Autism Case Study: Boy with Autism Gains Independence and Learns to Follow Directions

Parents relieved by remarkable progress for their son.

(All names changed for privacy)

It’s a cold January day in 2017, and a therapist is observing four-year-old Steve Jr. interact with his parents, Steve and Laura.

“Do you want some yogurt?” asks Steve.

“Ok,” replies Steve Jr. 


Steve walks over to the fridge, takes out a yogurt, peels back the top, gets a spoon, and walks over to Steve Jr.

Steve Jr. walks the other way, as if he had never agreed to eat yogurt.

Steve follows Steve Jr. around the house, trying to get the little boy to pay attention to him and eat some darned yogurt already.

Such an episode sounds innocuous, but as more and more episodes pile up, the parents start to wear down. At age 4, Steve Jr. was:

  • Non-compliant, verbally refusing most requests with a loud “No!”

  • Unable to entertain himself

  • Unable to clean up after himself

  • Unable to pull up his pants after using the bathroom

  • Very unhappy if he ever lost a game or had a request refused

Steve and Laura adapted to their son’s challenges by working from home, and being more or less on call to entertain or take care of Steve Jr. at any time. 

Steve Jr. demanded constant entertainment and 100% attention from his mom. He would tantrum to get what he wanted.

Laura gave up on engaging in daytime activities during Steve Jr.’s waking hours because she knew that she wouldn’t be able to get anything done.

The Day Everything Changed

In January 2017, Steve and Laura enrolled Steve Jr. in ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy with Mastermind Behavior Services.

The results changed everybody’s life for the better. Steve Jr. is…

  • Following directions

  • Happier and calmer

  • Respecting the boundaries of his parents

  • More independent around the house

  • Playing on his own sometimes in the mornings

Steve Jr. became able to participate in a private school that requires a level of cooperation and social skills to attend.

The day that Steve Jr. played on his own for 45 minutes in the morning was a special milestone for Steve and Laura. As parents, they feel overjoyed to be not only seeing positive changes in Steve Jr.’s behavior at home, but also receiving positive reports from school.

Steve and Laura deserve credit for applying techniques that we taught them during training sessions to help their son grow.


The MasterMind System

Without the MasterMind System, Steve Jr. may never have made all of the progress we see today. The MasterMind System is an approach to ABA therapy that teaches skills and communicative abilities to children in a more natural way. We model the natural cognitive development process children progress through to make learning easier and more effective.

Another important element in Steve Jr.’s success was the close and trusting relationship his BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) had with Laura. 

Lastly, Steven and Laura took advantage of in-home therapy so they could participate in helping their daughter develop.

The Secret to Steve Jr.’s Success

So, what was it that helped Steve Jr. grow so much in two years? 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 Steve Jr. 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 Steve Jr. 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:

Name *