Kevin's parents were concerned about his isolation and inability to maintain friendships. At school, teachers could not find a way to keep his attention. His work was good quality when he completed it but he would often become distracted. School staff was frustrated with the lack of cooperation and accommodations provided were limited. During the screening, Kevin was able to maintain eye contact and participate in conversation. He became especially enthused when asked about his interests. He proceeded to discuss his fascination with trains. Without prompting, he would lecture regarding the various engines and whistles. His recreation was taking photos of trains. He would get his parents to drive him throughout California to take these. When redirected towards the screening, he had difficulty maintaining attention on the conversation and wanted to return to main interest.
Elle attended the screening interview with her mom and dad. She wore a ski cap, appeared anxious and had difficulty maintaining eye contact. When answering the director's questions, she responded quietly and briefly. Elle's parents said that she was having a difficult time attending school, making friends and playing outside. She was afraid of bees and didn't want to go on the playground because she might get stung. Elle's parents reported that she was also pulling out her hair, eyelashes and eyebrows. Elle became very upset and didn't want to talk about this. The director focused on Elle's interests. She loved to draw and sing. When told that Quest had a group of girls her age who liked to play, do arts and crafts project, sing and act, Elle became interested. After hearing about how she could earn points, just for trying, Elle became excited and said she wanted to learn to handle her anxiety better.
Johnny is a 6 year old, 1st grader who has been identified at school as disruptive, inattentive and aggressive. His parents and teachers have developed a behavioral program to motivate him to try harder, control his frustration and impulsivity and complete assignments. Johnny's teacher reported that other children do not want to play with him and are afraid he might hurt them. Johnny is capable but cannot complete his schoolwork.
High Functioning Autism
During the first three years of school, numerous interventions were provided so that Sid could function within the classroom. Although very bright, it was difficult for Sid to maintain attention long enough to learn. Through the school's IEP team, behavioral, learning and social goals were identified and interventions were established. Sid was frequently off task and needed an aide to provide frequent cues to learning materials. If pushed too hard, Sid would scream, wanted to leave the classroom and tell his aide to let him go back to his nest. Sid obsessively chanted Angry Birds phrases in between tears. Little schoolwork was completed during days like this. On other days, Sid could complete half of what others were doing and was withdrawn in his own fantasy world. He would not engage in group activities or approach others spontaneously.