Case Study Development of Autistic Child

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Case Study of development concerning three-year-old male

Ashley Hambright

University of Phoenix


Denise Dewhurst

January 31, 2010

Case Study of development concerning three year-old male

Choosing a child of preschool age to conduct a study is a rather daunting and meticulous task.  The child I chose to observe provided immense insight into all aspects of life-span development particular to his age.  Interestingly, this child comes from a background of fascinating anomaly.  For the purpose of identity, the child is referred to as Mason.   Mason is a three-year-old in a family of five children.  His mother and father bring to the marriage and family nucleus, each a child of his and her own.  The father has a son of age 16 from a previous relationship, and the mother, an eight-year-old son from a previous relationship.  The third child in the family, Mason has two half-brothers older than him.  Another point of interest with regard to Mason’s family, his father is seven years the mother’s senior.  The mother is 13 years the oldest son’s senior; according to the father making it difficult at times for the 16 year old and mother to agree and build their relationship.  The eldest son is a typical teenage boy whereas the eight-year-old is diagnosed as ADD and slightly autistic.  In the fall of 2008, Mason’s parents gave birth to a sister, whom unexpectedly because of unforeseen complications of the heart, passed away at only two days old.  Currently Mason’s mother is pregnant and expected to deliver a boy in February 2010.  

The father’s educational credentials consist of a high school diploma and two years of undergraduate study; the mother has a high school diploma.  Economically, the family is middle class with the father working full time and mother working part time.  Another cause for strain in the family is the mother does not possess a license to drive and has stated for the five years of the marriage her intentions on acquiring one.  However, the parents have been married for the five years, the father’s job requires him to travel and be out of town for weeks, affecting extended family members by depending on those family members to provide travel for the mother and children.  The father stated this causes many arguments and frustration.  The mother stated she has a phobia of driving, yet has not taken initiative to conquer it.  Through personal observation, knowledge of family background, and research the following prose will discuss Mason’s biosocial, cognitive, and psychosocial development and potential future development.

Multifaceted Development

Dr. Diane Bricker, a researcher at the University of Oregon, partnered with Dr. Jane Squires and other researchers to develop an exceedingly accurate and beneficial assessment to identify developmental delays and early recognition of social or emotional problems in early childhood.  The Ages and Stages Questionnaire 3rd edition (ASQ-3), is in use across all 50 states by a variety of early education programs, pediatricians, and prevention programs. The questionnaires are specific to various age intervals, aiding in prevention of overlooking a potential delay or problem because of irregular assessment (Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., Inc., 2009).  Through conducting a study of Mason, I was given parental permission to view his Ages and Stages Questionnaire, focusing primarily on the 36 month assessments.  According to Mason’s 36 month questionnaire only his development in gross motor skills appeared to be on schedule.  On a scale of zero to 60, Mason’s communication, problem solving, and personal-social scores placed him in the below development category.  Children scoring in this area are recommended for further assessment by a professional.  Mason’s fine motor score is in the gray area, an area that could be of concern.  Scores in this area are close to the cutoff and the suggestion of providing additional learning activities and monitoring the child’s progress is vital to aiding the child’s further development (Squires, 2009).

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Socio-Emotional Development

Mason was furthermore assessed using the 36 month Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Social-Emotional (ASQ:SE).  According to Janet Squires, “early identification of social and emotional problems in young children is critical for improving developmental outcomes” (Squires, 2003, p. 3).  In relation to Mason, the statement more than ever elicits truth.  Despite the fact that his 36 month questionnaire raised attention to possible areas of developmental delays; his social-emotional evaluation amplified the concern.  Thirty-four questions ranging from interaction with peers to tantrums for long periods, the assessment of Mason suggests several social and emotional predicaments.  Unlike the ASQ-3, ...

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