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Social communication disorder vs autism spectrum disorder, a case study for intervention

Updated: Aug 9, 2023


Child trying to communicate with mother. Social communication disorder vs autism

This case study presents the assessment and intervention process for a 3-year-old child who exhibited symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including a lack of response to name call, poor eye contact, limited communication, and avoidance of social interaction with peers. Both parents were employed, and during the initial observation, the child was observed sitting alone in a corner, fixated on empty spaces and emitting random humming sounds. Following a comprehensive assessment, a diagnosis of ASD was made, prompting the immediate initiation of therapeutic interventions. Let's dive into the pertinent question of social communication disorder vs autism.


Therapeutic approach and progress

The initial focus of therapy centered on behavior management, aiming to improve the child's compliance with simple commands and task engagement. However, during the first two weeks of behavior therapy, the child exhibited tantrums as a means to escape from activities. Through consistent application of stimuli and reinforcement strategies, the child's sitting tolerance improved, and the tantrums gradually came under control. Parents were actively involved and provided guidance to implement similar strategies at home. After two months of therapy, the intervention approach shifted to include Occupational Therapy (OT) alongside behavior therapy. The child presented with difficulties in auditory, visual, and tactile senses, requiring targeted intervention in these areas. The child participated in two daily therapy sessions incorporating speech therapy and OT techniques. Progress was observed in the child's language skills, with emerging need-based communication. Additionally, parents were provided with a sensory diet to implement at home, facilitating sensory integration and supporting overall development. The integration of speech, OT, and behavior therapies yielded significant improvements across various domains of the child's functioning.


At the one-year mark, a reevaluation was conducted to assess progress and update goals. With a focus on school readiness, therapy objectives gradually transitioned to align with educational requirements. Concurrently, the child was gradually introduced to a playgroup setting, facilitating social integration. As progress continued, the frequency of therapy sessions at the center was reduced.



Conclusion on Social communication disorder vs autism


This case study illustrates the successful multidisciplinary intervention for a child at risk of mild to moderate ASD. By combining behavior therapy, speech therapy, and OT, significant improvements were observed in the child's social skills, communication abilities, and sensory integration. The collaborative effort between therapists and parents played a crucial role in implementing strategies and maintaining consistency at home. Over time, the child demonstrated enhanced eye contact, responsiveness to name calls, and improved peer interaction in a playgroup environment. The positive outcomes achieved through this comprehensive intervention approach have paved the way for successful integration into a school setting, providing the child with the necessary skills and opportunities for continued growth and development."


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