Analyzing Mental Health Disorder Case Study

Length: 8 pages Sources: 8 Subject: Sociology - Counseling Type: Case Study Paper: #66967288 Related Topics: Asperger Syndrome, Mental Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, Behavioral Disorder
Excerpt from Case Study :

Mental Health Disorder

The following is a close examination of the psychosocial status of mental health disorder. There is going to be an examination of the symptoms along with a comprehensive diagnosis of the case.

Mental Health Disorder- Background

Childhood mental health disorder refers to all mental health conditions that affect a person in childhood. The disorder in children is described as critical changes that affect the way a child behaves, learns or even handles emotional situations. Some of the known childhood mental health disorders include (CDC - Child Development, Children's Mental Health -- NCBDDD, n.d):

Hyperactivity disorder/attention deficit disorder (ADHD) (

Disorders related to behavior

Anxiety and mood disorders

Tourette syndrome

Substance use disorders

Mental health is essential in life. Mental health disorders can persist throughout a person's life (CDC - Child Development, Children's Mental Health -- NCBDDD, n.d). The problem needs to be diagnosed early. Otherwise, children continue to experience problems in many spheres of social interaction, including forming friendships. These effects interplay negatively with their health and could proceed into adulthood. Mental health stretches beyond being mentally ill. It is about thinking optimally, relating to friends and accomplices and the general feeling. Generally, mentally healthy people tend to manifest better physical health and social interactions with others. Mental illness is characterized by mental disorders that can be diagnosed. They are manifested by abnormal feelings, thinking and behavior. Some common examples of mental health disorders include: depression, anxiety and disorders linked with substance abuse (Mental Health: Get the Facts on Common Disorders, n.d). Research shows that there is no single dominant cause of mental health disorders. It is a complex result from a set of interactive factors that include: genetics, environment and psychological factors. Autism Spectrum disorder is one such condition. We shall discuss this disorder in this paper

Identity Information

Joey is six years old (Project One , n.d)

Source Referral

The child was brought in by the parents for diagnosis purpose (Project One , n.d).

Problem Presentation

Joey could neither speak nor signal to indicate what he needed at the age of three. His parents had to grope in the dark by offering several options so that she could pick what she wanted from a range of guesses (Project One , n.d). Joey was like a vegetable. He could not take part in child play or other similar mimics with other children around him.

Problem History and Previous Treatment

At six years old, Joey was reported to have attained reasonable milestones in motor skills. His other developmental achievements were within the normal range expected of children of that age. He, in particular, was reported to have been able to utter his initial words within 12 months, two words at the age of 15 months etc. Unfortunately, Joey started showing strange signs of withdrawal from his usual play and learning routines as from about 15 to 18 months. He quieted. He also started showing signs of sleeplessness and displayed tantrums that also saw him bang his head on objects (Project One , n.d). By the time he was two, Joey wasn't talking at all. He seemed to live in his own world. He started receiving help with speech at the age of 2. His parents reported that Joey didn't like looking at people straight in their eyes. They tried to force him to look at them but still, he tried to look away. He declined to receive any form of comfort from others and abhorred offers for help too. His facial expressions...


He could only smile, look blankly and scowl at people. He often holds his mother's hand and guides her to note what he wanted by placing the hand on it. He used his mother's hand to achieve other things. For instance, the boy would use the mother's hand to wipe his face instead of using his own hand. He would often be seen plucking off fur from the bodies of his stuffed toys. He would also remove the fibers from the carpet (Project One , n.d). Joey was also noted with the habit of collecting everyone's shoes and arranging them in a line. He often licked items such as glass, windows and mouthed several objects. He displayed strange mannerisms such as twisting his hand before his eyes. Also, he sometimes walked on his toes and made circular spins.

His speech therapist embraced various approaches to help him. He used sign language techniques to communicate along with PECS (Picture Exchange Communication Systems). Consequently, his ability to communicate was enhanced. He can now express himself by using short utterances so as to pass his communication to the listener. The therapist also delved on improving Joey's social skills (Autism Spectrum Disorders: Case Study, n.d).

