Asperger Syndrome Case Study Analysis


AspergerSyndrome Case Study Analysis

Developmentalpsychopathology refers to the study of how psychologicaldisorders develop. The disorders include autism, psychopathy,depression, and schizophrenia, and are based on the context of alife’s course. Of importance is that psychopathology can be betterunderstood as a normal metacognitive development process gone wrong.Developmental psychopathology can be differentiated into twosubfields child psychiatry and developmental psychology, which arecharacterized by a list of non-comprehensive assumptions (Weis,2014). The assumptions are based on the developmental outcome ofeither adaptive or maladaptive outcomes, developmental changevariables, and dynamic interplay of genetic, physiological,cognitive, social, cultural, and emotional influences (White, 2011).The paper is an Asperger`s syndrome case study analysis about aten-year-old boy named Kimmy. The paper is an analysis thatwill look at the case, discuss how the person in question will fitwell into one or more of the diagnostic categories examined in class,and how theories and concepts help in understanding actual lifeexperiences 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 horsesmajorly because they have been part of his family tradition andhis family line has even produced notable cowboys and cowgirls overtime. Since the disorder is taking its toll on many facets ofKimmy’s life, a complete examination of the disorder was carriedout, which according to Sperry (2001), would assist in accommodatinghis needs within the classroom general education setting. Asobserved, Kimmy had difficulties with social interaction, socialcommunication, social imagination, imaginative play, and flexiblethinking. After he was diagnosed with the disorder, the boy wasobserved to have a lack of significant delay in cognitive improvementand the absence of generalized delay in development language.

In school, Kimmy experienced difficulties when handling what could beseen as chaos. 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 events resulted in great anxiety and stress. Kimmy also hadchallenges with sensitivity, especially on stimuli, for example,smells, light, taste, tangible things, noise, and movement. Kimmyalso had problems with the information, rules, and directions. Theboy was easily distracted by both internal and external stimuli, forexample, watching the flies buzz around or even a storm.

Over the years before he turned fourteen, Kimmy had some psychiatricand psychological assessments to test the presence of such conditionsas anxiety, anger control, depression, or susceptibility to stress.At age 10, Kimmy`s behavior had become extremely difficult, bothat home and in school. He would constantly engage in conflictswith his mother to a point that he threatened her, physically.At age 14, he was admitted to a local hospital where he was involvedin individual, family, and group therapy. Kimmy was later diagnosedwith 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 challenges, auditoryprocessing/language comprehension difficulties, social interactiondifficulties, internal language representation, difficulty in sensoryprocessing abilities, distractibility, emotionalvulnerability, insistence on being the same as normalpeople, and difficulty in handling different perspectives. Most ofthese characteristics are interrelated and thus are combined fordiscussion purposes. The combination is restricted to failure tohandle chaos, the need for directions, information, and displayedrules because of his difficulty in auditory processing, sensitivityto stimuli, awkward and inappropriate interaction with others, andlimitation on focused interest (Gillard, 2011).

According to Sperry (2001), developmental psychopathology conceptswhich 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 have began upon returninghome (Gillard, 2011). There was an antagonizing feeling of theboy’s behaviors, for instance, perseverative and repetitivequestioning on interesting topics, inappropriate behaviors duringsocial gatherings, and the need for attention. Kimmy was made toundergo therapy sessions, which provided a platform that could assistKimmy deal with his issues at school and home.

One major problem identified at his tender age of 14 was theconflicts he had, both at home with his mother and at school with hispeers. Sperry (2001) observed that such therapy sessions, as a partof developmental 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 conflict situation.

Another of developmental psychopathology’s roles in therapywas to assist Kimmy with working on his topical perseverative topicsof his social conversation. Kimmy`s perseveration became a hugeconcern when in school and at home. Sainsbury (2000) observed that anobservation involved frequency in socially inappropriatecomments made about religious, racial, and spiritual issues. AfterKimmy`s problem was dealt with, he was made to learn about certaininteresting topics. When such a behavior becomes a challenge duringtherapy sessions, Sainsbury (2000) observed that a therapist maylikely address the feelings that are underlying an individual`sbehavior.

What are some of the developmental significances 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 to. He experienced a transitioning phase that rangedfrom high-preference activities to low-preference activities, thoughit is important to break up these two extremes with a neutralactivity in between. At 12 years of age, as per his mother`s records,Kimmy experienced ritualistic behavior that was evident in his needfor completion or closure. Beardon &amp Edmonds (2008) suggestedthat the significance of such behavior is its availability on theroutine since even when the individual in question is continuouslyreminded to finish what is important it still poses a challenge forhim to accomplish the task at hand.

