Case example: practicing skills

Stephen, 10 years old, was referred to Child Psychiatry at JGH due to autism-related behaviours: anxiety, sensory and auditory problems, aggression, poor social skills, oppositional behaviour, and academic delays. He received the diagnosis of autism while in treatment.

After treatment, Stephen remained socially isolated but was not singled out or bullied, as he had been prior to treatment. The Transitional Care Team focused on increasing Stephen’s independence and organization skills.

Although Stephen made tremendous gains in containing his frustration and aggression, he sometimes reverted to immature and resistant behaviours both at school and at home. His parents reported that he would sometimes, out of the blue, become defiant in public settings and could have outbursts that were embarrassing. Stephen and his parents would remain challenged, especially as adolescence approached.

The Transitional Care Team helped the parents to seek a support group in the community. The Team also helped Stephen’s family find activities that were safe spaces where he could practice prosocial behaviours and use cognitive skills to compensate for his inability to comprehend emotional cues from peers and adults.


Next case: Relationship with school