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 Teaching Theory of Mind

Teaching Theory of Mind

A Curriculum for Children with High Functioning Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and Related Social Challenges

Kirstina Ordetx

Quick Overview

This book provides an innovative, easy-to-follow curriculum for teaching children with autism spectrum disorders to relate to and interact with others successfully by developing basic Theory of Mind skills. Containing twelve lesson plans and 220 cut-out-and-keep cards, it is an essential resource for teachers and other education professionals.
2012, Paperback / softback, 11.00in x 8.50in / 279.4mm x 216mm, 116pp
ISBN: 978-1-84905-897-1

Availability: Out of stock



This book provides teachers and other professionals with a highly effective, easy-to-follow curriculum for teaching children with high-functioning autism, Asperger syndrome and related social challenges to relate to and interact with others successfully by developing a solid, basic foundation in Theory of Mind (ToM).

Dr. Kirstina Ordetx provides an accessible overview of the key concepts of ToM, and explains how to assess each child's readiness for the curriculum, suggesting practical ways in which to support those who do not yet meet the minimum criteria. Twelve 60-90 minute lesson plans for use with small or large groups of children aged approximately 7-16 are then presented, each of which is accompanied by a photocopiable letter to provide parents and carers with suggested activities for practicing and reinforcing the concepts and skills learnt at home. The lesson plans are engaging and varied, and are grounded in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), an approach which is recognized as one of the most effective methods of providing developmental interventions to children on the autism spectrum. All of the supplementary materials needed to teach the curriculum are included in the book: a photocopiable assessment checklist, a photocopiable social skills poster, and over 200 cut-out-and-use flash cards.

Developed by the author over twenty years' of working with children with autism and related social challenges, and used effectively with many hundreds of students, this curriculum is an essential resource for teachers in special and mainstream education settings. It will also be of interest to other professionals involved in supporting this group, including behavioral therapists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, and school and guidance counsellors.


'Provides teachers with an easy curriculum for teaching children with high functioning autism and Asperger's and focuses on interacting with others succesfully usign Theory of Mind.'
- Midwest Book Review

'When I speak with classroom teachers around the world, many say to me, "I don't want to read a book about vague theories and ideals. I want practical HELP in knowing what to do in my classroom." This book fills the bill. Not everyone has the time to spend countless hours combing through the research and recommendations about instructional methods...this book lays out the plans and techniques clearly and methodically. Dr Ordetx's instructions are clear and full of examples and hints. Read on to enter her brilliant mind and incredible skills. You will find success and encouragement on every page!'
- from the Foreword by Susan J. Moreno, President, Oasis MAAP Foundation

'As a parent of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, I believe the development of my son's Theory of Mind skills will be the most important factor in his achieving a functional level of social and communicative competence. Dr. Ordetx has developed a parent-friendly curriculum that documents ToM objectives and interventions in a clear and concise manner. Throughout the twelve week program we were able to use the recommended activities to practice skills taught during the therapy sessions. The progress in my son's social understanding was very encouraging. He started understanding why it was important to stay "checked-in" with his partners during interactions and for me that is huge!'
- Mother of Ben, age 8

'My daughter has struggled with social skills for years. Once she started the Social Experience training, we noticed a higher level of awareness of the communications occurring with and around her. By the end of the program, our daughter was independently using the strategies taught on a daily basis to "check in" to social exchanges and actively participate in conversations. It is my opinion that this Theory of Mind curriculum trains the brain to become more naturally aware of social interactions outside of one's "self". Finally, our daughter is interested in participating in conversations that are not always about her own interests. She now has a genuine desire to improve her socialization skills.'
- Mother of Greta, age 13

'The Social Experience was an exciting journey for our entire family! The weekly letters not only educated us as parents, but gave our other children ways to help our son with his social skills at home. We had spent so much time and money on social classes before this one and had seen little progress. Just when we were losing hope, Dr. Ordetx offered this 12 week program. The positive social changes in our son have been noticed and celebrated by everyone around him!'
- Mother of Caleb, age 11

'This is a manual... targeted at professionals but could, I feel equally be used by parent led groups to help children from 7-16 develop social understanding. The book is very clear and includes a number of quality picture cards to help children identify emotions with facial expressions and to observe a scenario and make conclusions... For any professional or parent group this book offers a pretty comprehensive and easy to follow curriculum by developing theory of mind skills which I feel could benefit many children and adults, not just those on the spectrum. I highly recommend this book and feel it is well priced for a manual with quality task cards to cut out or copy.'
- Asteens


By (author): Kirstina Ordetx