Case Study Client x

Family History

-Client is a practicing Muslim

- Client has six siblings who range in age from 3-11. My Client is the 6th born child

- Dad is 34 and Mom is 28, therefore mom started having kids at the age of 17

- The family is Somalian, but the parents came from a refugee camp in Kenya

-Parents speak three languages. English, Swahili, and Mai Mai

-Dad is the only one working. His income level is below the poverty level despite the fact that he has been working at Walmart for 4 years

-The family is trapped financially, but does get support from programs like wick and food stamps

-Parents say my client has no developmental issues and is in good health

-My client is 4 years old, she was born on July 30th 2012 in Vermont. Her favourite food is strawberries and she doesn't eat pork. She is physically stable, with good fine and gross motor skills. She wears a hijab everyday and dresses like a typical four year old child


My client has trouble listening to directions in the classroom. She often doesn't follow instructions, but rather portrays behaviour that is attention seeking. When asked to participate in activities, she protest by running around the classroom screaming, throwing things and even spitting at people. She often regresses to newborn behavior such as sucking her thumb, or sucking/biting on her classroom teething tools. When it comes to making realationships with adults, she pushes her limits to see what she can get away with. She wants to see the type of reaction she will receive. Her main attention seeking behaviors involve screaming, and climbing on high furniture.


According to my observations, it is easy to label my client with ADHD, but I am not a clinician and that is not my place. Therefore my supervisor and I have come up with reasons why my client acts the way she does at this age. It has come to my understanding that my client has parent child relational problems and an adjustment disorder. My client has trouble having her needs met in her household which makes sense because she has six other siblings all fighting for the same resource, their parents attention. In her household the father is the main disciplinary, but he is involved in work most of the time. Therefore the mother is left at home with all seven children. My client feels as if she doesn't receive enough attention at home so in order to receive attention she must seek it in a disturbing way. The same applies at school because she is competing with fourteen other children for the attention of her teachers. My client may have unresolved mother to daughter issues stemming back to breastfeeding because she often regresses to oral like behavior. In the classroom she has a special teething toy in the freezer that she can ask for when it's needed. The sucking of her thumb is also prevalent. My clients mother also had a miscarriage and was hospitalised, my client and her siblings had to stay at home and be taken care of by their uncle. This may have effected my client because she doesn't do well with transitioning. She may have an adjustment disorder because in the classroom when it is time to move to a new activity, she protest against it. This could be due to the fact that in her household she doesn't have much structure and she often doesn't listen to her parents.

Future Implications

I believe that if my client can receive the recourses that she needs in school in the future, her attention seeking behavior will decrease. The Winooski family dtaff does a great job of meeting her needs, but if future teachers don't have the knowledge on how to act toward my client then she will be diagnosed with ADHD and put on medication. In order to avoid this she needs to feel connected to her new environment because she needs to feel a sense of security. My client will excel in a classroom that has around ten kids because she needs a special typy of attention. If she does not feel comfortable in her classroom in the future she might be kicked out of the classroom for disturbing behavior. In order to avoid this, the teachers must establish a safe relationship from day one.

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