Child A is a 12 year old boy in Grade 7 with a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, which is an autistic spectrum disorder, according to the criteria given in DSM IV (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). These criteria include impairment in social interaction; repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behaviour; significant impairment in social, occupational or other areas of functioning; no clinically significant delay in language of cognitive development. It should be noted that DSM IV has now been superseded by DSM V which has removed Asperger’s as a specific diagnosis and incorporated it into autistic spectrum disorders (APA, 2013); however, many professionals disagree with this and continue to make use of DSM IV when diagnosing autistic spectrum disorders (Wing, Gould, & Gillberg, 2011).
Child A is cognitively highly intelligent, with particular abilities in maths. In reading and writing his levels are slightly above average for his age. He is verbally articulate, although the content of his speech is not always appropriate.
Child A has extremely sensitive auditory and visual perception. He finds noise extremely difficult to cope with; he is very sensitive to light levels and visual stimuli. For example, at primary school he had significant problems which were found to be due to the classroom décor, which incorporated very bright colours and vivid visual stimuli. He is very sensitive to any invasion of his personal space, and cannot bear to be touched; he finds crowds and large groups very hard to cope with. These types of sensory dysfunction are characteristic of autistic spectrum disorders (Rogers & Ozonoff, 2005).
In terms of social impairment, Child A’s difficulties are severe. He is virtually unabl...
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...C. E., Van Dyke, M., & Wood, J. J. (2011). Restricted interests and anxiety in children with autism. Autism, 16(3), 306-320.
Tasmanian Department of Education. (2014). Guidelines for Individual Education Planning - Students with Disability. Hobart: Tasmanian Government.
Troyb, E. O., Tyson, K., Helt, M., Eigisti, I.-M., Stevens, M., & Fein, D. (2014). Academic abilities in children and adolescents with a history of autism spectrum disorders who have achieved optimal outcomes. Autism, 35(4), 233-243.
Villani, V., Parsons, A. E., Church, R. P., & Beetar, J. P. (2012). A Descriptive Study of the Use of Restraint and Seclusion in a Special Education School. Child and Youth Care Forum, 41(3), 295-309.
Wing, L., Gould, J., & Gillberg, C. (2011). Autism spectrum disorders in the DSM-V: Better or worse than the DSM-IV? Research in Developmental Disabilities, 32(2), 768-773.
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