ERIC Number: ED071216
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1972
Reference Count: N/A
Tommy: A Treatment Study of An Autistic Child.
An 8-year-old hospitalized severaly autistic boy was given up to 8 hours per day of therapy for 5 months in an attempt to establish a strong child-therapist affection relationship (which would serve as the basis for all other therapy) and to train the child through a behavior modification program. The teacher-therapist was a graduate student supervised by a hospital psychiatrist. Tommy's symptoms included inability to relate to people, self-imposed isolation, lack of reaction to auditory stimuli, lack of speech, hyperactivity, repetitious motions, feeding problems, and lack of toilet training and ability to dress himself. The first month of therapy was devoted to establishing physical contact and affection. Next, a behavior modification program was gradually introduced to teach personal, social, and academic skills. As a result of the one-to-one therapy, Tommy learned to speak about 70 words, became toilet trained, dressed himself, ate using utensils, learned to read and write numbers to 10 and about 20 words, improved his social skills, decreased his self isolation need, and lengthened his attention span. Emotional weaning (therapist's gradual withdrawal out of relationship) ended the therapy. (KW)
Descriptors: Autism, Behavior Change, Case Studies, Emotional Development, Emotional Disturbances, Exceptional Child Research, Psychotherapy, Self Care Skills
Council for Exceptional Children, 1411 South Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Virginia 22202 ($3.25)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council for Exceptional Children, Arlington, VA.