Autism Spectrum And The Cognitive Development

Autism Spectrum And Mental Theory

Autism Spectrum or Theory of Mind (ToM) is the ability to understand that other people think and feel differently than we do. It’s also about recognizing that other people have their own thoughts and feelings. And understanding how they affect theirs and our own behavior.

Autism Spectrum & cognitive development

It usually appears around age 4. But its onset begins in infancy. Because of a delayed or absent ToM. Children with ASD may trust others to know what they think. Or feel and have difficulty seeing things from others perspectives.

The challenge of ToM is a major reason why children with autism have difficulty navigating social interactions.

Autism Spectrum disorders

How To Overcome The Autism Spectrum And Executive Function Skills

Executive function skills (EFS) are a set of cognitive skills that help us regulate, control, and direct our thoughts and behaviors. Often, children with ASD experience the following difficulties:


Children may have difficulty planning the steps involved in various tasks, from putting on shoes to solving puzzles.

Working memory

This involves the ability to retain information long enough to use it (for example, following verbal instructions or answering comprehension questions after reading).


Children with ASD may have an extraordinary ability to focus on one thing, but often have difficulty shifting attention from one thing to another and back again. It can also be difficult sifting through information to decide what to pay attention to (the child may be so focused on the bright light behind you that they can’t pay attention to what you’re saying).


Children with ASD may have difficulty starting tasks or coming up with ideas on their own.

Controlling emotions and behavior

Children with ASD may lack impulse control, which may manifest as strong emotions, behaviors, or behaviors such as rocking, spinning, or clapping.


It is common for children with autism to struggle with transitions and unexpected changes in routine or planning.

Parenting Advice For Autism Spectrum

As with other developmental disorders, early intervention is key. Discuss with your child’s early intervention team how to strengthen their cognitive skills. And support cognitive goals at home as directed by your therapist.

Attention Autism Spectrum For Following Tips:

  • Because ToM is closely related to socio-emotional development, head over to our articles on autism and socio-emotional development and browse Parenting Tips – all related to ToM.
  • To help your child with EF, use visual support, interact with them as much as possible, and allow you to understand him on multiple levels task.

Finally, keep in mind that research shows that interventions can improve cognitive performance in children with autism.

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