Counseling Case Study
Write a case study of a student of elementary grade age (between age 6-10) that is receiving counseling services. This case study can be the result of individual, conjoint, group or observational activities and should follow the following format. A clear focus on the bilingual, multicultural issues of the case study is required.
1.Presenting problem and background information*
• Pertinent information about attendance,
• School and family history/issues
• Medical history
• Language history / bilingual issues
2.Your initial analysis of the presenting problems*
3.Your initial short and long term goals based on # 2*
4.Your techniques and strategies to achieve # 3*
5. Brief summary of the development of the counseling sessions including establishing rapport, confidentiality mayor issues ,events , difficulties , failures , successes dealing with closure issues etc.*
6. Overall critique of your work with this student*
• Were your short and long term goals met?
• If so why so, if not why not??
• What would you do differently? The same?
• What would be a short term and long goal ,given where the student is at the end of your work with him/her?
• Any additional comments/insights/things learned etc,
Additionally, all references towards tests etc. must be listed.
BELOW FIND A SAMPLE CASE STUDY
The APA reference section is missing – all references towards tests etc. must be listed.
Student A.L. had lower than expected grades on his first marking period report card and his teachers have shared that his lack of participation and quiet demeanor have impacted his overall class average.
Queens HS for Information, Research, and Technology, or QIRT for short, was formed 2008 as a school that is research and technology based. In the past 7 years, the school has had 4 different principals and a graduation rate of 55%. However, in 2014, the current Principal (Mr. Manalo) set out to turn the school around. In 2018, now in his 5th year as Principal, the school has an 82% graduation rate, the highest in the school building.
The Far Rockaway High School Education Campus, where QIRT is housed, has long been known for its “tough” students and its low performance. However, this is no longer the case. Rather, the school provides an environment of structure, support, and affection. The whole student is considered and developed during his/her four years in the school. With over 10 PSAL sports, several academic supports, and persistent educators, the school continues to set records within its network of similarly-performing schools.
The school population is a total of 470 students, predominantly from the Far Rockaway and neighboring areas. 28% of the student population is comprised of ELLs (almost a third). Over 70% of the school’s students are economically disadvantaged, of which 13% live in NYCHA housing. 17% of our total school population lives off of the Far Rockaway Peninsula. That is, they commute to our school for the quality program and education we offer. The stigma of failure has left QIRT and more students seek enrollment into our school than the other two High Schools in the building.
A.L. is a quiet, intelligent, and petite young man. He seems quite easy-going and has a small cadre of friends that he hangs around. I see A.L. weekly for mandated counseling that is required by his IEP. (Although he prefers to receive counseling in Spanish, his IEP mandated that his services be delivered in English) From our first session, I noticed that A.L. was quiet, and that it would take some time to establish trust within the therapeutic relationship. That said, after our third session together, A.L. began opening up a lot more and we have explored different topics within our weekly sessions. I am proud to report that A.L. has nearly perfect attendance in school. He seldom misses days of school.
A.L. describes himself as a “quiet and somewhat intelligent student”. I will agree with his self-assessment when it comes to being quiet. However, “somewhat intelligent” is a gross underestimation. According to his teachers, A.L. is very bright and has the potential to be an A-student. I also sense this in my conversations with him, especially when he describes the aspects of instruction that appeal to him.
A.L. proceeds to tell me the following throughout our time together:
• I don’t listen to my teachers.
• I like gym because I spend time with friends and I like to play sports. I also enjoy being active.
• I like to listen to music during classes because it drowns out the sound of other students’ talking and behavior.
• I don’t like volunteering in class because I don’t want to embarrass myself. I have seen how students get made fun of when they answer incorrectly.
From this description, one can glean that A.L. is a typical teenager. That said, it should be noted that he struggles slightly with self-esteem and is introverted. His energy is drawn from within and also from his small circle of friends. Large groups make him uncomfortable. It would be safe to assume that he is not extroverted when evaluated from the perspective of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality assessment.
I’d like to end with an observation: Since I first met A.L., his hair color and hair style have changed about four times. He had very long black hair in the beginning of the school year. Since then however, his hair has shortened significantly and is now a two-tone reddish and blue. When asked why he changed his style, he simply stated that he was bored and wanted a change.
Student Family and Language History
A.L.’s family immigrated to United States from Puerto Rico in 2014. The family is Spanish-speaking (This was A.L.’s first language). A.L. and his brother are the only two that actually speak English and his sister speaks limited English. A.L.’s mother does not speak much English at all and neither does his step-father. In the household, Spanish is the only language spoken. A.L. learned to speak English by taking basic English-speaking classes in Puerto Rico but later learned a lot more once he came to the United States. He was in ESL classes through Middle School and also received content instruction in English during his 8th grade year.
