547 – Marie Jevon
1. Understand how the different and evolving theories about autism reflect the complexity of autistic spectrum conditions
Since it first identified as a distinct disorder by Leo Kanner (1943), autism studies continued in order to explain its causes. Many theories and clinical studies evolved. However, none of them seems to be conclusive. Although it was interchangeably considered as part of schizophrenia, recently it is defined as a distinct disorder that has its own characteristics. The field of management is still challenging. In this paper, I am going to discuss different theories that explain autism. Then, I am going to summarize different learning approaches that are used for autistic children based on the…show more content…
Three main theories expressed the cognitive dysfunction on autism. These are The Theory of Mind Deficit, Executive Dysfunction theory and the Weak Central Coherence theory.
Theory of mind deficit:
Theory of mind refers to the ability to make full mental states (beliefs, desires, intentions, imagination, emotions, etc.) that trigger action. Child with autism has difficulty to understand others thoughts which consider, according to the theory of mind, as the core cognitive deficit in autism.
Executive function theory:
Executive function theory deals with planning, working memory, impulse control, inhibition and mental flexibility. Also, it includes the initiation and monitoring of action. This theory explains some of the autism symptoms. For example, repetitive and restricted behaviour observed in autistic children might be explained due to executive dysfunction. In addition, the poor social interaction could be due to defect in cognitive shifting which is a vital part of executive function.
Central coherence theory:
Weak Central coherence theory describes inability to understand the context or to see the “big picture”. This could explain common autistic behaviours such as repetitiveness, focusing to parts of objects and persistence in behaviours related to details.
Other cognitive theory:
Autism could be described by Piaget 's two-factor theory of figurative and operative functions. Several autistic children exhibit an arrest in operative functions at the