An Adult with Developmental Disabilities

IMPORTANT: In no more than 3 and no less than 3 double spaced pages, respond to each of the following 4 questions after reading the attached (below) Case description of “Gloria.”

Gloria – An Adult with Developmental Disabilities*

1.    Briefly describe Gloria from the perspective of child development, in each of the following areas:  Cognitive, Physical, Social/Emotional, and Moral development.

2.    Describe Gloria from either the humanistic OR the psychoanalytic perspective of personality development.

3.    Describe Gloria from Erickson’s lifespan development perspective.

4.    Summarize your impressions of Gloria and what you think might be most challenging about working with her.  Do this in a short paragraph of 3 or 4 sentences.

Case Description of Gloria:

Gloria is a 53 year old person who was born mildly mentally retarded and with cerebral palsy . Soon after birth, her parents placed her in an institution for the developmentally disabled. She lived there until she was 31, at which time she was placed in a group home for the mentally retarded.

As a child, Gloria’s language development was delayed. She could not speak in sentences until she was 4 years old. She was not toilet-trained until age 7. Although her parents would visit her periodically, her main caretakers were the social service workers at the institution. Gloria was schooled at the institution where she acquired the equivalent of a second grade education. Gloria had few friends in the institution and was considered a loner. Despite working on socialization skills while in the institution, Gloria still prefers to be alone and spends much of her time painting. She has become a rather good artist, and many of her paintings are found in the institution and in the group home. Visitors often comment on the paintings and are generally surprised that a developmentally disabled person can paint so well. Gloria has a part-time job at a local art supply store where she generally does menial work.

Although Gloria does have some friends at the group home and at the art supply store, generally when she spends much time with someone, she ends up having a temper tantrum. When this happens she will usually withdraw, often to her painting. Gloria generally blames other people for her anger.

Gloria is a rules follower. She feels very strongly about the list of rules on the bulletin board at her group home. She methodically reports people who break the rules. She always feel extremely guilty after having a temper tantrum, because she sees herself as breaking the rule “talk things out rather than get into a fight>” In a similar vein, Gloria feels that laws in the country “are there for a purpose.” For instance, at street crossings she always stops at red lights and waits for the light to change.

Gloria has no sense of her future. She lives from day to day, and despite periods of depression, generally functions fairly adequately. She states she wants to get married, but her lack of socialization skills prevents her from having any meaningful relationships with men.

Overall, the human service professionals who have contact with Gloria describe her as a rigid, conscientious, talented person who has trouble maintaining relationships. They note that despite being in individual counseling and in a socialization support group, she has made little progress in maintaining satisfying relationships. Their feeling is that she will probably maintain her current level of functioning, and they see little hope for change.”

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