To A.L., being bilingual is a strength because it helps him navigate two circles of friends and general life. He is able to communicate with two populations rather than just one. With respect to his bilingualism, A.L. finds that he sometimes code-switches and replaces written Spanish with English. That is, he mistakenly replaces words with in Spanish with words in English. This is a good example of how strong his command of the English language really is. Nevertheless, A.L. has not experienced any significant issues with being bilingual. Rather, he has tested out of ESL and is able to navigate his academic and social lives in both languages comfortably.
A.L. has had a normal/stable medical history. His health is normal for a 15-year old young man.
A.L. lives in a household of six people. These include his mother, step-father, older brother, older sister, and his 18-month-old nephew. At 15 years of age, A.L. is the youngest of three siblings. The oldest is his sister, at 22, and the middle brother is 20 years old. From the Adlerian perspective, A.L. should outshine his siblings and receive the most attention for being the “baby” of the family. However, from my conversations with him, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Rather, A.L. fades into the background and spends a lot of time in his bedroom watching Netflix movies or YouTube videos. He tends to keep to himself and continues to display signs of being a true introvert.
A.L. has mentioned during our sessions that his brother is the polar opposite of him. His older brother is extremely extroverted and is the life of the party wherever he goes. I was actually able to meet A.L.’s brother when he visited the school and was able to corroborate A.L.’s assessment. Of note though, is the fact that A.L. looks up to his older brother. During our sessions, A.L. and I discussed his admiration and developed goals that could help him emulate those same characteristics he esteems.
A.L. has stayed in contact with his biological father and gets along with his step-father. He seems well connected to his family members and is thrilled to be living with his little cousin. Unfortunately, though, A.L.’s brother and sister work a lot and he does not spend as much time with them as he would like. As a result, he tends to keep to himself and find merriment in the shows and videos he watches. It is clear that he respects both his siblings and values his relationship with them.
A.L. is categorized as a SWD (student with disability). His official classification is “Learning Disability”. His provisions include weekly group counseling, time and a half on exams, and integrated co-teaching services in the four core subjects. He does not recall when he was first classified and was pretty open about discussing his IEP with me.
As I mentioned before, A.L. arrived here from Puerto Rico when he was in Elementary School. From the moment he arrived, he was classified to be in the school’s ENL program and progressed through school as an ELL. However, A.L. was able to test out of the ENL program based on his abilities. He felt great accomplishment after testing out.
Initial Analysis of the Presenting Problem
There are two issues I see with A.L.’s apparent lower grades and lack of participation. Firstly, I would like to determine the real reason behind his reluctance to speak in class and during Socratic Seminar activities. Is it related to his learning disability? Is it lack of confidence? Without class participation, he will continue to lower his grade by at least 10 points. Secondly, does his accent in English provide some type of angst or anxiety when he speaks in public? Is he ashamed of his accent? Is he afraid that he will embarrass himself? Is being Puerto Rican a characteristic of pride or one of shame? Culturally, the school is very accepting and tolerant of all sorts of expression. Nevertheless, this environment does not seem to enable A.L. to speak out loud in class because he still refuses to do it.
Short and Long Term Goals
A.L.’s grades were not as high as they could have been for the first marking period. During our conversations, he acknowledged that his grades lowered on account of his unwillingness to speak out during class. It is important to note that our school heavily partakes in the Socratic Seminar technique. This is a type of activity where students are placed in either an inner or an outer circle. The students within the inner circle debate a topic and the students on the outside observe and comment on the quality of the debate and discussion. To A.L., the Socratic Seminar is very intimidating, and he has indicated to me that he will not talk during the activity. Evidently, speaking in public or being judged while speaking is an issue of concern for A.L., an ELL student. It has caused his class participation grade in every class to drop and has impacted his overall class averages.
My short-term goal in working with A.L. has been to help him explore techniques that will allow him to better participate in class and increase his overall grade for the next marking period. I also would like to analyze how much of his reluctance is attributed to language issues vs. personality type and share my findings with him. He and I have explored several techniques that can help him develop the courage to speak out in class and consequently increase his grades. An improvement in class participation would benefit his overall performance and increase his grades. I was met with resistance at first. Nevertheless, I have persisted throughout our sessions. My long term goal with A.L. is to have him develop greater academic courage so he can shift towards becoming more of an extrovert.
Techniques and Counseling Process
My first intervention was a consultation with A.L.’s teachers. I spoke with all his teachers and they shared that he was, in fact, quiet and did not interact with students in the class. This surged early in our counseling sessions and A.L. did not hide it. He was quite clear about his discomfort when participating in group work. He and I explored various techniques that can help him to be more vocal and I was met with resistance. I agreed not to pressure him too much and we discussed other topics concerning his family and friends. He did share however that his accent or perceived inability to speak English was not at all the reason that he does not feel comfortable speaking/presenting in front of his peers.
