Muscular Dystrophy

Students will read the case study and answer 2 questions of their choosing. Answers will restate the question in a sentence, be at least one paragraph (3 to 5 sentences) and written in complete sentences. Each question is worth 5 points each, for a total of 10 points.)

Case Study

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Mindy Lam is a 20-year-old immigrant who came to the United States from Hong Kong a year ago. She lives with her parents in an apartment adjacent to Chinatown in Los Angeles. Before arriving in this country Mindy finished the 11th grade in her home country, learned basic conversational English, and worked for two years as an apprentice tailor, never returning to finish high school. Mindy is a referral to the Department of Rehabilitation from a Muscular Dystrophy Association support group. Miss Lam has been working at a clothing factory as a children’s apparel seamstress she arrived in this country.

At age 19, Miss Lam was diagnosed with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHMD) and was treated at a hospital in Hong Kong. Despite the presence of FSHMD, Mindy has been able to care for herself. Since her arrival in Los Angeles, Mindy has been working for the same employer. Job evaluations indicate she is a reliable employee and gets along well with co-workers and supervisors. Four months ago, Mindy noticed her productivity steadily decreasing. Dust from cutting and sewing textiles irritated her eyes. She had difficulty sewing with precision and maintain productivity. Her arms quickly became tired after working on the sewing machine for a short time. To meet the daily quotas, Miss Lam took fewer breaks and a shorter lunch. Mindy often could not finish her lunch in the designated time due to swallowing difficulties; she does not have this problem when she eats slowly.

The client feels she is on the verge of an emotional breakdown. The fast pace of garment factory work is difficult for her, both mentally and physically. She does not want to be a burden for her family and desires to continue working. Mindy is experiencing mild depression because of her social isolation. Typically, she spends her time watching television and cooking for her family. Occasionally, they have dinner out. Presently, Mindy is living with her parents and has doubts about dating due to her physical condition. In addition, her father does not approve of interracial dating. At a co-worker’s invitation, Mindy attended a local Chinese-speaking church several times. However, her Buddhist parents prefer that Mindy not attend this particular church.

Before taking a few weeks of sick leave because of MD symptoms, Mindy was considered the top candidate for promotion to floor supervisor. Additionally, the company is in the process of computerizing the production lines. Miss lam has expressed a strong interest in learning the new computer-aided fashion design software to sketch clothing designs, a position available at her employer. Yet, she is pessimistic about the likelihood of being promoted to a designer position due to her lack of education, limited computer experience and MD. Except for a brief period of sick leave, she has been able to continue working full time. Additional employment interest of Miss Lam include child care, counseling, and working with people who have disabilities. Due to a family business failure, Mindy had to leave high school at the beginning of the 12th grade.


Identify some problems persons with MD encounter in society and in seeking and maintaining employment.
As Miss Lam’s counselor, what possible physical and emotional limitations would you take into consideration when planning vocational rehabilitation services?
If you recommend continued employment with her employer, what advise would you give concerning reasonable accommodation? Would you recommend one of the two positions available, one being a floor supervisor and the other as a computer-aided fashion designer?
How would you suggest Mindy expand her social activities without creating tension with her parents? Provide your rationale within a cultural context.
As a counselor, provide a career path for this individual. Remember that Los Angeles is a garment manufacturing center. Take into consideration her particular type of MD.

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