Mike, a 35-Year-Old with Autism
Mike is a 35-year-old male diagnosed with Autism. He lives at home with his parents and is currently unemployed. Additionally, Mike struggles with mood regulation, following through with tasks/directions, social skills and coping with unexpected transitions. Mike has tried individual therapy, residential treatment, and wilderness programs in the past. While the family reported moderate success, they thought there was not enough support and expressed difficulty over the continuity of care.
When Mike and his family first visited the Connections team, they collaborated in crafting an individualized plan in which each of his issues were addressed and with enough support is in place to ensure goals would be met.
The family began weekly family therapy sessions where they rotated between having sessions with and without Mike present. During family therapy, members were able to process barriers to connection and effective communication. During parent-only sessions, the family received psycho-education on Mike’s diagnoses while learning effective modes of parenting. These sessions also gave the parents an effective platform to express concerns, frustrations and discuss Mike’s progress.
Mike received Connections coaching from three different individuals:
- Coach 1 worked with Mike twice a week in the mornings to help him prepare for the week and reflect on his progress. This preparation included organizing tasks that needed to be completed for the week, meal prepping, and practicing socialization skills.
- Coach 2 worked with Mike twice a week in the afternoons. During these sessions, the Connection’s coach helped Mike complete chores, practice communication, and play cognitively focused games.
- Coach 3 worked with Mike twice a week in the evenings to help Mike get out in the community. This included applying for jobs, playing basketball, and working at volunteer centers where he engaged with other people in the community.
Mike also participated in personal training at the gym 3 times a week. The gym Mike attends specializes in working with people who have various mental health concerns. They help him stay active and healthy and have experience with resistance and the Connections program.
The program was definitely rigorous and required a great amount of Mike’s time. His parents saw noticeable changes in Mike’s behavior and attitude and were hesitant to abandon this rigorous program prematurely. It was decided to continue the program for another ninety days. At the conclusion of that period, should everything progress as desired, they would begin to gradually ratchet back to a more “sustaining” level of treatment.
*All therapy sessions are 45 minutes and personal training sessions are 30 minutes. Coaching sessions is an hour. Family sessions are an hour.