I enjoy observing students performing in classes. As such, I subtly visited the different classes that A.L. was a part of and noticed after our fourth or fifth session that he was vocal during group work and was contributing toward the team goals. I brought these observations into subsequent counseling sessions and congratulated A.L. for his courage during group work. He seemed a bit embarrassed but acknowledged his progress. I attempted to challenge A.L. by asking him to employ this courage within Socratic Seminar, but he was vehemently opposed. I respected his opinion and challenged him to take a “baby step” toward participating during general class discussions, but he shook his head “no”. He shared that his opinions are different from that of his classmates and he doesn’t want to make them angry by sharing his opinion in front of everyone. This is one of the major reasons why he does not speak in front of others.
During future sessions, we continued to discuss his in-class participation and he shared that he prefers to speak privately to teachers as opposed to being vocal in class. In fact, he requests to present privately to teachers during their free periods so they know he is capable of producing quality work. In my follow-up consultation with his teachers, I inquired as to his academic progress and how it was being impacted by his lack of participation. All of his teachers informed me that he is quite knowledgeable and does work well within groups. Surprisingly however, they all mentioned that A.L. gives his answers directly to teachers but will not do so in a public setting. They have accepted his approach and have willingly chosen to not take A.L. out of his comfort zone or attempt to “fix” something that is not necessarily broken (he performs well, academically). I asked the teachers if A.L.’s grades would decrease because of his lack of participation, and was reassured that they wouldn’t.
Being the persistent individual that I am, I also consulted the School Psychologist. She and I have collaborated on other students and, in this instance, I approached her about making A.L. more vocal in his classes. She recommended that I try three techniques: (1) role-playing what participating would look like within the classroom; (2) exploring the “worst case scenario”; and (3) observing how many students are actually ridiculed and what it looks like. Are students actually ridiculed or is it just one student whose buddy is giving him a hard time? What type of student is the one doing the ridiculing? I decided to discuss techniques number (1) and (2) with A.L. during the following session. I was happy to see that A.L. was able to explore a “worst case scenario” that wasn’t all that bad. It was also fun to role-play with A.L. but I could see his discomfort with it, even if it was just the two of us.
As part of a homework assignment between that and the following session, I asked A.L. to employ technique number (3) and report back to me with his findings. I also requested that A.L. raise his hand once and also report back how it felt for him. However, he did not follow suit. As a matter of fact, he shared that when “cold-called” he shakes his head “no” and does not answer out loud. It seems to me that his teachers understand his discomfort and have enabled him to maintain a good class participation grade although he will not participate to the degree we would like him to. A.L. is well aware that his teachers have come to accept his lack of participation.
I will end with the following: I will consult a book next to explore greater techniques in increasing courage for A.L. that can help him to come out of his shell.
Outcome and Critique of my Work with A.L.
A.L. is not participating in class, when considered from the traditional sense. However, he is participating in group work and is collaborating with other students to complete tasks. In this manner, he has shown improvement! He has found a way to perform in class and not have to be vocal in front of the whole group. He and his teachers have entered into a sort-of pact and it is working for all parties involved. His grades have increased as a result of his self-advocacy. While A.L. may not be the student that is always raising his hand and being heard in the classroom, he is still learning and performing. My short-term goal of increasing his academics has had a positive outcome whereas the increased “hand-raising” was a negative outcome. However, I am happy that his class participation increased through performance on group tasks. Also, from the perspective of being “totally vocal” the outcome is negative, but I still remain hopeful. That said, I will continue to work with A.L. to develop the self-courage to contribute to class discussions and the Socratic Seminar. I want to keep holding him to a standard that will address the long-term goal of increased extroverted nature.
I will continue to work with A.L. and not consider him a lost cause. I don’t believe I would change my approach. Rather I will remain persistent and continue to build off the slight improvements in his willingness to be collaborative and vocal. His disposition is positive and I hope to keep building off of this positivity. A.L.’s reluctance to speak is not unique to him. There are several students that display this reluctance and it can be attributed to their innate personalities. I don’t believe it to be fair to try and change someone too much, especially when the student is actually performing. As mentioned before, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”. Through my work with A.L. I learned that every goal we have for students may not be met. And rather than be disappointed and consider ourselves failed, we should rejoice in knowing that we helped a student make small incremental changes. The small changes will have positive results in the student’s future as we continue to develop them and they employ these skills. Time will tell. In summary, I am happy that my interaction with A.L. was from a culturally responsive and competent perspective and that I can considered his language and culture in my work with him. I will explore culturally valid assessments that can help determine if his issue deals with anxiety. Perhaps a BASC-2 or BASC 3 will help determine if his issue is due to anxiety. However, there is no immediate rush for that intervention.
Write a case study of a student of elementary grade age (between age 6-10) that is receiving counseling services. This case study can be the result of individual, conjoint, group or observational activities