Autism Psychology Domains

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  871 Words
Date:  2022-05-09


Autism is defined as "a neurological and developmental disorder that begins early in childhood and lasts throughout a person's life. It affects how a person acts and interacts with others, communicates, and learns. It includes what used to be known as Asperger syndrome and pervasive developmental disorders" ((Kenny et al., 2016 pp.442). The diagnosis of autism happens in the three major domains; stereotyped and repetitive behavior patterns, language and communication, and social functioning. This paper, therefore, examines an association involving theory of mind, social relationship, communication, and language in autistic children.

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Integration of existing ideas on autism

Studies on autism, including neuro-developmental disorders show that the communication and social malfunctioning are specific and unique shortcomings that are used to explain the type of autism (Case-Smith et al., 2015 pp.133). Using the theory of mind, children who suffer from autism have difficulties in trying to understand that other people are mental beings as well (Jones et al., 2018 pp.107). According to Peterson et al. (2016), different autistic children express themselves differently as far as communication, language, and social abilities are concerned. These varied abilities relate to their age and cognitive levels. However, there is still no a developmental perspective that can be employed to explain the various changes that happen in the autistic children throughout their childhood.

According to the psychiatric perspective, autistic individuals find it very hard to live an independent life. A recent study shows that nearly only 15 percent of autistic individuals who transit to adulthood can take care of themselves (BaronCohen, 2017 pp.745). In the past, many of them were taken care at the intellectually disabled institutions. However, today, community care is encouraged by the government policy (Mottron, 2015 pp.190). according to Hood (2016 pp.315), children with autism who had an IQ of more than 70, who receive a quality education, and raised in the middle-class neighborhoods, perform very well in school as compared to other groups. Most of them have improved social relationships, even though some of them remain handicapped.

Rendering to the studies carried out by psychologists as far as the theory of mind and autism is concerned, autistic children do not have a good record in doing well on tasks of theory of mind as compared to language; their performance is dismal (Bolton & Happe, 2018). This conclusion is a clear evidence that posses certain deficits or impairment when it comes to interpreting the behaviors and actions of other people from a mentalistic perspective. They have difficulties in predicting or explaining human actions within a causal model of psychology that makes reference to constructs, for example, belief, desire, and intention.

The social motivation perspectives have revealed that children with autism do not react or respond to social advances from acquaintances or friendly strangers (Pickles et al, 2016 pp.2506). Nevertheless, in routine-situation contexts, for example, playing games and mealtimes with the members of the family, children with autism become more responsive to the advances or overtures from other people (Di Martino et al., 2016), but their actions and behavior in these very contexts are incomparable to those of normal children.


Different domains of explaining autism, in the past two decades, have provided a fundamental integration for the understanding of the topic and provided more insights on how to handle individuals with autism from infancy to adulthood. The domains highlight the deficiencies that autistic people have; communications, social, and language domains of autism. Therefore, not all aspects of autism can be understood within the three domains. For instance, there is the theory of mind perspective; and mentalistic approach complements the three domains.


BaronCohen, S. (2017). Editorial Perspective: Neurodiversity-a revolutionary concept for autism and psychiatry. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 58(6), 744-747.

Bolton, P., & Happe, F. (2018). Good social skills despite poor theory of mind: exploring compensation in autism spectrum disorder.

Case-Smith, J., Weaver, L. L., & Fristad, M. A. (2015). A systematic review of sensory processing interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders. Autism, 19(2), 133-148.

Di Martino, A., Yan, C. G., Li, Q., Denio, E., Castellanos, F. X., Alaerts, K., ... & Deen, B. (2014). The autism brain imaging data exchange: towards a large-scale evaluation of the intrinsic brain architecture in autism. Molecular psychiatry, 19(6), 659.

Hood, J. (2016). Book Review: Understanding Autism the Essential Guide for Parents Edited by Katrina Williams, Jacqueline Roberts. Australia: Exisle Publishing, 2015PS 14.95 (Paperback), pp 240 ISBN10: 1921966726 ISBN13: 9781921966729. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 58(3), 315-315.

Jones, C. R., Simonoff, E., Baird, G., Pickles, A., Marsden, A. J., Tregay, J., ... & Charman, T. (2018). The association between theory of mind, executive function, and the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder. Autism Research, 11(1), 95-109.

Kenny, L., Hattersley, C., Molins, B., Buckley, C., Povey, C., & Pellicano, E. (2016). Which terms should be used to describe autism? Perspectives from the UK autism community. Autism, 20(4), 442-462.

Mottron, L. (2015). Is psychiatry relevant in autism? A brief historical perspective on the role of psychiatry in diagnosis, and support to autistic people. Sante mentale au Quebec, 40(2), 177-190.

Peterson, C., Slaughter, V., Moore, C., & Wellman, H. M. (2016). Peer social skills and theory of mind in children with autism, deafness, or typical development. Developmental psychology, 52(1), 46.

Pickles, A., Le Couteur, A., Leadbitter, K., Salomone, E., Cole-Fletcher, R., Tobin, H., ... & Aldred, C. (2016). Parent-mediated social communication therapy for young children with autism (PACT): long-term follow-up of a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet, 388(10059), 2501-2509.

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Autism Psychology Domains. (2022, May 09). Retrieved from

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