Theory of Mind is the ability to attribute one’s beliefs, intents, desires, and knowledge to oneself or others while understanding that other people have mental states that differ from our own. It is the ability to take on someone else’s perspective. It is about being aware that a particular situation may not look the same to another person. It includes being able to read what someone might be thinking just from their expressions and body language.
It is not unusual for kids with a hearing loss to show delays in the Theory of Mind. There are more than a few possible causes for this, including:
A child with a hearing loss may show a delay in the development of the Theory of Mind due to reduced auditory access to conversational language. The development of Theory of Mind skills is vital for a child as it can allow them to:
The welcome news is that there are steps you can take within your own home to limit the chances of your child having a delay in the theory of mind development:
Instructing your child to think and use the language of thinking and feeling will be a tremendous asset to them in the future. The ability to think in this manner is critical for academic and social success. It is essential that parents of children with a hearing loss take steps to boost the development of the Theory of Mind in the child. For more information regarding Theory of Mind, check out www.asha.org.