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The Case of Mark
Individuals with Asperger Syndrome are typically unable to integrate society normally and persons that are in more critical situations actually need a lot of assistance in order to go through their daily lives without experiencing significant problems. The present essay discusses with regard to Mark, a four-year-old boy who has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. Mark's parents suspected that something might be wrong with their child around the age of two when they realized that he developed very differently from his older sister or from other children his age.
Mark displays a series of symptoms characteristic to individuals with Asperger Syndrome, some of the most significant being the fact that he is usually reluctant to speak and that he prefers to focus on activities that only he understands. The child uses toys in ways that seem pointless to others and he appears to prefer associating them with functions that have nothing to do with their actual purpose.
In order to be able to develop as normally as possible, Mark would require special assistance and would have to attend therapy sessions aimed at increasing his interest in wanting to interact with others. By placing him in situations when he feels compelled to communicate as a result of being interested in being actively involved in conversations or activities that others are engaged in, therapists are probable to assist Mark as he overcomes symptoms associated with Asperger and as he becomes as normal as someone in his condition can be.
Mark's parents play an important role in the child's development, taking into account that they also need to overcome their initial hesitancy in order to get actively involved in making their son prepared to integrate the social order. The fact that the child needs to be enrolled in kindergarten further emphasizes the seriousness of the situation and makes it possible for someone to comprehend the situation that his parents find themselves in.
The child's description
The case of Mark relates to a four-year-old boy who displayed delayed language development and put across behaviors that were uncharacteristic to children his age. His parents became concerned with his condition as a consequence of observing how he was reluctant to engage in activities typical for a child. His parents were able to realize that something was wrong with Mark as a result of having his sister as a comparison point -- she developed much faster than Mark and did not appear to have any interest in things like cuddling. The child actually appeared to hate cuddling and would react nervously whenever he was held or hugged.
Many of Mark's activities are typical for a child with Asperger Syndrome. The way that he plays in particular can be associated with numerous symptoms that a mental doctor can think of when coming across the disorder. The child prefers to play with a small number of toys and is used to employing a routine while he is playing. The fact that he uses certain toys in ways that have nothing to do with their original function further contributes to making it possible for one to acknowledge his condition. "When playing, Mark often uses toys in unusual ways that disregard their intended purpose, such as using a doll to hammer in a peg or repeatedly spinning a horse on his side." (The Case of Mark 120) Trying to make any changes in his toy-related routines can be especially problematic, as the child appears to be severely disturbed by such incidents. The child also has problems engaging in activities that many children enjoy and look forward to. He felt a sort of discomfort when having to join his family in wearing costumes for Halloween -- from his perspective, the pretend play attitudes that people employed during the holiday were pointless. This respective activity both confused him and influenced him to express his dissatisfaction.
Even with the fact that Mark has a series of symptoms that enabled doctors to diagnose him with Asperger, these respective symptoms can be less obvious to 'normal' people. The child managed to achieve all of his motor abilities at times when...
This influenced his parents to be reluctant to accept reality at the time when it was clearer and clearer that he was unlikely to develop similar to other children his age. "Not only did he speak much later than expected, he seemed to show little interest in any kind of communication." (The Case of Mark 120)
The family -- risk and protective factors
Individuals with Asperger risk being categorized as outcasts and the masses are inclined to discriminate them because of their needs. Mark's condition did not prevent individuals interacting with him from putting across the fact that they feel a type of discomfort when in his presence. His family even appears to consider that it is especially difficult to provide him with the attention he requires: "Mark's parents described him as an extremely fussy baby who was hard to settle." (The Case of Mark 120) Even with this, it was this behavior that influenced them to seek specialized assistance.
When considering the way that Mark's family treated the child, it would be safe to say that their limited understanding of his condition made it difficult for them to actually comprehend the attitudes they needed to take on regarding his behavior. The fact that the child had an area of interest that was much smaller in comparison to one characteristic to a child his age influenced his family to develop a type of thinking that took their attention away from the gravity of the situation. Considering that an individual with Asperger is fussy is ignorant, but the fact that they emphasized this particularity in a context in which they provided doctors with information they could use to provide a diagnose proves that one's family can actually play an essential role in making it possible for the respective individual to access proper healthcare.
Mark has a limited ability to observe the way that his actions can hurt others either physically or by insulting them in some way. This can be associated with the fact that the child would rather express all of his feelings openly than try to adopt diplomatic attitudes with regard to individuals around him. To a certain degree, a person can feel seriously affected as a result of interacting with an individual with Asperger Syndrome. Mark's older sister is especially likely to suffer as a result of interacting with her brother, given that children are usually unable to have a complex understanding of such a condition.
Caring for a child like Mark can be particularly difficult, as parents need to be patient and need to be able to provide him with assistance whenever he requires it. Considering his condition, these people would basically have to restructure their lives and the way that they perceive life in general. The fact that the child fails to associate his personality with his name and that he does not acknowledge the connection between him and his parents as being a typical parents-son connection further contributes to painting a larger picture of his condition. This also makes it possible for someone to realize the degree to which the disorder can affect a family. In order to be able to provide for their child in spite of the fact that he was reluctant to accept the roles they played in his life, Mark's parents must have been able to accept a great deal of pains they were not expecting to go through. This again proves that a tutor needs to develop a special type of acceptance in order to be able to provide for a child with Asperger.
Many things about Mark are uncharacteristic and these elements clearly contribute to making it difficult for his family to accept his condition. The child does not hesitate to act in contrast to what might be considered ordinary for children his age. "When his parents or the evaluators attempt to speak directly to Mark, he quickly looks away and sometimes even turns his back on them." (The Case of Mark 120)
Change represents a major issue for Mark, as he does not welcome it and it actually appears to be particularly disturbing for him. Considering that something as seemingly inoffensive as changing his toys or the way they are ordered can be devastating to the child, actually putting him in new situations can be disastrous as seen from his perspective. When coming across such conditions, Mark has been reported to engage in activities that are self-stimulating -- this likely being a way to cope with the situation and to take his attention away from the fact that he is actually interacting with an environment that he is not used to. Taking into account that Mark needs to go…
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