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Mind-blindness

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Confused Autistic Man

"Confused Autistic Man" by autistic artist Miss Luna Rose

Mind-blindness may be a bit of a misnomer, as almost all autistic people understand that other people have minds that think differently from their own. Autistic people tend to struggle with understanding and anticipating other's thoughts.

This can manifest itself in a number of ways, including...

  • Not realizing that her brother's tired body language means that he doesn't want to talk
  • Wondering why his friend is mad at him
  • Not predicting how Mom will react to being interrupted while working
  • Not realizing that her friend isn't nearly as interested in videos of robots as she is, and will not share her joy in discussing how the robots work
  • Having no idea that Daddy will get scared when he wanders off

Mind-blindness can be a difficult disability aspect to face.

Receiving Help

There are a number of ways that autistic people can get help in dealing with mind-blindness.

  • Relationship Development Intervention (RDI), which focuses on interacting well with others and gaining social skills
  • Media involving social skills, particularly ones that focus on character's feelings and reactions, such as My Little Pony
  • Clearer communication with loved ones such as a brother being willing to say "I'm not in the mood to talk right now" rather than expecting his body language to clearly communicate his mood

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