Asperger Syndrome Case Study Analysis


AspergerSyndrome Case Study Analysis

Developmentalpsychopathology refers to the developmental study of psychologicaldisorders. The disorders include autism, psychopathy, depression, andschizophrenia, which are based on the perspective of life’s course.Of importance is that psychopathology can be better understood as anormal developmental gone wrong. Developmental psychopathology can bedifferentiated into two subfields child psychiatry and developmentalpsychology, which is characterized by a list of non-comprehensiveassumptions (Beardon &amp Edmonds, 2008). The assumptions are basedon the developmental outcome of either adaptive or maladaptiveoutcomes, developmental change variables, and dynamic interplay ofgenetic, physiological, cognitive, social, cultural, and emotionalinfluences (White, 2011). The paper, therefore, is an Asperger`ssyndrome case study analysis about a ten-year-old Kimmy. The paper isan analysis that will look at the case, discuss how the person inquestion will fit well into one or more of the diagnostic categoriesexamined in class, and how theories and concepts help inunderstanding actual life experiences of the individual.

AspergerSyndrome Case Study

Kimmy is a fourteen-year-old boy diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. Itis important to note is that the boy has an interest in horses. Sincethe disorder is taking its toll on many facets of Kimmy’s life, thecomplete examination of the disorder was carried out, which accordingto Sperry (2001), would assist in accommodating his needs within theclassroom general education setting. As observed, Kimmy haddifficulties with social interaction, social communication, socialimagination, imaginative play, and flexible thinking. After he hadbeen diagnosed with the disorder, the boy was observed to have a lackof significant delay in cognitive improvement and the absence of ageneralized delay in developing language.

In school, Kimmy experienced difficulties when handling what could beseen as chaotic. Ghaziuddin (2005) noted that a student may notconsider social interaction, for example, in the hallways around theschool, or riding on the bus to school as chaotic, but with Kimmy,such actual events resulted in great anxiety and stress. Kimmy alsohad challenges with sensitivity, especially on stimuli, for example,smells, light, taste, touchy things, noise, and movement. Kimmy alsohad problems with the information, rules, and directions. The boy waseasily distracted by both the internal and external stimuli, forexample, watching the flies buzz around or even a storm.

Over the years before the boy turned fourteen, Kimmy had somepsychiatric and psychological assessments. At age 10, Kimmy`sbehavior had become tough, both at home and in school. The boy couldconstantly engage in conflicts with his mother to a point that theboy threatens her, physically. At age 14, the boy was admitted to alocal hospital where he was involved in individual, family, and grouptherapy. Kimmy was later diagnosed with the Asperger syndrome.

AspergerSyndrome Case Study Analysis

Based on the information compiled by Quinn &amp Malone (2011),individuals with Asperger Syndrome, for example, Kimmy have specificcharacteristics: Social relation characteristics, auditoryprocessing/language comprehension difficulties, social interactiondifficulties, internal language representation, difficulty in sensoryprocessing, distractibility, emotional vulnerability, insistence onbeing the same, and difficulty in handling different perspectives.Most of these characteristics are interrelated and thus are combinedfor discussion purposes. The combination is restricted to the failureof handling chaos, the need for directions, information, anddisplayed rules because of his difficulty in auditory processing,sensitivity to stimuli, awkward and inappropriate interaction withothers, and limitation on focused interest (Gillard, 2011).

According to Sperry (2001), developmental psychopathology conceptsthat are involved in the case study include giving attention towardsa better understanding of a causal process, acknowledgingdevelopmental mechanisms, and considering normality andpsychopathology continuities and discontinuities. Kimmy, forinstance, was initially seen before his 14th birthday when he hadjust been diagnosed and discharged from the local health center. Theboy was viewed as a presentable young man with average intelligence,very articulate, and socially mature. There were concerns thatKimmy’s conflict with his mother could begin upon returning home(Gillard, 2011). There was an antagonizing feeling of the boy’sbehaviors, for instance, perseverative and repetitive questioning oninteresting topics, inappropriate behaviors during social gatherings,and the need for attention. Kimmy was made to undergo therapysessions, which provided a platform that could assist Kimmy deal withhis issues at school and home.

One major problem identified at his tender age of 14 was the conflicthe had, both at home with his mother and at school with his peers.Sperry (2001) observed that such therapy sessions, as a part ofdevelopmental psychopathology, include reducing his negotiation ondifficult issues in therapy. The therapy based on Kimmy`s situationmeant that both the boy’s peers and Kimmy’s mother had a littlerespite. The respite facilitated Kimmy`s social involvement with theemotionally-laden and adverse situation.

