Where Tyler Started
When Tyler asks for a piggy-back ride, his therapist, Brittany, does not hesitate. Although he is several inches taller than her with a demeanor of over 6 feet, she takes his hands, rests them over her shoulders, and runs around the motor room with him. He roars with laughter the entire time.
Tyler came to our center in June 2013. He could use a few one-word phrases to request his basic needs and wants, such as “water” or “trampoline.” A lack of more extensive language, however, resulted in tantrums and aggressive behaviors. For example, when denied access to a desired item or presented with difficult/unfamiliar tasks, Tyler would reach out his hand out in a threatening manner and begin to aggress towards his therapists. Additionally, Tyler was not able to attend group activities and he only had male therapists.
How Tyler Has Improved
Tyler has blossomed since starting therapy at Cornerstone. He loves running down his favorite hallway and making people laugh with his sense of humor. Also, he can now communicate in full sentences to describe what he wants. You often hear Tyler demand actions from others, such as telling his clinical coordinator, “Mallory, stand up.” Requesting to see his peers is another new, exciting skill Tyler is picking up!
Tyler can now participate in group with his peers and for the first time since starting therapy at Cornerstone, he has two female therapists.
“Over time he has changed,” said Kingrey, MA, BCBA. “He just seems happier and he wants to be here.”
Kingrey said they are teaching Tyler that he can get what he wants through communication instead of aggression. The goal is to replace tantrums and aggression with functional communication.
There has been an increase in Tyler vocally communicating his wants instead of utilizing aggression. Waiting for desired items or activities is another skill we are teaching him.
“Communication has unlocked his whole world,” said Clinical Director, BCBA Holly Barszcz, “He was a kid who could only ask for two to three things, and now he is able to ask for so much more!”