Case Study: Connor
You are an ABA professional on a wrap-around team that works with Connor Brown, an 8-year-old boy diagnosed with Autism, Speech Delay, Gross Motor Delay, Mild Mental Retardation, and Sensory Processing Disorder. Connor is currently receiving in-home ABA services from you, and you are currently focusing on self-care skills, functional communication of basic needs, and decreasing self-injurious behavior. In addition, he is receiving Occupational Therapy, Physical therapy, and is being followed by a developmental pediatrician in your clinic. Connor attends a specialized, university-based day treatment program, also housed in the same complex as your clinic. Despite all of these services, Connor is not making much progress. Your data is showing that his self-injurious behavior has remained at baseline levels for nearly 3 months. The reinforcement system that you have devised is not yielding much better results for self-care skills or functional communication. You decide to take Connor’s case back to the team for consultation. When you present your concerns, the Speech and Language pathologist asks you why you are working on the same speech issues she is working on with Connor. The Occupational Therapist explains to you that none of your reinforcement attends to Connor’s sensory needs. The team leader, the Developmental Pediatrician remains quiet but thoughtful during the meeting. The Special Education Teacher states that he Connor has already successfully done some of the self-care skills at school that you are working on at home.
Assume this is an interdisciplinary team. Consider this quotation:
“Many barriers exist to prevent a team from maximizing its collective performance. Communication breakdown, hierarchical structures, muddied roles of team members, and systems issues contribute to ineffective team functioning. As communication is the core of collaboration, its breakdown can lead not only to ineffective teamwork, but can directly affect patient care and outcomes.” (Youngwerth and Twaddle, 2011).
Using your readings for the week, speak to what issues might you be able to identify with this team and how you would resolve them.
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Case Study: Connor
As an ABA Professional, it is paramount that I provide the best care plan suited to Connor’s needs. This care plan can only be effective if first, I understand the problems that Connor struggles with, and second, if I can mitigate those problems through proven methods of behavior modification and instruction suited to the patient. Both of these qualifiers can only be determined after a thorough evaluation of Connor Brown’s status. Obviously, his status from the beginning includes Autism, Speech Delay, Gross Motor Delay, Mild Mental Retardation, and Sensory Processing Disorder, but his abilities related to each are in an ongoing process of flux.
The Interdisciplinary Team
It is imperative that in this ongoing course of change the team maintain the highest level of communication possible to see that progress is fluid. Since an interdisciplinary team is properly defined as a group of individuals from diverse fields working in a coordinate effort to maintain a common patient goal, it makes sense that cross-functional communications are in …