Another of the developmental psychopathology role of therapy was toassist Kimmy with working on his topical perseverative topics of hissocial conversation. Kimmy`s perseveration became a huge concern whenin school and at home. Sainsbury (2000) observed that an observationinvolved frequency in socially inappropriate on comments made aboutreligious, racial, and spiritual issues. After Kimmy`s problem hadbeen dealt with, the boy was made to learn about certain interestingtopics. When such a behavior becomes a challenge during therapysessions, Sainsbury (2000) observed that a therapist in such asituation may likely address the feelings that are underlying anindividual`s behavior.

What are some of the developmental significance of the stages atwhich Kimmy`s experiences took place? As noted earlier, Kimmy`sinability to handle chaos at the tender age of 10 meant that hisdevelopmental significance revolved around routines and rules that hefailed to adhere. The boy experienced a transitioning phase thatranged from high-preference activities to low-preference activities,which is important in breaking up with a clinical activity inbetween. At 12 years of age, as per her mother`s records, Kimmyexperienced the ritualistic behavior that was evident in the boy`sneed for completion or closure. Beardon &amp Edmonds (2008)suggested that the significance of such behavior has been itsavailability on the routine since even when the individual inquestion is continuously reminded to finish what is important theinformation will be used after processing to strategize visually.

Kimmy`s cognitive, emotional, physical, and social stage influenceseverything that happened to him before, during, and after beingdiagnosed with Asperger syndrome and how he responded to it. Thediagnosis came about as a result of desensitizing strategies thatcould sometimes be part of the therapy sessions with specialists fromoutside (Edmonds &amp Beardon, 2008). Kimmy`s cognitive and socialstage influenced how he responded and allowed to complete everythinghe was delegated with, especially in a quiet area, whether inside thehouse or at school.

Socially, Kimmy after being diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, held aspecific interest, and often could participate in her cognitivetherapies. The boy’s difficulty in interacting with others, both ina social and logical way influenced his handling of the Aspergersyndrome and the road towards healing. The Asperger syndrome,according to Sainsbury (2000), could influence social setting, whichcould also influence self-esteem and depression levels of thepatient. Kimmy`s diagnosis of Asperger syndrome resulted in hissocial difficulties. The social aspects that were influenced are as aresult of the characteristics identified in his social stage afterthe diagnosis. These characteristics include social communication,relation, language representation, and language comprehensiondifficulties.

Kimmy`s cognitive and social stage is because of a lack ofeffectiveness about his peers and mother. His difficulty withunderstanding and expressing numerous emotional states influences hisfriendship with his mother and peers. The boy thought that he wasimmune to the peer pressure. However, Ghaziuddin (2005) observed thatsuch a scenario result in the patient diagnosed with Aspergersyndrome, recognize and interpret some social situations that happento abstract them.

Why did Kimmy turn out into this unique and particular way? What aresome of the predisposing factors or events that were especiallycritical? Kimmy turns out different from other children his age,having been diagnosed with the Asperger syndrome. Kimmy turned outthis way following the boy’s difficulty with representing languagefrom within his social communication. Some of the predisposingfactors include blurting out whatever bothers him, even when they areinappropriate. Dubin (2009) acknowledged that the delay in developinga theory of mind could prevent them from other people`s intentions,thoughts, or emotions.

Kimmy`s reaction in a particular way causes susceptibility to beinghandled and mistreated by other persons with wrong intentions. Anindividual diagnosed with Asperger syndrome can be seen as uncaringor hurtful when they do not respond how one would expect a certainsituation (Gillard, 2011). Additionally, Kimmy turned out this waybecause of the failure to open up to other people`s ideas in hissupportive families and learning institutions. Also, the predisposingfactors are also as a result of the difficulty in comprehending alllanguages. Kimmy thus failed to interpret auditory informationconcretely and literally.

Useof DSM-5 and Class Material Criteria on Diagnostic CategoriesExhibited in the Case Study

Based on both the DSM-5 and the class material criteria, Kimmy`sdiagnosis of Asperger syndrome meant that it involved an exact numberof items that was placed under the qualitative impairment headings,specifically in social interaction, stereotyped, and restricted,repetitive patterns of interests, behavior, and activities. Thedisturbance may have been caused by clinically essential impairmentsin occupational or social areas of the functioning. Sperry (2001)noted that there is no significant clinical delay in social languageor delay in developmental cognitive. The criteria mentioned above inthe case study are based on the age-appropriate self-skilled help,adaptive behavior, apart from social interaction and childhoodcuriosity.

