Establishing the correct diagnoses of the mental illness exhibited by Max involves a combination of in-depth, mental health and developmental assessments. From the DSM-5 diagnoses, I think Max presents more symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or Intellectual Development Disorder. This is because during assessments Max was occasionally uncooperative with tasks, had difficulties in relating with the therapist, and staying on tasks (Kaba & Soykan Aysev, 2020). However, he completed his tasks adequately but had impulsivity, negative attention-seeking behavior, and distractibility. Max also presents symptoms of conduct disorder including destructive behaviors fighting. His teacher reported his destructive behavior to be more constant than anyone else and has been involved in physical altercations with peers. Nonetheless, Max presents symptoms of depression such as sad moods, becoming easily disengaged, and reluctance to engage in social activities. Other signs of depression presented by Max include emotional outbursts, irritability, and increased sensitivity. Based on DSM-5 criteria, Max presents symptoms of schizophrenia. These include extreme moodiness, acentric and odd behavior such as throwing things, inappropriate language, tantrums, and hollering (Baranne & Falissard, 2018). Max also has poor relationships, is isolated from others, and sees things that do not exist. During assessments, he presented some troubling thoughts that showed he was fearful of the world around him.

From the assessments, the ruled out diagnoses I considered are mild ADHD and schizophrenia. Symptoms of ADHD include hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and impulsiveness (Kaba & Soykan Aysev, 2020). Max has reported several cases of inattention. His school therapist and teacher-reported distractibility that interfered with his school performance. He was also uncooperative with tasks and ignored instructions besides having difficulties paying attention. He also showed symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity such as being unable to take part in leisure activities. These symptoms significantly interfere with his social behavior and school work.

I would also rule out severe Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia involves several behavioral, emotional, and cognitive problems. One of the symptoms presented by Max is social withdrawal. His mother and current teacher reported that he has no friends, has a hard time reading social cues, and is in reactive, distracted, and impulsive situations that lead to isolation. Max also has trouble concentrating and a decrease in speaking and conversation. During assessments, he was reluctant to engage in conversations and spoke quietly. He was also uncooperative with tasks, was slow to warm, and had difficulties relating with the therapist. Max reported also reported irritability and desire moods as well as inappropriate behaviors such as outbursts, throwing things, inappropriate language, hollering, and tantrums. Other symptoms include lack of attention difficulty in the following direction and verbally expressing himself and focus and his processing speed was orderly impaired (Baranne & Falissard, 2018). Furthermore, Max has positive symptoms such as delusions and paranoid thoughts. He was fearful and believed that the world around him was a scary place filled with rejection. His perception of the surrounding was atypical and could not identify problems and social cues.

Other areas of concern that may need consideration include depression and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Children with multiple mental illnesses are likely to develop depression evident in their long-lasting sad moods and lack of interest in activities (Baranne & Falissard, 2018). Max shows depression symptoms such as difficulties in task completion, concentration, and is easily disengaged. His teacher describes him as one of the saddest kids. Sometimes he experiences emotional outbursts ranging from six to seven-time a day, isolates himself from others is disengaged. Max may also have ODD due to his feelings of frustration and unprovoked anger. He also displays defiance or refuses to comply with requests. All these issues are serious mental disorders that need to be effectively examined and Max should be provided with appropriate treatment methods.





















Baranne, M. L., & Falissard, B. (2018). Global burden of mental disorders among children aged 5–14 years. Child and adolescent psychiatry and mental health12(1), 1-9.

Kaba, D., & Soykan Aysev, A. (2020). Evaluation of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Early Childhood According to the DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria. Turkish Journal of Psychiatry31(2).


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