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Case Study on William a fifteen-year old, ninth grade student with Autism

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Case Study on William a fifteen-year old, ninth grade student with Autism

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Student Profile
William is a fifteen-year old, ninth grade student with Autism; he has no
accompanying mental impairment. William is, basically, a very happy and pleasant
young man. He has a wonderful sense of humor and is a pleasure to be around.
William has adapted remarkably well to his first year of high school. He is, for
the most part, mainstreamed into regular education. William is a student of the resource
room, which he visits one period a school day. His other classes include Choir,
Academic Resource Science, Gym, Reading, Core-MoreMath and World Studies. While
his Reading class caters to students with reading difficulties, it is not designated as a
special education; his Science class, however, is specifically for students with special
needs. William also has had a full-time paraprofessional throughout his school career, a
different individual for elementary, middle, and now high school. The paraprofessional
provides most of William’s support and he is extremely dependent on her.
William’s family consists of a working father, a stay at home mother and an older
sister who will be graduating from high school this year. William receives a great deal of
support from his family, who are realistic about his abilities yet still expect great things
from him; William, in turn, appears to maintain a good relationship with them. His
mother seems the most involved in his education, although both parents attend IEP
meetings and parent-teacher conferences. William’s sister is also highly involved in his
life, as they attend Church youth group together and spend time together at home. A
current worry, thus, is how William will react once his sister leaves for a Texas
University later this year. He is cognizant, however, of the process and has not yet
expressed any concern. Further, his family is originally from another state so William is
already familiar with his sister’s new home.
Dreams of the Student
William wants to do well in school. He is a perfectionist and expects to earn
straight A’s in his classes. He hopes to work as a bagger at a grocery store this summer
and earn money for new video games. He does not discuss the future much, although
when probed he states his vocational ambition to be a video game tester.
Needs for Support and Assistance
William needs reminders to pay attention during class. He tends to go off into his
own world, dreaming about video games and television, and becomes somewhat
oblivious to his surroundings. William also tends to rush through schoolwork, not fully
reading directions and questions in his hurry to complete the assignment. William does
not need much assistance academically, except in Math. He does fine with basic
arithmetic, but finds more complex mathematics confusing. He is a concrete thinker and
struggles with the abstract as well.
William also becomes easily frustrated and angry; although his behavior has
improved this year, he still becomes occasionally agitated and yells, hits himself, throws
things or cries. He needs to learn to monitor his behavior and find alternate ways to
express his frustration. He is also immature and often does not act age appropriately.
This behavior includes talking in funny voices, singing and dancing during class,
grabbing his crotch to emulate Michael Jackson, picking his nose in public and other
actions associated with young children.
William also needs assistance learning how to socialize properly. Again, he has
improved this skill this year, but still has trouble interacting with his peers. William does
not always seem interested in his peers, preferring to speak with his paraprofessional or
talk to himself. Often, he will answer a friendly greeting in the hall with a grunt or not at
all. Sometimes William even responds to a question with a grunt or a command to leave
him alone. Recently, however, William seems more interested in his fellow students.
Further, William frequently engages in egocentric and one-sided conversations, focusing
either on himself or items of interest only to himself. He needs to learn how to carry on a
conversation that involves the other person and his/her interests, feelings and opinions.
Like many individuals with Autism, William becomes nervous in crowds. He
becomes especially upset if he runs into someone, and thus thinks himself clumsy and too
big. This is easily accommodated, however, as William leaves class a couple minutes
early so as to avoid the crowds during passing time.
Finally, William is far too dependent upon his paraprofessional. Throughout his
school career, William has become accustomed to relying upon this support figure for all
his emotional, social and academic needs. He needs constant reassurance from her and
becomes agitated if she is not present. William must realize that he can function
successfully without her.
William has a great sense of humor and can be quite a pleasure. He is very
creative and writes wonderful stories. He can read and write as well as his peers,
although his comprehension of the abstract his limited. He is an excellent student who
works very hard and always strives to do his best. Although he works with an
occupational therapist, William’s fine motor skills seem fine as he masters complex video
games. William’s gross motor skills are also good, illustrated by his weight lifting
prowess. Finally, William has an excellent memory and can recite the arena and mascot
for every NBA team.
William has earned A’s and B’s this academic year. He has become more
independent of his paraprofessional and attends his Science, and occasionally Choir
classes alone. He also makes the transition between classes without her assistance and
travels to his locker by himself. William has improved his socialization skills and made
some friends this year. He is also beginning to monitor his own behavior and recognizes
when he behaves inappropriately. Finally, William has become more active because of
Gym class and has even lost some weight.
William loves video and computer games, drawing, watching television and
listening to music. William enjoys amusement parks and likes to talk about them. He
has just recently discovered a fondness for weight lifting, a skill that nicely compliments
his rather large physique. He does not particularly care for physical activity otherwise,
and he has struggled in Gym class to overcome this lethargy. He enjoys group work. He
does not particularly like one class over another, although he does not like math.
William does not enjoy physical activity much and complains when asked to run
or swim in Gym class. He becomes annoyed when classmates are loud or disruptive and
is rather intolerant of other students with special needs.
Greatest Challenges
William needs to become independent of his paraprofessional. He needs to
handle frustration better and not lose control of his emotions. William needs to attend
better to oral instructions and not get lost in his own thoughts. William needs to improve
his socialization skills and act more maturely.
William has excellent reading skills. He has an expansive vocabulary and usually
can gleam the meaning of a word he does not know from sentence context. William
struggles with the abstract, however, and has trouble understanding symbolism and
inference in textual material. William also struggles to find the main idea and paraphrase
a written passage.
William also has excellent writing skills. He uses correct grammar and is a
decent speller. He is very creative and writes imaginative stories.
William can add, subtract, multiply and divide with relative ease but struggles
with higher level mathematics. He does not know how to approach problems and needs
constant assistance. He does best with concrete problems, and has the most difficulty
with abstract word problems. William tends to rush through math homework and make
wild guesses at answers as he feels he cannot complete it without assistance.
Work Habits
William has pretty good work habits. He thoroughly completes assignments and
turns them in on time. Occasionally he forgets to do an assignment, usually because he
did not write it down in his assignment notebook. His math assignments, however, tend
to be incomplete as he does not understand the material. William is well organized.
William has good verbal and written communication skills. He tends to ignore
social manners when speaking however and has a habit of interrupting others.
William has improved his social skills this year but still needs some assistance in
this area. He is immature and has trouble conversing with his peers in an age-appropriate
William has also improved his behavior throughout this school year. He still
needs to learn how to handle his frustration without having a tantrum. He also needs to
learn how to use his free time in a more age-appropriate way.
William worked with an occupational therapist this year although this will be
discontinued the next school year. He is somewhat clumsy but not inordinately so. His
fine motor skills need some improvement, but he is able to play video games without

Here is the Assignment: 

Students will be provided with a case study of a high school student and asked to provide a plan of action that they would employ while working on post-secondary planning with this student. Included in the action plan:

A college search – recommend 8-10 schools (include at least 1 public institution) & Rationale for recommending each of the 8-10 schools. Use Hitchners’ 6-rung selectivity model (Target, Reach, Safety) & Assessment of counseling techniques (2 pages). 
The link below will help you with understanding target, reach and saftey schools

A counselor recommendation/letter of recommendation (1 page)

Sensitivity to the student’s needs, ethics, confidentiality and legal issues & Any other information that you feel would be important while counseling this student. ( 2 pages)


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