“Thomas” 17 years, 6 months
Thomas’ family reached out to KGH because he was having difficulties staying on task, showed poor stamina on school-provided job sites and had a variety of behavioral problems. Thomas would refuse to go to school on some days and had shown self-injurious behavior while at school.
He would often elope from school. School staff would be forced to follow him on foot and call the police.
Thomas’ parents were also concerned about his lack of independent daily living skills—including hygiene. They needed help making plans for their son’s life after high school.
Thomas was interested in learning how to talk to girls. When asked what he enjoyed spending his time doing, he responded, “I don’t know.”
We started treatment with a KGH Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) going to school to directly observe his day, as well as talk to his teachers and IEP team. The BCBA worked with the school to establish a strong behavior plan to better support the challenging behaviors, including leaving school during the school day.
The BCBA also conducted a preference assessment and vocational interest assessment. This helped determine what skills were needed to help Thomas develop a hobby and possible job interests.
Thomas and his parents worked with the BCBA in their home to set up a chore and hygiene chart. He kept track on his phone. Setting something up for Thomas to use his phone—a preferred item—while doing things he didn’t like was a great way motivate him to complete what he needed to do. The BCBA also taught Thomas texting etiquette.
Thomas also began seeing a KGH Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) to help him better develop more positive relationships with both male and female peers. They also worked on helping him to develop a positive self-image.
Within a few months, Thomas began attending our weekly Social Night for Young Adults. There, he was able to practice the skills he learned from the BCBA and LCSW.
The LCSW provided consultation to Thomas’ parents about recommended transition programs that would be a great fit for him.
Today, Thomas enjoys his preferred hobby of going to Starbucks with his Marvel comics. After high school, he moved smoothly to a transition program for 30 hours a week. He is independent in daily living skills at home and engages in appropriate texting with friends.
Free to Be Who You Are: Autism Treatment through a Neurodiversity Lens
The Importance of Joint Attention in Early Intervention for Autism
A Tale of Two Spectrums: Understanding Gender and Autism