Theory of (other) mind: (mis)understanding ‘others’ in a neurodiverse world
Dr. Gemma Williams will present “Theory of (other) mind: (mis)understanding ‘others’ in a neurodiverse world” on
September 20, 2023, @ 9 am Central Daylight Time (CDT)/ 3 pm British Summer Time (BST)
Topic: Autistic social communication, the ‘double empathy problem‘ and ‘relevance theory;’ countering the ‘Theory of Mind-deficit’ theory of autism.
Course Description: A central diagnostic and anecdotal feature of autism is difficulty with social communication. Traditionally, these difficulties have been regarded as autistic “impairments”, related to proposed cognitive and social “deficits”. This neurodiversity-affirming educational session presents a reframing of these difficulties as a two-way, ‘double empathy problem’, from the perspective of cognitive linguistics. This session will share findings from high-quality research into cross-neurotype communication and explore what that means for autism service provisions.
Audience: This neurodiversity-affirming educational session is geared toward psychiatrists, psychologists, practicing therapists, educators, and autistic individuals (formally and self-identified), and parents and caregivers of autistic people.
The course includes slides handout, a resource sheet, and a Certificate of Attendance
Dr Gemma Williams is an autistic academic from the UK, with a research focus on linguistics, social and healthcare policy, and social justice. Having recently completed a ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow in Social Policy at the Centre for Resilience and Social Justice at the University of Brighton, Gemma is now a Research Officer in the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Science at the University of Swansea where she’s working on the ‘Autism: from menstruation to menopause’ project. Gemma is also an Associate with the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi), with whom she has worked on several projects commissioned by NHS England or local government authorities.
Gemma completed her PhD in Linguistics PhD in 2021 at University of Brighton, where she investigated communication between autistic and non-autistic speakers from the perspective of cognitive linguistics: largely influenced by ‘relevance theory’.