The occupational therapist endeavored to improve his daily survival and living skills. He also consulted his teachers to help enhance his sensory skills to avoid interference with his classroom participation. The classroom presence helped Joey model what the other classroom members were doing. It helped him practice what he was learning with his therapist. The ABA therapist focused on helping him acquire speech and leading him to ask for what he wanted in daily life. Toilet training was part of the training drill.

Family Background

Joey has a mother and father and a set of siblings (Project One , n.d).

Current Status

At the age of 6, Joey was evaluated and was reported to have improved significantly. Although he didn't make eye contact when he was greeted by the therapist, he moved into the interview and testing rooms willingly. He even sat on the testing seat (Autism Spectrum Disorders: Case Study, n.d). Although he did not pursue conversations with the examiner, he answered questions whenever he was asked. He echoed the examiner sometimes and quipped "nice job to himself. He engaged in some mimic plays and even pointed at items and uttered words to show his needs. It is observed that Joey participated in a measure of non-verbal intellectual performance and faired averagely in his age range. His expressive and receptive language skills still contrast with this performance as they are notably still below the level of his age mates. The support Joey has received from his therapist, relatives, educators and friends has greatly assisted him. Joey attends school in a kindergarten in an education classroom for general education. There is even a special focus class of Individualized Education Program that facilitates pre-school type speech and occupational therapies. He is assisted to move from one activity to the next by a classroom based assistant with special skills. The assistant also helps him play and interact with other children (Autism Spectrum Disorders: Case Study, n.d).

He performs well when supported with visual schedule aids and given advanced notice. His parents noticed an improvement in the way he reacted to events, his participation level and occurrence of tantrums. Tantrums were prevalent, whenever he was frustrated, as a result of his sensory failure. The parents also observed improvements in his skills to ask for what he wanted. They observed that although he did not always do this in a timely manner and as he needed, he did it at some point. His parents are still concerned about his listening and comprehension skills, the reduced level of socialization, expressive language abilities and his ability to take part in the course of tasks (Autism Spectrum Disorders: Case Study, n.d). Joey loves playing on the computer. When his friends are guided on how to engage with him, he shows a significant level of social and interactive abilities with them.


Usually, children with ASD but can speak will utter things without meaning or even those that sound irrelevant as they converse with others. There is a tendency to repeat things. For example, they repeat the count from number 1 to 5. A child may also repeat utterances he may have picked as a result of hearing them several times. The latter condition is referred to as echolalia. Children with ASD often develop some language and speech skills. However, this development does not attain the normal expected levels. The progress of these developments has been noted as uneven.

For instance, the children may grow their vocabulary quite fast in a given area that they are interested in. A good number of children remember things they just saw or heard with ease. In fact, some children develop reading skills as early as 5 years or below. However, they often do not understand what they read. ASD children cannot use gestures to accord meaning to speech. They do not like eye contact; a phenomenon that makes them seem defiant and rude, listless or uninterested in what is at stake. Since they lack a language that is meaningful and cannot gesticulate effectively, they become frustrated because their attempts to let the world know their feelings and attend to their needs are futile. Consequently, they will be observed to be edgy and manifest a range of other unusual behavior. Joey has shown all…

Sources Used in Documents:


(n.d.). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC - Child Development, Children's Mental Health - NCBDDD. Retrieved February 6, 2016, from

Klauck, S. (2006). Genetics of autism spectrum disorder. European Journal of Human Genetics, 14, 714-720. Retrieved February 6, 2016 from

(n.d.). Medicine Net. Mental Health: Get the Facts on Common Disorders. Retrieved February 6, 2016, from

(n.d.). MU School of Health Professions. Autism Spectrum Disorders: Case Study. Retrieved February 6, 2016, from

Cite this Document:

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