The profile of the case study is about a young, slim, 20 year old male named Tony. He is currently suffering from severe autism and is in a transitional stage from school to a vocational site. Furthermore, Tony suffers from communication and social problems, coordination issues and headaches. He also experiences back pain from time to time due to a surgery carried out to mend his spine. To a certain point, Tony is able to read with meaning despite the fact that he is considered to be retarded. It is also not common for Tony to start conversations or insist on receiving attention. There have been instances where he has been heard making conversations that are meaningful, although to no particular individual. His messages are rarely heard, thus not responded or acknowledged. Tony lacks a consistent communication system despite the fact that he uses a wolf at some point. Due to security and behavioral concerns, Tony has been subjected to a functional assessment and assistance for fear of losing his vocational placement. Notably, Tonys biological parents as well as his foster guardians were involved in the assessment.
Childs likes and interests
Tony likes his parents and foster parents, friends named Nick and Dawn as well as his vocational trainers especially one named Bonnie. He enjoys activities such as going for walks, eating, listening to music, watching TV and looking at photo albums. To add on that, Tony enjoys eating foods such as hamburgers, pizza and grilled sandwiches.
Childs dislikes, fears and worries
Generally, Tony dislikes new people especially when they come too close to him. He also dislikes other things such as his mother leaving him after a visit, losing his self-control, receiving many demands and requests at the same time, waiting for long especially for meals and changing routines. Notably, he is not in particular thrilled with activities such as washing hair, brushing his teeth, putting things away, getting assistance when dressing and repeating tasks. However, he may do these activities only when requested to.
Tony takes time to understand and process information as well as respond to it. He is confused by long verbal directions as well as expectations to respond to unfamiliar circumstances. Notably, he escalates when repeated demands are given even by one familiar person. This behavior becomes worse when two or more people are involved. He understands clear, short instructions especially within familiar scenarios. Moreover, he responds better to visual communication as compared to verbal communication.
Learning/Cognitive style, strengths and preferences
Tonys general activities and abilities include sorting things in terms of shape, color, size and other categories. Apart from personal care routines, Tony can independently comply with familiar routines in a familiar place and with familiar people. When given visual directions accompanied by two or more demonstrations, Tony is able to comply well. In situations where he can see surrounding movements, Tony responds well to tasks in front of him without reminders. He is a perfectionist because when guided properly, he is able to correct his own mistakes.
Difficulties and weaknesses
Tony gets confused when things are disorganized or in a clutter. He also gets overwhelmed when many people speak at the same time, whether or not they are far, soft or talking about an unrelated topic. Moreover, he is easily distracted by people or activities occurring in his surroundings.
Tony enjoys showers, touching womens hair as well as soft blankets. However, he dislikes walking on a bumpy road. Moreover, he does not fancy loud sounds and voices, wool next to his skin as well as people making overlapping conversations.
Knowing Tonys current situation, the most important thing to tackle is communication. This is because the way he understands and responds to messages from his surrounding defines his actions. To be more specific, Tony is calm and responsive when given clear, short and visual instructions that are accompanies by demonstrations. However, he escalates his behavior when prompted verbally to stop an action or given long repetitive instructions. Communication also plays a big role in understanding his likes and dislikes as well as the issues at hand. This is to ensure a proper problem solving method is identified.
The major issue in this scenario is the fact that Tonys support group is not aware of how to best communicate to him. Through the observation of his reactions, he reacts differently to different communication methods. Like earlier mentioned; he acts confused, overwhelmed and angry when bombarded with verbal directions. However, he has a calm experience when visually guided.
Tony is having a rough time because his support group is not communicating to him the way they are supposed to. Each member of the support group should be trained to rarely use verbal communication when approaching Tony. If need be, it should be kept clear, short and precise. To add on that, they should be encouraged to demonstrate their instructions through visual ways such as pictures and drawings. Moreover, Tony should be given few repetitive tasks and put in a situation where he is well aware of his immediate surroundings. It is also important that his support group abstains from making overwhelming conversations that trigger tony into escalating behavior.
Green 1: Foundations
It is important to have preventive measures to avoid a situation where Tonys behavior escalates to a point where it is unsafe for not only his surrounding but also him. In this case, Tonys support group should ensure they communicate to him efficiently. This involves using more visual communication strategies and less of verbal communication methods. Moreover, they should use demonstrations to help Tony interpret, understand and respond to situations properly. Being a perfectionist, they should ensure they explain tasks to him appropriately so that he can individually be in a position to correct his own mistakes. Another strategy will be to understand Tonys likes and dislikes. Encouraging what makes him happy and staying away from doing things that agitate him will help him communicate better (Lyons, 2011).
Green 2: New Skills to be taught/Rewards or reinforcing activities
It is important to use rewarding or motivating activities to encourage positive behavior. For example, when Tony performs a task efficiently, he should be rewarded for instance by giving him his favorite dish or taking him to watch his most desired sport. Another strategy which can be done especially by vocational trainers is through teaching him new skills. This will help him learn how to communicate better and respond to different situations be it good or bad within his surroundings (Lyons, 2011).
It is important to keep note of the situations that show Tony as stressed or unhappy. As much as there may not be instant behavior change. It is important that the situation deteriorates. These strategies will help avoid negative behavior from happening or rather reduce its effects. One of the strategies would be diversion. This can be applied when Tony is upset or overwhelmed and acts in an escalating behavior. Distraction to other activities will also help him realize at the early stages of anxiety or anger and request for support or a break. When this is done, things are likely to go back to normal (Chilvers, 2007).
In this stage, it is important to recognize things going wrong in terms of Tonys behavior and tackle them. When tony reacts by biting his mouth, hitting his head, going to the floor, hitting other people among other behaviors, it is necessary to use visual ways to encourage Tony to change. This can be done by showing him the bad effects of hurting himself and other people around him when upset. The same strategy can be used by training him about the different healthier ways he can use to react when upset such as walking away and drinking water (Chilvers, 2007).
Chilvers, R. (2007). The hidden world of autism: Writing and art by children with high-functioning autism. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Lyons, G. (2011). Translation of evidence-based practices in a behaviour support Implementation model for youth with autism spectrum disorders. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 58(4), 409-415.
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