking him, and if they can interpret what other people are thinking or feeling without asking them - I can see where he'd assume they somehow can access everything he is thinking and feeling.

Near as I can figure, Theory of Mind mostly means that an aspie kid might assume you know what's going on inside their head without them explaining it, but keep in mind it's just one possible symptom out of many. If you are worried that you aren't offering the correct interventions for your child, the thing to check is - do the interventions you are working with seem to help? For years we were confused by my son's diagnosis by the school, but what we did see was that if we offered him all the typical accommodations for kids with Aspergers, his ability to manage school improved dramatically.

After all, a diagnosis should mostly be about what you are going to DO (a good diagnosis also tells you why you should do that.)



cvam
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13 Jan 2011, 10:27 pm

Angelbear, thanks for sharing your fears and concerns. I guess the vast majority here have similar ones. When I look at my 5 yr old playing with his trains, I only dread what *might* be in store for him. I think the most important skill we can teach our aspies is coping with life's frustrations. That is where I believe NTs really have a huge advantage over aspies.



angelbear
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14 Jan 2011, 11:07 am

I know CVAM----some days I just wonder how will my son ever learn to interact properly with his peers. He gets the basics like saying "hello" and "goodbye" and "thank you" But for him to ever understand all of the intricacies of a social relationship, hmmmm. I also feel like I overprotect him because he is so fearful around groups of children. At school, he has been in special ed, so he has been in a protective bubble. I would love to see him in a mainstream class, but I am not sure how he will handle it. He is so sweet and loving to us, but I know that other kids look at him sometimes as odd, and that just breaks my heart.

For right now, I have a handful of children that we try to be around from time to time and we mainly do it on a one on one basis. He is okay with that, but running around on a playground with 20+ kids, just don' see it happening any time soon. Yesterday we were at McDonald's. I always give him a choice if he wants to sit in the main area or in the kids section. Surprisingly, he always chooses the kids section. He will sit and eat and behave pretty normally, but he will not play with other kids. As soon as we were finished eating, he said he was ready to go.

It does break my heart that he doesn't really have friends, but I am hoping in time that he will be able to find a child that he can connect with. In the meantime, we just keep working on things as best we can.



CrinklyCrustacean
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03 Feb 2011, 4:19 am

Sorry, I couldn't resist digging up this thread. I guessed the fairgrounds, but for a completely different reason than the rest of you:

If Sam was heading back to the zoo then Tom would have met him halfway, therefore it is logical for Tom to conclude that Sam has met the balloon man and headed to the fairgrounds instead. :)