Autism Spectrum Disorder : The Case Study of Tracey

Assignment Instructions

Tracey is a twenty-one-year-old student diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Tracey can have difficulties with transitions and requires that her routine is predictable.

Tracey is a friendly young lady, but is frequently impulsive and this can result in grabbing and sometimes even pushing another peer.

Tracey’s dream is to attend college and work in an office like her father does. She can read at about a second grade level. Tracey needs reminders to choose appropriate clothing and change her clothes on a regular basis. She is able to complete her daily living skills relatively independently and follows directions when they are paired with pictures to help her understand the steps in completing more complicated tasks. She would like to share an apartment with a school friend when she graduates.

Instruction

For each of the following, include potential supports her family may provide.

  • Identify some of the concerns or challenges that might be expressed by community members.
  • Identify the role of educators in assisting Tracey to meet her goals.

Your paper should include a description of goals in the following areas:

  • Education/Training Employment Independent Living Describe which of the supports she will need on a job and explain why:
  • Clustered placement Individual Placement Sheltered Employment Describe the Residential Alternative that you are recommending for her (from those listed below) and why:
  • Apartment Living Foster Home Group Home Define the problem behaviors;
  • identify the function of the behavior(s); describe at least one intervention for the display of the problem behavior(s);
  • identify one alternative behavior that Tracey will learn to replace the need to engage in the problem behavior;
  • describe how you will collect behavior data to determine the effectiveness of the interventions.

 

SAMPLE ANSWER

The Case Study of Tracey

In order to undertake this case study carefully and realize the most accurate results, there is a need to look at the support system that Tracey has in the form of her family as well as the concerns that the community may bring to attention in terms of Tracey’s interaction with the rest of the society she is in. Family forms the bedrock for autistic patients much more so than for normal people. It is not only the case due to the loving nature of the family but also due to the fact that the patient needs to adjust to normal day life. According to the National Institute for Mental Health, there are certain aspects of an autistic patient that need to be looked into to facilitate normal living. Basic essentials such as human contact and interaction should be fostered at family level. There is also a need to create a form of efficiency for the patient to be able to undertake certain aspects of normal life listening and being more attentive and focused as well as developing an ability to respond to people’s opinions thus facilitating interaction. The community will undoubtedly be concerned with the need to at least have normal interactions with Tracey such that she can give instructions/make suggestions and receive instructions and suggestions and act on the accordingly. The fact that she exhibits sporadic behavior characterized by shoving of peers inexplicable shall also be a concern of the community as that stands as a health hazard to other members of the community (The National Institute for Mental Health, 2013).

Goals in Education, Employment & Independent Living

As regards Tracey’s interaction in Education, employment and independent living, there are a numberof goals that need to be achieved so as to ensure she can lead a normal life. For education, autistic patients tend to respond more to repetitive teaching due to the fact that they lack the ability to stay attentive for long or focus on anything. Patience shall also therefore be needed to deal with such patients.

Regarding employment, there is the need to comprehend the fact that the patients cannot constantly make eye contact and as such may seem to be inattentive but in reality they just have a problem in maintaining eye contact. The goal in employment should be simple in that Tracey here would need to comprehend human responses to varied situations. This is vital in trying to ensure that can receive as well as give direction and execute instructions received. We have been told that her level of literacy is at the 2nd Grade level and so patience shall also be needed in an employment set up.

Regarding independent living, the goal would be to assist her come up with a predictable routine which she can internalize and undertake day in day out. As she needs reminders for day to day activities, it shall be crucial to have either picture of tasks she undertakes on a daily basis to remind her of what she needs to do and when she needs to do them.  Alternatively, she could use technology in this. A recording device which at certain fixed times of the day she is alerted of what she needs to do and how she needs to do it. This would be vital in ensuring she creates a schedule that she can adhere to both in personal matters in the house as well as duties to do with, for example, work.

Support System at Work

Going back to her work life, there are various support systems which Tracey will need to enable her carry out her duties better. However, between clustered placement, individual placement and sheltered placement, a lot has to be considered. According to the Social Care Institute for Excellence (2010), working with people with autism requires good communication between work-mates, mainly talking in short clear sentences to make sense of a situation. Also, maintaining a solid structure is vital as it helps autistic persons to make sense of a day at work. It is important to emphasize positives while working with people with autism since as seen earlier; they do not comprehend how to respond to negative responses and can end up acting out in frustration. Understanding the world from the point of view of a person with autism is crucial in relating with them as it assists you to anticipate a problem and come up with a remedy to a situation before it happens thus easing their transition. Lastly, as regards transition, people who are well known to the patient ought to be involved in the transition process.

In my opinion, Tracey would work best with the clustered placement due to the fact that she would need constant supervision throughout her work tenure. The cluster that she should be in should, however, not have more than 2 to 3 people. It has been outlined that Tracey can get quite rough with peers and so it is no advisable that she have so many around. The fact that she will need constant supervision throughout her work tenure necessitates clustered placement as opposed to individual placement where she would be left on her own after some time (Autism Transition Handbook, 2010).

Residential Alternative

The issue of a residential alternative has also been brought up. This is to be decided between apartment living, a foster home or a group home. Apartment living would be heavily advised against in the case of Tracey. This is because of two facts, as outlinedin the problemstatement. Tracey lacks the ability to remember day to day life activities. Also, she does have difficulty in undergoing transitions. Therefore, she would be taken aback by the fact that she now has to do everything on her own and follow her own routine. The fact that she needs reminders connotes that she needs to be living with people since even if she were to depend on technology she would most likely forget what purpose the technology is there to serve. A group home would be more fitting for Tracey. This is because it provides not only a greater level of independence to the patients, but also due to the fact there are daily instructions and self help skills that are administered to the patients. Activities such as self preparation of meals, laundry, house cleaning and money management are taught to the patients thereby gradually creating independence but also equipping them to be able to cope with it (Foundation for Autism Support and Training, 2011).

Problem Behaviors

In identification of problem behavior, there are two parameters that I would consider in the case of Tracey. First, there is the matter of her family and the impact that she has on her family. There are certain trends that she would exhibit and even the family unit would either have a problem in condoning or would just not stand for all together. This I would consider a problem behavior as it is the kind that society would not stand for at all as exemplified by the family response to it. Secondly, I would look at the environmental impact on Tracey herself in trying to determine whether the environment is the cause of her reaction or whether in influences her in any manner (Smith&Greenberg et al, 2010). In response to the above, I would seek to experiment a change of environment in a bid to realize whether or not it would lead to a corresponding change of behavior. This would require keen observation of Tracey in order to take note of any changes. The tell-tell signs of this would be her actual physical response as well as the eye contact of Tracey to the various changing scenarios. All this would be in a bid to establish what affects her and how the ideal environment will be created for her.

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