Lisbeth from Burkina Faso
Lisbeth was born in February 2009 and has been diagnosed with childhood attachment disorder – disinhibited type, moderate cognitive delay, atypical autism, and paranoid schizophrenia. She has lived with a foster family for the past nine years. Lisbeth’s development was reportedly typical until three years of age when she began to regress. She lost much of her vocabulary, stopped using 1st person speech to refer to herself, and lost interest in toys. She also began showing stereotypic movements and her behavior became increasingly chaotic. Lisbeth is a restless, emotional girl who has difficulty staying in one place for very long. She walks, runs, and jumps, somewhat clumsily and can throw and catch a ball. She colors, staying mostly within the lines, feeds herself, drinks from a cup, dresses and undresses, and controls her physiological needs. Lisbeth can follow simple instructions, especially when an adult demonstrates and when the activity is of interest to her. She has recently started to react when called by name but rarely makes eye contact. Lisbeth’s speech is underdeveloped and she exhibits echolalia, although some improvement has been noted with regard to learning new words and phrases. At times Lisbeth may cry, scream, laugh, or show aggression without apparent reason. Lisbeth regularly attends school as well as a day care center for children and adults with special needs, where she is working on learning the rules of social interaction and behavior. She is generally calm and comfortable there, does not initiate conflict, and seems to like being around the other children. Lisbeth enjoys coloring, listening to music, dancing, and shopping with her foster mother.