The criteria used for eligibility were met for the diagnosis ofKimmy’s Asperger syndrome, the following criteria:

Evidence of thefollowing:

  1. The unequal developmental profile evidenced by the inconsistencies within or across social interaction includes language, domain, cognitive skills, and adaptive behavior.

  2. Kimmy`s impairment in either verbal or nonverbal language came as a result of social communication skills,

  3. And stereotyped patterns and/or restrictive, repetitive behaviors, activities, or interests, and,

  4. Kimmy`s need for special education defined by Sainsbury (2000).

From the above diagnostic criteria used, especially the DSM-5, Kimmyfits well into one of the diagnostic categories because his diagnosisof the Asperger syndrome meant that he had met the requirements forthe identification of the disorder, which is associated withindividuals diagnosed with it.

Also, Tammet (2006) cautioned that individuals identified to havebeen diagnosed with the Asperger syndrome can meet the setqualifications for inclusion in the criteria. Kimmy forinstance, fits well into the categories mentioned, more so withDSM-5`s comparison within a group. As for Kimmy, he exhibitednonverbal and emotional cues, which is a measure of a direct socialperception. The DSM-5 and class material criteria fit perfectly intohow Kimmy was perceived after his diagnosis of the disorder. However,Kimmy showed difficulty in areas such as exhibiting symptoms ofsadness, externalizing behavioral problems, and withdrawal fromschool and at home.


The comorbidity of the disorder is a section that is difficult,especially when an individual does not show any signs of it becauseKimmy’s case was also no exception. It is because the conditionswould confuse or mask a diagnosis. There may also be manysimilarities that exist between DSM-5 and class materialidentification criteria for the Asperger diagnostic disorder. Again,certain posture and motor disorders, which can resemble individualswith the Asperger`s disorder, included obsessive andschizotypal-compulsive disorders.

Kimmy`s situation revealed his personality issues that could havebeen confused or disrupted with his diagnosis of the disorder.Beardon &amp Edmonds (2008) noted that with such a case, obsessionalneurosis, paranoid psychosis, and depression, can be diagnosed andcould require a double diagnosis. Kimmy`s psychiatric comorbidity,for example, led to the evaluation of his condition. Otherpsychiatric disorders that may arise during the study may also beincluded. The DSM-5 criteria are used gradually.

The DSM-5 criteria are often used to study the intelligencelevel of the participant. In the above case study, the less Kimmy isassociated with social success, the more he is to attribute socialsuccess from tasks with difficulty factors. Ghaziuddin (2005)acknowledged that with such a case, comorbidity is often attributedto the apparent increase in cognitive awareness of the numerousissues that requires social success. Also, occupational therapistsmay note motor problems or integration disorders as part ofcomorbidity process, and in turn identify difficulties that comealong with the diagnosis.

Kimmy`s diagnosis with Asperger syndrome puts much emphasis onresilience. With all the difficulties mentioned above that comesalong with the Asperger syndrome, the caregivers handling of some ofthe risk factors includes potential savviness of the condition(Gillard, 2011). With Kimmy`s condition, those he interacts withinthe school and at home, all have a risk factor that manifests in akind of self-advocacy that shows the level of context Kimmy interactsin. According to Dubin (2009), self-advocacy for risk factors includethe ability to view through Kimmy`s situation and what he encountersto be able to decipher and assist with improving his situation. Theconcepts of developmental phytopathology used in the analysis of thecase study, all revolve around the newness of the diagnosis ofAsperger syndrome. Narrative research used in its description withthe keen understanding of the case study for instance.


Asperger syndromeis an autistic spectrum, which requires cognizance and diagnosis onthe part of individuals diagnosed with the disorder aimed atproviding recommended intervention accommodation and strategies.Kimmy`s case study is an example of a case study that identifies andhighlights examples of developmental phytopathology. Its relevance isbased on the significance of the rules and routines adhered to whenhandling patients diagnosed with the disorder, like Kimmy. Conceptsof developmental psychopathology understood better causalprocesses of the disorder. Kimmy, for instance, experienced differenteffects of the syndrome.

Based on Aspergersyndrome`s analysis, the paper gave a spectrum about the nature ofthe disorder with a clear and a newly found understanding of theactual reality. The nature of the disorder posits that nobodydiagnosed with the disorder is likely to be like any other personwithout the syndrome. Kimmy`s case study is a reflection of what istalked about in a concise and clear terms. The terms are a nearlyunderstood quirks and behaviors of what Kimmy went through. Asobserved, the disorder also affects the family to a large extent,as observed between Kimmy and his mother. The interpersonalinteraction that is from within and from the outside the familysetting is interwoven with the perceptions that are defined by thedisorder.


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