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Psychological Issue Summary

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The Scenario

Ian is a 5 year old Caucasian male that exhibits average verbal skills, average cognitive skills, and appeared to be of average height and weight. When entering his assessment, it was noted that his clothing did not match, his hair was unkempt and his mother seemed frazzled at best. When speaking to Ian’s mother prior to Ian’s assessment she indicated that she thought the difficulties she faced with Ian were normal until his Kindergarten teacher pointed out in a parent teacher conference that they were not. She also stated that since starting school, he seems to be very hard on himself, stating that he is stupid, and or not good enough. When meeting with Ian, he exhibited rapid speech patterns, jumped quickly from one topic to the next with seemingly no correlation, and showed frustration when attempts to go back to a previous topic came up.

When presented with a series of five tasks, he was only able to complete one of the tasks before getting distracted and forgetting about the other four. After his assessment, contact was made with his kindergarten teacher who stated that Ian had difficulty completing tasks, was prone to lashing out at other students verbally when confronted with his inability to do so, showed high levels of anger, and low levels of self-confidence. She also noted that he did not get along well with his peers and that he was very disruptive in the classroom. Behavioral Strategies

As a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist that helps children suffering from emotional disturbances, observing the maladaptive behaviors of the individuals can assist with helping to solve the issues that he or she may have. Children often mimic what they observe. In the case of Ian, the following action plan should be put in place which involves behavioral strategies that can help him cope with family relationships, peer interactions, academic difficulties, aggression, and social skills. Ian’s mother will need to positively enforce a regular sleep pattern and exercise plan for him. This is a behavior strategy that is beneficial to Ian having disturbing behaviors such as Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. Sleep helps to improve the child’s concentration (Bolyn, 2013) and this can be used with most behavioral issues.

Next, Ian’s mother should come up with a routine schedule. As a child with ADHD, Ian can easily become overwhelmed when there is a change with his daily lifestyle. This is why having a routine schedule along with a planner or checklist would decrease the chances of him having any disturbances. Ian’s mother can also choose to have a daily or weekly reward plan which should consist of the Ian’s favorite stickers or just hearing praise from his mother.

It will be the responsibility of Ian’s mother in particular to keep track of changes in his behaviors and the rewards being given to him. Mind-building activities such as puzzles, reading or games that encourage positive behaviors are also a fun way to exercise Ian’s mind and help him to maintain positive behaviors at the same time. Bandura’s learning theory allows him to observe through reading and or games. Both Ian’s mother and Ian should keep a journal and write daily in it about anything and everything, with the notion of bringing it to each session for discussion. Ian can particularly discuss his encounters in school since he is still learning to read and write.

Cognitive Strategies

Ian has a difficult time trying to keep his mind on certain tasks when asked to complete certain activities. Ian also showed frustration because he was struggling with the activities. This can happen when children have ADHD, completing tasks can be a difficult challenge. A cognitive strategy that can be used to help Ian with his ADHD problem would be Behavior Management. This type of cognitive strategy can be used as both a reward and punishment system which will help teach Ian control. If Ian does his work correctly then the teacher could give him a reward. The best part about behavior management is the mother can also use this technique to work with Ian.

For example, If Ian is having trouble sitting down at the table at home doing his homework, his mother could try to use a reward system to get Ian to do his work. Medication might need to be used in order to help Ian deal with his disability. Medication would make the punishment and reward system work better, because the Ian will be able to cope with his ADHD in a better fashion. The reward and punishment system should work well for Ian. It will show him right from wrong and offer him with the communication skills needed to interact with other students. Once Ian has his disorder under control, it won’t be as difficult to get along with other students (Treatments).

Socialization Strategies

Ian case will need to have several observation, and studies. This will need to be done first in Ian’s daily environment. It can then be determined whether or not anything needs to be changed in that environment. Since Ian is having communication issues and is having a hard time interacting with his peers, Ian will likely need a primary model where he will be the observer. Ian will also need to have rewards and punishments when his actions are either positive or negative. Our environment can affect our behavior. Additionally, the people around us that act as role models can affect Ian’s action and behaviors so those around him daily need to be aware of their influence on him.

Psychologist Albert Bandura discovered the importance of behavior models. He had this famous experiment back in 1961 called Bobo doll. This can be one experiment that can help Ian situation. In Bandura’s experiments, he had children watch television and hit a doll. When he later brought the same doll into the same room, the children began to hit the doll.

Behavior models can help Ian’s behavior and help him to better follow directions. He will need guidance. When it comes to socialization with his peers, he will need to observe the other children in his class. When he starts to see what other children do and how they act, he will begin to follow their lead and interact more with them appropriately. Finding something that holds Ian’s interest and things that he enjoys are imperative. Once these are determined, it can be used as a positive reinforcement. A good option for children with ADHD is Taekwondo. This offers structure, disciple, and an outlet for frustrations. If the child is good at it, it can reinforce positive self-esteem when reaching new belt levels.


In conclusion, it can be seen that Ian needs to be set on a strict schedule, focusing on an adequate night’s sleep. ADHD often needs to utilize medication to help bring children down to an even level and help them focus without jumping from subject to subject. In addition to medication and a set schedule, Ian also needs positive reinforcement combined with other structure filled activities to help him learn to better cope with day to day activities. Ian can use Bandura’s theory of social learning by observing his peers and using them as role models in how he should be interacting with others. Finding things that interest him that promote structure and disciple would also help him by offering an outlet as well as giving him good role models to observe.


Albert Bandura: Social-Cognitive Theory and Vicarious Learning, from http://education-portal.com/academy/lesson/albert-bandura-social-cognitive-theory-and-vicarious-learning.html Bolyn, M. (2013). Behavioral Strategies for ADHD. Retrieved fromhttp://www.livestrong.com/article/120943-behavioral-strategies-adhd/ Treatments for adhd . (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.msu.edu/course/cep/888/ADHD files/Treatments.htm

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