Kimmy`s cognitive, emotional, physical, and social stagesinfluence everything that happened to him before, during,and after being diagnosed with Asperger syndrome and how he respondedto it. The diagnosis came about as a result of desensitizingstrategies that could sometimes be part of the therapy sessions withspecialists from outside (Edmonds &amp Beardon, 2008). Kimmy`scognitive and social stage influenced how he responded and allowed tocomplete everything he was delegated with, especially in a quietarea, whether inside the house or at school. This depicted the factthat he had improved cognitive abilities since he could remember tofinish up a task he had initiated earlier.

Socially, after being diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, Kimmy helda specific interest in continuously improving his cognitiveabilities, and often could participate in his cognitive therapies.His difficulty in interacting with others, both in a social andcognitive way influenced his handling of the Asperger syndrome andthe road towards healing. The Asperger syndrome, according toSainsbury (2000), could influence social setting, which could alsoinfluence self-esteem and depression levels of the patient. Kimmy`sAsperger syndrome resulted in his social difficulties. Thesechallenging characteristics include social communication, relation,language representation, and language comprehension difficulties.

Kimmy`s difficulty with understanding and expressing numerousemotional states influenced his friendship with his mother and peers.He thought that he was immune to the peer pressure. Why did Kimmyattain this unique and particular state? What were some of thepredisposing factors or events that were especially critical?Kimmy turned out different from other children his age having beendiagnosed with the Asperger syndrome following his difficulty withrepresenting language from within his social communication. Some ofthe predisposing factors include blurting out whatever bothers him,even when they are inappropriate. Dubin (2009) acknowledged that thedelay in developing a theory of mind could prevent them from otherpeople`s intentions, thoughts, or emotions.

Kimmy`s reaction in a particular way causes susceptibility to beinghandled and mistreated by other people with wrong intentions. Anindividual diagnosed with Asperger syndrome can be seen as uncaringor hurtful when they do not respond as expected in a certain scenario(Gillard, 2011). Additionally, Kimmy turned out this way because ofthe failure to open up to other people`s ideas in his cooperativefamilies and learning institutions. Also, the predisposing factorsare as a result of the difficulty in comprehending all languages.Kimmy thus failed to interpret auditory information concretely andliterally.

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 were placed under the qualitative impairment headings,specifically in a social interaction, stereotyped, restrictive, andrepetitive 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 developmental cognition. The criteria mentioned above in the casestudy are based on the age-appropriate self-skilled help, adaptivebehavior, apart from social interaction and childhood curiosity.

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, Kimmyfit 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.

Tammet (2006) cautioned that individuals identified to have beendiagnosed with the Asperger syndrome can meet the set qualificationsfor inclusion in the criteria. Kimmy for instance, fits wellinto the categories mentioned, more so with DSM-5`s comparison withina group. As for Kimmy, he exhibited nonverbal and emotional cuesfor instance his sitting posture (at the edge of the seat), thespeed and pitch of his speech (was dragging and high pitch), eyecontact (found difficulty in establishing eye contact), which is ameasure of a direct social perception. The DSM-5 and class materialcriteria fit perfectly into how Kimmy was perceived after hisdiagnosis of the disorder. However, Kimmy showed difficulty in areassuch as exhibiting symptoms of sadness, externalizing behavioralproblems, and withdrawal in school and at home. This difficulty inportraying emotions is a sign of the Asperger syndrome.


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 no exception. Comorbidity refers to the sequentialor simultaneous occurrence of two conditions or illnesses in oneindividual. This scenario is challenging because theconditions would confuse or mask a diagnosis (Prince-Hughes, 2002).There may also be a lot of similarities that exist between DSM-5 andclass material identification criteria for the Asperger diagnosticdisorder. Again, certain posture and motor disorders can resembleindividuals with the Asperger`s disorder, with symptoms such asobsessive and schizotypal-compulsive conditions.

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, obsessionneurosis, 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 intelligence level ofthe 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 probable 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 withwithin the school and at home, all have a risk factor that ismanifested in a kind of self-advocacy that shows the level of contextKimmy interacts in. According to Dubin (2009), self-advocacy for riskfactors include the ability to view through Kimmy`s situation andwhat he encounters to be able to decipher and assist with improvinghis situation. The concepts of developmental phytopathology used inthe analysis of the case study, all revolve around the newness of thediagnosis of Asperger syndrome.


Asperger syndromeis an autistic spectrum disorder, which requires cognizance anddiagnosis on the part of individuals diagnosed with thedisorder aimed at providing recommended intervention accommodationand strategies. Kimmy`s case study is an example of a case study thatidentifies and highlights examples of developmental phytopathology.Its relevance is based on the significance of the rules and routinesadhered to when handling patients diagnosed with the disorder, likeKimmy. Concepts of developmental psychopathology understood bettercausal processes of the disorder. Kimmy, for instance, experienceddifferent effects of the syndrome that were better highlighted usingthe DSM-5 criteria.

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 experienced from within and without the familysetting is interwoven with the perceptions that are defined by thedisorder.


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