ISABELLA’S CASE STUDY
Izzy’s parents first sought out SOAR because Izzy wasn’t talking, wasn’t responding socially, and wasn’t sharing smiles or laughs with her family members. She also frequently engaged in self-injury where she would hit her head into hard surfaces like walls or table tops. Her parents big goals were to get her to stop hitting her head and to get her to talk.
We began with a comprehensive assessment where we determined that Izzy bangs her head so that she can watch YouTube, particularly her favorite TV show: Yo Gabba Gabba. We began by creating pictures of Yo Gabba Gabba characters and teaching her to hand us a picture that represented the TV show. Every time she would hand us a picture, the therapist would say “Yo Gabba Gabba” and then allow her to watch Yo Gabba Gabba for 3 minutes.
While we were working on this picture communication system, we were also working on imitation skills. Getting Izzy to clap hands, nod her head, touch her nose, etc. in imitation of the therapist.
Once she had mastered motor imitation, we switched to imitating mouth movements, and then making sounds while imitating mouth movements. We worked on this for about a year. Eventually Izzy learned that if she imitates the sound “Yo” along with giving the therapist a picture card, she would be given access to Yo Gabba Gabba.
Over time we faded out the use of the picture card and instead only responded to Izzy saying “Yo.” After she got this down, we worked on expanding her language even further.
By the end of Izzys therapy, she had stopped hitting her head entirely and was communicating using 3-word sentences. She showed interest in playing with her family members and siblings. When she entered kindergarten, she was placed in a general education classroom with pull-out resource specialist support.