Katie Peterson, an 18-year-old female, has been referred to you by her primary care provider for
recommendations and treatment for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Throughout childhood and adolescence,
Katie’s support has not been consistent in managing her ASD, and her parents are seeking a PMHNP to
address Katie’s anxiety, frequent temper outbursts, and increasing difficulties interacting with her peers
throughout the day.
Her medical history includes seizures since the age of 11 months. A baseline SPECT scan revealed
overactivity in the basal ganglia and marked increased patchy uptake throughout her cerebral cortex.
You start the interview with her dad present.
Katie’s Dad’s Transcript
Dad: Katie has been getting more frequently restless and irritable at home. Her teachers report this behavior at
school, too. This causes problems there and has made it hard for her to make friends. And maintaining the few
friends she has. She has the skills to navigate social interactions, generally. But on the other hand, she is often
inappropriate by approaching strangers and asking their name and age.
Her teachers report Katie having trouble more days than not, especially in her morning classes. Her problems
often result in incomplete assignments even when she’s capable of doing them. When she is calm, she can sit
by herself to complete work. But she often will make loud spontaneous noises, disturbing others.
Things had been going so well, but now that’s getting older…. Well, we’re getting a little scared about what
used to just be called temper tantrums, but I don’t think we can say that now that she’s an adult?
During her psychiatric interview, you observe Katie with repetitive behaviors and poor eye contact. At one
point, she turns the lights on and off repetitively for several minutes before she can sit down to complete her
From your perspective as Katie’s psychiatric nurse practitioner, answer the following questions in a two- to
three-page double-spaced paper (not including the reference page) in APA format. Include at least three peerreviewed, evidence-based references.
Confirm Katie’s diagnosis based on the information you have been given. Discuss the importance of the
baseline SPECT scan.
Outline the types of resources you would recommend to help Katie function better.
What, if any, medications could help Katie improve her mood swings and anxiety? Provide rationale.
List two types of psychotherapy and a rationale that would help Katie. Explain why these psychotherapies are
significant to your evaluation or diagnosis.