Where CJ Started
CJ and his family started their journey with Cornerstone in February of 2016. When CJ first began one-on-one therapy here at Cornerstone communication was a significant challenge for him. He would engage in stereotypic and scripting behaviors. CJ would independently emit two-to-three-word requests. However, due to his engagement in stereotypic behavior, when asked a question it made understanding his wants and needs difficult.
CJ also struggled with articulation, which caused additional barriers in understanding his wants and needs. He could complete minimal self-help tasks at the time and required an adult helping him through all the steps (i.e., brushing teeth, washing hands, and using the bathroom). He struggled with toilet training, and was unable to tolerate the sound of toilets flushing and hand dryers running in public restrooms. CJ also struggled with self-stimulatory behaviors, which had set him apart from his peers in the daycare that he was attending prior to Cornerstone. He would engage in intense hand-flapping behavior and would perseverate on doors opening and closing in his environment. In addition to his self-stimulatory behaviors, CJ would also engage in the maladaptive behaviors of non-compliance, elopement, tantrums, physical aggression against peers and self-injury. He had begun with only 34 out of the potential 170 milestone points on the VB-MAPP, with extreme deficits across levels one and two of the assessment. Some of CJ’s most significant developmental deficits presented in the areas of social behavior and social play, listener responding skills, motor imitation, and visual perceptual skills and matching-to-sample.
How CJ Improved
On July 20th, 2018 CJ graduated from Cornerstone, completing 169.5 out of the 170 milestones on the VB-MAPP assessment across levels one, two, and three. In addition to these significant milestone gains, CJ completed multiple targets across a variety of areas within the Assessment of Functional Living Skills (AFLS), such as dressing, toileting, grooming, community knowledge, basic communication, meals at school, routines and expectations, and social skills. CJ conquered toilet training head on and is now able to tolerate the sounds of toilets flushing and hand dryers running in public restrooms. Behaviorally, CJ no longer engages in any types of aggression, elopement, self-injury, or tantrums. CJ has developed self-management tools through his behavior intervention plan by expressing his emotions or when he needs a break to combat his previous engagement in non-compliant behavior. CJ grew to become a leader in the pre-school group modeling appropriate behavior and advanced language skills for his peers and has learned to develop friendships with those around him.
“Watching CJ’s fun and loving personality emerge was truly the greatest part of his journey here at Cornerstone,” said Stephanie Dille-Huggins, MA, BCBA. “Once a withdrawn child who would shy away socially from others, CJ became a social butterfly inviting other children around him to do the same.”
CJ is transitioning to 1st grade at a nearby elementary school with a love for reading, writing, and math (as well as his continued love of elevators and Food Network). CJ touched many lives here at Cornerstone and it was an honor to serve both CJ and his family. Cornerstone is confident that CJ will continue to grow and learn with success in the general education classroom setting! Congratulations CJ!