- Consider the following scenario, in which you presume you are a mental health professional: You have recently met with James and his family. As an infant, James rarely showed interest in his parents or toys. Now, at 5 years old, he does not use intelligible words to communicate with his parents. He will not tolerate being read to. He likes to watch the same recorded television program over and over. He screams loudly and begins to hit himself when the program shuts off. He quickly becomes calm when the program resumes.
Your evaluation has determined that James meets the criteria for autism spectrum disorder. James’s parents are coming to your office tomorrow to discuss the results of your evaluation.
- Prepare a written report of what you will tell James’s parents about autism spectrum disorder. Be sure to cover the symptoms that James meets from the DSM-5 Checklist (Table 17-6).
- Discuss symptoms of autism spectrum disorder in light of normal development in the following domains: language, cognition, emotion, and social. In other words, what is noticeably abnormal in children with autism spectrum disorder versus what you might see in their same-age peers?
- Summarize the research evidence on the effectiveness of different approaches to treatment, based on your textbook reading. Include your final treatment recommendation to James’s parents.
- To close your paper, consider how you might answer if the parents ask, “How did my child end up with this disorder? What did we do wrong? Is there any hope for him?”
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