Hayden’s Story

Where Hayden Started

Hayden joined the Cornerstone family at 4 years old in September of 2011. From the time he started ABA therapy to now, he has made drastic improvements across many areas.

When Hayden first started at Cornerstone, he only had 11 milestone points across the VB-MAPP assessment, correlating to a typically developing child ranging from 0-18 months in age. Hayden was delayed in the areas of manding, tacting, motor imitation, and echoics.

Upon starting at Cornerstone, Hayden had minimal language abilities. He struggled to appropriately request his wants and needs and was unable to echo any sounds. Hayden communicated primarily by pointing or pulling another person to gain access to a reinforcing item or activity. Following simple demands posed as a substantial challenge for Hayden. He was only able to work through one demand at a time, and he required frequent access to reinforcement throughout the day. In addition, Hayden was also unable to complete any daily living skills, including feeding or dressing himself, and he was not toilet trained.

Hayden engaged in frequent maladaptive behaviors, including non-compliance, mouthing, elopement, property destruction and tantrums that would last for hours in duration. He also had no awareness of dangerous situations. Hayden would frequently attempt to ingest inedible objects and would elope from the environment multiple times per day. He engaged in property destruction throughout the day, which consisted of throwing toys, dumping large bins of items, and knocking things over.

How Hayden Improved

Hayden is now 14 years old and has gained independence in so many areas of his life. Hayden’s programming over the last several years has focused on helping him to gain autonomy in his every day life. Each morning, Hayden has a morning routine that he completes upon arriving to the center that includes toileting, brushing his teeth, combing his hair, washing his face, putting on deodorant, and even showering, which Hayden is now completing with minimal prompting from his therapists. Hayden’s programming has also incorporated many mealtime goals, including using a microwave to warm up his own food. Hayden will now select and cook his own lunch with minimal prompting from his therapist.

In addition to gaining significant independence in his everyday life, Hayden has worked diligently to complete 144 out of the 170 possible milestones points across levels one through three of the VB-MAPP assessment. Hayden’s language has grown exponentially during his time at Cornerstone and he is now demonstrating the ability to ask for different items, activities, and information using complete sentences and various parts of speech. Hayden is now able to work for up to six minutes at a time without access to reinforcement. Hayden has also grown socially over the last six months showing an interest in hanging out and playing basketball with a select group of peers. Most importantly, Hayden’s personality has blossomed so much over the last nine years.

“Hayden has grown into an independent, kind, funny, and sweet young man who will be greatly missed around Cornerstone,” said Ashley Willey, MA, BCBA. “We are so proud of Hayden and all his hard work during his time with us!”