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Autism Case Study: How 4-Year-Old Walker Became Free of Self-Injurious
Behavior (All Names Changed for Privacy)

 

“Walker, it’s time to put away the iPad and come to the dinner table,” said Reed Williams as he gathered

the other kids to

eat.

 

Walker continued playing his Disney video game as if nothing had ever happened.

 

Now it was Mom’s turn: “Sweetie,” called Megan, “come have dinner.” She walked over to Walker to take

away the iPad. 

 

Walker held on as long as he could. The moment the iPad slipped out of his grasp, Walker broke down into a

hysterical tantrum.

Eventually he got to the dinner table… but not after banging his head on the wall a few times.

 

Such was life in the Williams family home. Walker had autism and daily life was complicated.

 

Walker’s symptoms included:

  • Self Injurious Behavior

  • Lots of screaming

  • Intense stubbornness

  • Repetitive behaviors

 

One specific issue was the trigger for many of Walker’s other behaviors: transitioning from what he wanted

to do,

to what his parents wanted him to do.

 

For example, if Walker was having fun with a certain toy, he would resist putting that toy down to take a bath.

Or, if it was time to get out of the car and go into the house, Walker would respond with a tantrum.

Getting dressed, getting undressed, going to bed, leaving the house… transitions were a nightmare for Reed

and Megan.

 

Walker learned that yelling and tantrums defeated most of his parent’s demands, and got his way a lot of the time.

 

Reed and Megan’s marriage suffered. So did their relationships with Walker’s siblings. They wondered if their son

could ever be successful in school or the workplace.

 

Reed and Megan were frustrated.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

  •  

 

 

 

 

Today, Reed and Megan spend time with all of their kids equally. Their marriage is happier, and

they have hope for the future. They state that they are grateful to have a life in the evenings once

again.

 


 

Walkers Success 

So, what was it that helped Walker grow so quickly? How did he end up on a trajectory to live a

much fuller and happier life?

 

One element is seeing each child as a holistic individual with their own strengths, weaknesses

and ways of communicating.

 

But the most important factor that helped Walker is the fact that his parents took action and

got the help they needed.

 

They appreciated that the longer you wait to get help, the longer it takes to help your child.

They decided that they didn’t want to stall or delay or look into it “someday.”

Now look where Walker is.

There’s Hope for Every Child

 

Imagine train tracks that stretch all the way to the horizon. If you alter the course of those train

tracks just a couple of degrees, they will end up miles away from where they point now.

ABA therapy is about helping your child change direction now, so they end up at a totally different

destination in the future.

By helping children with autism learn the communication, social, and life skills they need, we can

help them live more independently for the rest of their lives.

 

There is hope for every child.

 

Now It’s Your Turn

 

Would you like to get help for your child? Our team of highly experienced professionals has many decades of combined experience helping kids with autism. 

 

We can look at ways to address whatever is on your mind, including:

  • Signs of autism

  • Helping you set up a diagnostic evaluation

  • Toileting issues

  • Temper tantrums

  • Social skills issues

  • Difficulty performing routines

  • Communication deficits

  • Self-injurious behavior

  • Eating difficulties

  • Academic challenges

  • And more…

 

 

Here’s What to do Next

Below there is a form you’ll need to fill out, and on the following page you’ll be asked to pick a time to schedule your session:

 

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Get In Touch

How Everything Changed
Reed and Megan decided to enroll Walker in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Therapy under my supervision.

In consultation with his parents, I put together a plan of action to help Walker learn to delay gratification, get attention without screaming or hurting himself, find alternatives to inappropriate behaviors, and transition between tasks. 
The results changed the Williams family forever. Walker now:Communicates that he needs something in appropriate ways rather than tantruming or
hurting himself. 
Behaves more appropriately in daily life.Transitions more easily between tasks.Complies with his parents more often.

We also taught Reed and Megan effective strategies to reduce tension and anxiety in the home. 

Jessica Lake

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Rick Landry

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