Autism Case Study
Tim is three years old. His mother said he was a “good baby”. In fact, he seemed more contented when left alone. Tim’s mother recalls that he neither smiled nor seem to recognize her when he was a young infant. He walked at nine months of age and has always been very agile, rarely falling or hurting himself. He has not yet begun to speak and does not yet dress or feed himself. Both of Tim’s parents report that he does not seem to be interested in their love and affection. His lack of speech and responsiveness continue along with an increase in unusual behaviors. He spends much of the day fascinated with lint, which he throws in the air and then watches intently as it falls to the floor. He also licks the back of his hands and stares at the saliva. The family doctor is concerned about Tim’s developmental delays and has referred him to an early intervention program. Assume that you are the early intervention worker who has been assigned to work with Tim and his family and consider the following:
- Which aspects of Tim’s behavior are consistent with a diagnosis of autistic disorder? What steps would you take to ensure he gets a complete and accurate diagnosis?
- What issues do you think the family might face as they receive a diagnosis of Tim’s disorder? What supports would you provide for the family in response to the issues identified? Be specific.
- Would you begin to work with him before he had received the formal diagnosis? Explain your answer.
- Which areas of Tim’s functioning would you work on? Detail some specific strategies that might be used to enhance Tim’s functioning in each of these areas.