University of Vermont

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Providing Quality Services on a Shoestring

Theory of Mind: Going to the Heart of Autism and Social Communication Disorders

Carol Westby, PhD, CCC-SLP

Consultant, Bilingual Multicultural Services, Albuquerque, NM; Affiliate Faculty, Brigham Young University

Carol Westby

Dr. Carol Westby is a fellow of the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and holds Specialty Recognition in Child Language. She has received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Geneva College and the University of Iowa's Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, the ASHA Award for Contributions to Multicultural Affairs, and the honors of ASHA. She has published and presented nationally and internationally on language-literacy relationships, narrative/expository development and facilitation, assessment and facilitation of written language, metacognition/executive function, and issues in assessment and intervention with culturally/ linguistically diverse populations. She has been principal investigator on a number of clinical service, research, and personnel preparation grants, including Project BRIDGE (Building Reading in Diverse Groups in Education), that prepared graduate students in speech-language pathology to work within classrooms to facilitate language-literacy development of children from Hispanic and Native American backgrounds and Project PLAY (Play and Language Attunement in Young Children) that trained caregivers to increase the quality and frequency of interactions that promote development of theory of mind and language. She has a BA in English from Geneva College and an MA and PhD in Speech Pathology from the University of Iowa.

Presentation overview
This presentation describes the developmental stages of theory of mind (ToM), reviews research documenting neural bases for emotional understanding, explains environmental factors that influence ToM, presents protocols for assessing ToM, and demonstrates strategies that foster social interaction.

Educational objectives
As a result of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the developmental stages of theory of mind from infancy through adolescence
  2. Relate current research documenting neural bases for emotional understanding and theory of mind
  3. Design a protocol for assessing development of ToM
  4. Implement ToM intervention strategies based on developmental levels

Time-ordered agenda

8:30-10:00 Underpinnings for theory of mind (ToM)
10:00-10:15 BREAK
10:15-12:00 Evaluating development of Theory of Mind
12:00-1:15 LUNCH
1:15-3:00 Promoting cognitive/affective and interpersonal/intrapersonal ToM

Dr. Westby is currently adjunct/affiliate faculty at Brigham Young University. Disclosures: Financial: Honoraria from the University of Vermont for travel and speaking at this conference; speaking fee from PESI Continuing Education; small fee from Pearson, Guilford, Jones & Bartlett, Plural for chapters written. Non-financial: no relevant non-financial relationships exist.

Last modified March 31 2014 12:55 PM