Therapist Neurodiversity Collective’s Neurodiversity-Affirming Educational Courses
- Live and on-demand online professional development courses and educational classes designed for Therapists, Educators, and the General Public.
- Innovative lecture topics aligned with a Neurodiversity-Affirming Paradigm interconnect contemporary research and neurodivergent lived experiences with relevant and practical applications.
- Professional Development Courses include Professional Development Hour certificates.
Therapists: our Collective Members get access to the recordings and professional education certificates for all previous, current, and upcoming educational events. If you are a neurodiversity-affirming therapist, join the Collective here.
Theory of (other) mind: (mis)understanding ‘others’ in a neurodiverse world
September 29 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am CDT
Theory of (other) mind: (mis)understanding ‘others’ in a neurodiverse world, with Dr. Gemma L. Williams, PhD., MA.
Register: $15 USD
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”. 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 provision.
At the end of the session, attendees will be able to:
- Understand and describe the difference between the traditional theory-of-mind (deficit-based) framings of autistic communication, and more recent (neurodiversity-affirming) ‘double empathy problem’ framings.
- Have a greater understanding of how breakdowns in communication between autistic and non-autistic people might be explained from the perspective of cognitive science and linguistics, including how sensory differences may play a part.
- Critically reflect on the ethical implications of the theory-of-mind theories that underpin autism service provisions, including diagnostic autism assessments.
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.
Course Includes: Professional Development Certificate and Slide Handout
Presenter Bio: 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’.