February 28 - March 2, 2021 • Cincinnati, OH


3/08/2020  |   1:00 PM - 4:30 PM   |  Theory of Mind: What? Why? How do you know?   |  Empire B

Theory of Mind: What? Why? How do you know?

Theory of mind (ToM) is a multidimensional construct that involves a person's ability to recognize emotions in oneself and others, and attribute mental states to oneself and others. These skills develop early, starting in infancy, and develop as the child is exposed to new language and experiences. Language and ToM are inextricably linked. Theory of mind skills significantly impact how someone communicates, learns and solves problems, and these skills determine how a child functions socially and academically. We communicate, learn, and solve problems using language. Deficits in language and social skills can reflect areas of need in the development of theory of mind. Research will be presented addressing ToM skills of D/deaf and hard of hearing children. With an understanding of ToM, we are able to present language models and interactions that support the development of these skills. With this framework, we also have more insight into what is needed to support our student's development of language and academic skills for educational success. This presentation will cover the foundation of ToM development, and the relationship with language, communication, and academic skills. There will be discussions of strategies relating to the development of these skills, demonstrations to illustrate the concepts, and opportunities to practice incorporating the concepts in activities.

  • Participants will describe theory of mind as it relates to their students' communication, language, and academic skills.
  • Participants will provide examples of how theory of mind development is reflected in their children's/students’ communication, language, and academic skills.
  • Participants will demonstrate strategies to support the development of theory of mind.

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CART transcripts are NOT YET available, but will be posted shortly after the conference


Nicole Dobson (), ACCESS Services, access.dobson@gmail.com;
Nicole Dobson, M.S., CCC-SLP is a certified speech-language pathologist, teacher of the deaf, and special education consultant, as well as a cued language transliterator. She has been working in the field of deaf education for nearly 20 years. Nicole provides ASL, cued language, communication, speech, and academic support services as an independent contractor in early intervention and educational settings. She teaches at the University of Southern Maine and provides workshops related to language and education of students who are D/deaf and hard of hearing.


Financial -
No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial -
No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.