Case Study

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Sam: A Case Study

Sam is a ten year old boy diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). “A person with PDD-NOS is given the diagnosis because they have some but not all characteristics of autism or who has relatively mild symptoms” (Autism Speaks, 2013). PDD-NOS is a general category used to describe a pattern of behavioral differences (which may include deviations, excesses, or difficulties) in the areas of social relating, communication, and attention/interest. The diagnosis of PDD-NOS may also be applied if the child exhibits a variety of symptoms associated with Autism, but in an unusual pattern (Emory Autism Center, 2013). Sam was diagnosed with PDD-NOS, rather than autism. Sam did not receive an autism diagnosis because he did not meet the domain criteria in at least one of two domains: impairment in communication or the presence of repetitive, stereotyped behaviors, they may have fewer than six symptoms in total; they may have an age of onset after 36 months, or they may not meet all criteria for autism (Walker, 2004).

Sam’s sister was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Some of the characteristics Sam displayed that normally coincide with an Asperger’s diagnosis were: impairment in social interaction and stereotyped/repetitive interests/behaviors that are not accompanied by significant delay in speech and cognitive development (Koyama & Kurita, 2008). Sam does have an impairment in social interaction and had a habit of swinging a string with can be a repetitive behavior or interest. Sam did not have a significant delay in speech or cognitive development. Sam did not speak until he was eighteen months old, however he began making two and three-word phrases when he turned two years old. In Sam’s case it was also noted Sam’s IQ score was 120, concluding no cognitive development issue.

If I were Sam’s teacher I would encourage peer relationships. I would create opportunities for social...
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