Samantha’s Case Scenario
Samantha is a 4-year-old preschool student. She lives with her two parents, two older brothers, and beagle. Her parents have been worried that Samantha’s speech is slow to develop and that she avoids social situations, even with the family. While she likes to spend time with their dog, she does not choose to play with her brothers or neighborhood children. On the recommendations from the pediatrician and preschool teacher, Samantha was screened for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It was determined that her development is on the spectrum and that she would require treatment.
Her parents read about autism and its symptoms and realize that Samantha’s apparent lack of bonding was related to the autism. They had been worried that she did not understand social cues or seem happy like their sons had been. They were concerned that she did not play (e.g. make faces) like her brothers had.
In your response to the questions below, write a 750–1,000 word expository essay using Samantha’s scenario to explain the principles of social referencing, understanding social cues, and the differences between social processing between ASD and non-ASD brains. Each of these points needs to be stated and explained in a well ordered, logical manner.
Include the following points in your expository essay:
- Briefly summarize (in your own words) the scenario.
- Explain how mirror systems leads to social referencing.
- Discuss how humans use the facial expressions of others as a social tool.
- Provide an explanation of how mirror systems help us to understand others.
- Describe how autistic children/adults lack the ability to recognize facial expressions or social cues.
- Explain the difference between how an ASD diagnosed brain processes social information and how a non-ASD diagnosed brain processes social information