Where Bryer Started
When Bryer started at Cornerstone in February of 2016, he was quiet but loved to sing songs, such as “Five Little Monkeys.” One of his strengths was echoing the words of others, but he was very limited in the ability to communicate his wants and needs. He also had difficulty manding yes or no for items that were presented to him. Bryer found many daily living skills to be aversive and could not tolerate getting his hair cut. He was motivated to gain the attention of others but often resorted to physical aggression to gain that attention, as he did not yet demonstrate the ability to request attention appropriately. In addition, he frequently eloped with his therapists in the center and his family when at home or in the community. Bryer only tolerated complying with a few instructions at a time and demonstrated difficulty in attending to stimuli. He initially only worked on programming for a few responses at a time. Bryer relied on prompts from his therapists to correctly respond during programming, particularly when labeling items. His skills were in Level 1 of the VB-MAPP, with an overall score on the VB-MAPP Milestones Assessment of 33 points.
How Bryer Improved
By the time Bryer graduated from Cornerstone, he was communicating using complete sentences without prompting from his therapists and could even use conjunctions when manding! He did a great job communicating whether he also wanted items that were presented to him. He could also independently complete several daily tasks as part of his morning routine. When a hairdresser came to the center, Bryer tolerated all the steps of getting his hair cut. Bryer sought out attention appropriately by smiling at others. He attended to whether his therapist was with him when wanting to move to a different area and stayed with his caregivers when not at Cornerstone. Bryer worked on programming for an average of 12 minutes before receiving reinforcement and consistently mastered skills across all operants of the VB-MAPP and in various areas from the AFLS! Bryer mastered 121.5 programs from the VB-MAPP Milestones Assessment during his time at Cornerstone and achieved a score of 154.5 out of 170.
Bryer gained numerous skills to increase his ability to communicate and live more independently. These skills will help him succeed in school and everyday life. Kayla Helms, Bryer’s BCBA, said, “It was amazing to be a part of Bryer’s journey as both his therapist and BCBA over the last six years, and it has been incredible to watch him gain new skills to get him ready for school. I will miss hearing his laugh while he jumps on the trampoline with his favorite exercise ball!”