I mean, spectrum-is-spectrum. Means, not black or white, on or off. Despite dramatic terminology such as “lacks theory of mind” – it’s overstating it. The areas of the brain usually _do_ light up, just not as much as it’s not the primary pathway for social reasoning.
Rather, people on the autistic spectrum tend (tend) to lean on standard general deductive capabilities of the brain, which are rational, conscious, and much much slower than the fast ‘gut’ implicit knowledge of theory of mind.
Since social reasoning happens at a REALLY FAST PACE, there’s simply not enough time to deduce intention.
Same problem in testing situations. But — things like anxiety, ocd and other things that get in the way of tempo can masquerade as theory-of-mind difficulties when in fact they’re timing issues.