Page 1 of 1 [ 8 posts ] 


User avatar

Joined: 15 Sep 2006
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,906
Location: Europe

27 Dec 2008, 10:42 am

At work, it occurred to me that normal children ranging from low abilities to highly intelligent seem to be unable to explain a situation to a person who hasn't seen it.

If they had, say, PE before and then want to explain what happened in PE to a person who wasn't there in that lesson, you don't understand a thing.

They are unable to explain it in a way that one who wasn't there can understand it. They explain it in a way that suggests you must know what happened in that lesson. They might even ask you something about it, even though they know you were not present!

That's interesting, because aren't school ages children supposed to know that other people can't know what they know?

They already display the ability to lie and hide things. But they can't do the above.

Autism + ADHD
The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it. Terry Pratchett


User avatar

Joined: 17 Mar 2008
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,060
Location: Edmonton

27 Dec 2008, 12:17 pm

I think it's partly a matter of brain development (it's starting to slow down at that age) and general lack of organized thinking, but also just practice communicating. After all, there are adults who can't give good directions to get somewhere. It can take a lot of thought to get all the information organized in your mind.

27 Dec 2008, 3:20 pm

Children develope TOM as they get older. I heard that when babies cover their eyes, they think no one can see them because they can't see anyone. That's also why they suck at hiding because they think if they can't see you, you can't see them. I remember being in third grade and my three year old neighbor hid under her table and she said no one can see her but I told her I could still see her and she said she couldn't. So to prove her wrong, I got up and touched to show her I could see her. I think that had to do with TOM. She probably couldn't see me so she thought I couldn't see her.

When kids get to 4 years old, they know others don't think like them and they know other people don't know things they know such as if they moved someone's item. They would know that other people wouldn't be able to find it and look in the spot where they put it before. If I remember correctly, they also start to think about other peoples feelings and knowing how they would feel if they did something to them or if they said something and by the time they are seven, they are already doing social lies because they don't want to hurt their feelings.
I had missed those steps when I was those ages. As a little kid, I couldn't understand why people had to ask me where I put something, why my neighbor didn't even look in the neighbor's bush for his bike, but yet it never occured to me when people move something I set down, and it's not there, do I know where it went? I didn't figure that out till I was in my pre teens. If I don't know where people put things I set down, then they don't know where I put things when I move it. It was logical.


User avatar

Joined: 5 Mar 2008
Age: 42
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,130
Location: Wonderland

27 Dec 2008, 4:53 pm

I know in theory, kids are very concrete thinkers. Like one day, my mom was taking my nephews to the bowling lanes where I was going to meet them with my kids. I'm always late for everything. I can't be on time if my life depended on it. Either way, they get to the bowling lanes, and the youngest nephew (age 5 at the time I believe) asked, when are my cousins getting here? My mom goes, "Well Tantybi is taking them. What does that tell you?" (Hence the username). He honestly looked at her and said, "That Tantybi is taking them."

Another story, but it's funny, my best friend has two boys. She is white, but her husband is black, so her boys are mixed. They were learning about African American History at school, and in the car, their mom stated that a long time ago, her and their dad wouldn't have been allowed to be together. The older one (who was 9 at the time) asked if he was black or white, and she said that they were both. So then silence fell in the car. She glanced at the boys, and the younger one (7 at the time) was looking at his arms very funny like. She goes, "what are you doing?" He said, "I'm trying to find where I am white." She started laughing, but he didn't understand how that was funny. Even 15 minutes later, she'd catch him still looking for where he is white.

I forget what age the abstract reasoning starts to play a role. But I think it's more of a teen thing.

The ability to lie and hide things, I'm sure they don't fully understand what they are doing (like the gravity of it all, the idea of gaining trust and credibility, etc.). A child could lie to you seven times in a row and not understand the idea that at some point, you are going to stop believing him, unless he is taught to believe otherwise. The idea that they are incapable of learning something on their own versus being taught are two different things. My friend eventually explained to her son how he's not going to have white polka dots anywhere, but that doesn't mean he's not white as well as black. I'm sure he won't fully understand the concept until his teenage years, but at least he's got a better idea now.

I also think that you are talking about an age where there are so many other variables at work. It's not just where their mind is, but also what environmental factors affect that mind. I think at this age, parenting plays a vital role in the child's ability to perform on many things, including the ability to tell a better story. I have a friend whose daughter in the 6th grade was interested in Romeo and Juliet. So, my friend got the book, and they read the play with her explaining a lot of the figurative meanings (i.e., she'd read a line and then translate it to 6th grade level). Then they watched the movie while reading the play. Then they read the play where they acted out the scenes. Then, she got the movie West Side Story and they watched that and compared to the play. Before 7th grade, this girl knew more about Romeo and Juliet than some of her English teachers. Yes she was/is a very bright girl, but she wouldn't have been able to handle something that difficult on her own.

27 Dec 2008, 6:02 pm

Children are also black and white thinkers but when they get to their preteens, they starts to see the grey areas and have the ability to understand them.

If you told your children you were going to the zoo this Saturday, they are expecting it to happen. That day comes and it's raining outside so you tell you kids you guys can't go because of the rain and it's too nasty outside to go and you guys will do it another time when it's nice out. Your kids are going to think you lied to them even though you didn't. You just didn't plan for the day to be rainy so the plan changed when that day came. You can explain to your kids it's raining and you can't go because of th rain and would they like to stand out in it and get wet, they will still think you lied because they don't understand the grey areas.
So when parents wish to make plans with their kids, they have to tell them "If it's nice outside, no rain, and if our car doesn't break down, if nothing else happens that stops us from going."
As a kid, when my mother had to do errands, she would tell us kids she would take us somewhere if we have time. Noticed how she added "if we have time."

And we keep hearing aspies lack theory of mind, and we are black and white thinkers but I think the difference is we are more than the other kids. A black and white aspie learns lying is bad, so they think all lying is bad. But non aspie kids, when they learn lying is bad, they still know social lies are okay. That is the grey area there they can see under age ten.
Also aspies tend to be follow the rule freaks but none aspie kids tend to break them because they like to test their limits and see how far they can get without getting caught and they also know when to break them and when to stop. An aspie might see that and try and break them too but always get caught because they can't see the grey areas. They do it at the wrong time so therefore, to their perspective, they are being discriminated. It's okay for others to break them but it's not okay for them so what are the rules? That was my experiance there as a kid.


User avatar

Joined: 19 Jun 2007
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,271
Location: somewhere over the rainbow

27 Dec 2008, 6:03 pm

who is tom

27 Dec 2008, 6:07 pm

TOM=theory of mind.


User avatar

Joined: 19 Jul 2007
Age: 59
Gender: Male
Posts: 6,192

27 Dec 2008, 6:07 pm


Most ADULTS don't understand. A lot of blacks ARE part whiteIf you look at OLD movies with blacks in them, and many today, you can see a difference, and it isn't because of some coincidental mutation.

But white and black DO convey ideas that would leave a reasonable person dumbfounded about that.