HPS715/426 Issues in Psychological Assessment 2013 Case report ‐ Jenny Referral information and context Jenny (DOB: 29/07/2005) currently attends Grade 2 at Deakin Primary School. Her teacher has reported behavioural and learning difficulties that are increasingly causing problems in class. The school has requested formal assessment as they are concerned that Jenny is not progressing academically and is requiring large amounts of teacher support to keep her focussed and to prevent her from causing disruption in class. Should a clinical diagnosis be identified, the school becomes eligible for funding that will support an Integration Aide to work with Jenny one on one. In addition to a clinical assessment, the school has requested guidance as to managing Jenny in class and how to maximise her learning opportunities. The school has also requested a separate 1 page summary of advice and guidance for Jenny’s parents so as the school and Jenny’s parents can work on a shared understanding of how best to assist Jenny in her schooling. Background information Parent report (provided by Jenny’s mother, June) Jenny is the youngest of 2 children (she has a brother Johnny, 3 years her senior, who is in Grade 5 at Deakin Primary School). Johnny is developing typically and, in fact, is considered an excellent student and a well ‐adjusted child. Jenny’s parents (Jim and June) report being happily married, and are both 37 years old. Jim works full‐time as a civil engineer, and June works part‐time as an accountant. Neither parent reports any medical or psychological difficulties Jenny has “always been a more difficult child” than Johnny (i.e. more unsettled, harder to feed, sleeping issues, delayed talking, toilet training etc.) Jenny has always been “highly sensitive” and “anxious” with a strong preference for “things to stay the same”. Jenny LOVES using computers (and iPhones, iPads etc…) Jenny’s doctor has ruled out any medical problems and told June not to worry as children usually “grow out of these kinds of problems”. Jenny “cracks it” when she is prevented from using the computer (e.g. while having dinner), or “told off’ for endlessly talking about (or singing songs from) TV program, ‘The Voice’. June reports Jenny is “obsessed with” ‘The Voice’. Teacher report (also see CBCL‐Teacher Report Form: DSM‐Oriented scales) Jenny easily distracted in class. Will seemingly at random, just “down pens and start walking around, talking to some student or other” Only interested in very few tasks (such as computers). Other tasks require the teacher to spend inordinate amounts of time solely with Jenny just to get her to keep on track. When Jenny is pushed too hard, she lashes out verbally saying “I hate you” to the teacher repeatedly. Sometimes, she will burst into tears and lie on the ground crying and screaming.
Jenny doesn’t seem motivated by praise and punishment in the same way as other children. Teacher reports being “exasperated” that she “just can’t get through to her”. Wonders if Jenny’s parents perhaps don’t provide enough structure or discipline at home (but teacher acknowledges this is unlikely given she has also taught Jenny’s brother who is exceptionally bright and well behaved) Behavioural observations Jenny presented to your office with her mother for assessment. Jenny appeared initially shy and disengaged (poor eye contact, did not say ‘Hello”), but warmed as the session went on and appeared quite happy through most of the session. Jenny was extremely talkative at times to the point where it was interfering with test protocol. Jenny’s main area of conversation related to the TV show ‘The Voice’ and the behaviour of the contestants and judges, particularly, Joel Madden. She was not able to articulate an interest in anything else during the session and could not be tempted away from this topic. ...
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