Anna’s Story

Where Anna Started

Anna has been a girly girl since her first day of therapy – she loves to show off her clothes every day when she walks into the center. She also has many facial expressions that her therapists love, especially when she scrunches up her nose.

When Anna started treatment, she was non-verbal and had only 5 points on the VB-MAPP, which is a communication assessment. She had limited sounds, and building her communication has been a strong portion of her programming. For months, her therapists and family would use basic ASL signs to give Anna a channel to share her wants and needs.

Anna also struggled with a strong attachment to her first therapist and did not want to socially interact with anyone else, including peers during group time. Her independent skills were also very limited and she depended on others to help her.

How Anna Has Improved

Anna’s communication has flourished in the past two months. When she started, she was using a few ASL signs and sounds to communicate. Now, Anna is consistently using two-word phrases and pairing them with the items or activities she wants. She can say phrases such as push high, open door, shoes on or shoes off. In April 2014 when she started, Anna averaged 97 target behaviors in her programming. In January 2015, she mastered 172 targets!

“Therapy has helped her become more independent to voice what she wants and needs, and learn skills to do things for herself rather than relying on others,” said BCBA Hailey Guidi, Anna’s clinical coordinator. “I think it’s helped her personality blossom and her personality is super cute.”

Not only is she making improvements in communication, but her social skills and independent skills grow every day. In the morning, she points at the cubbies and says al of her peers’ names. During group, she has led her peers in the Peanut Butter song. She also seeks out peers to play with her, such as the Ned’s Head game. The independent skills she has gained through therapy include asking to go potty on her own, pulling her pants up, getting her snack, filling up her water and throwing away her trash. At home, Anna’s mom lets her choose her outfit, which makes her even more excited to show everyone what she is wearing each morning.

At the end of the day, Anna’s parents said she prays for her therapists.

“As we go to bed each night, we say our prayers with Anna and give thanks for the people in our lives,” said Brian Bush, Anna’s dad. “Anna used sit and look at her books, seemingly oblivious to our conversation. Now when we ask Anna what she is thankful for she says her therapist’s names, “Kelsey”, and “Gina” as well as “Group” for her friend group at Cornerstone, in addition to oatmeal and cookies. The progress Anna has made in the last year is amazing, and we have the Cornerstone staff to thank for Anna’s progress. We do not know where we would be today if not for the support from Cornerstone.”

To see a video of Anna’s progress on our youtube channel, click this link.