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Coherent storytelling and thinking about others

On October 26th, 2021, members of LAVA vzw discussed the article "Developing an Effective Neuroscience-based Narrative Mentalizing Training for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders" from Tom Bylemans et al. (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) during a reading session.

The article discusses initial research aimed at developing a training program for adults with autism which aims at improving coherent storytelling and thinking about others. Previous research has shown that the cerebellum in individuals with autism communicates less smoothly with the other brain areas. Therefore, the researchers want to stimulate the cerebellum through this training and thus ensure that the adults with autism develops the potential to have social skills from within (own perception, experience and insight) that do not stem from learned behavior.

During the reading session, which was introduced by Tom Bylemans (VUB), the members of LAVA vzw could ask questions.

Questions were related to gender differences, age differences, the effort required by the training and the duration. The speed of learning of the cerebellum and brain stimulation were discussed as well. There was also discussion about the autobiographical memory of individuals with autism, the differences between listening/talking and reading/writing, and the difference between compensatory strategies through learned behavior and actual self-initiated behavior.

The members of LAVA vzw strongly appreciate the participative character of the research, the open mind of the researcher, the critical way in which he dares to look at the research and the possibilities he sees and leaves open for follow-up research, in which also the input of people with autism is and remains welcome.

LAVA vzw is very fascinated by the research and therefore curious about the results and the follow-up research.

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