Peyton’s Story

Where Peyton Started


When Peyton started at Cornerstone in August of 2018, he had a contagious laugh that everyone now misses. He was motivated to communicate and tried hard to echo others to build his communication abilities. He also attempted to convey his wants and needs through signs/gestures but had limited language skills. Peyton only tolerated working on programming for short periods and had an initial schedule of reinforcement of 30 seconds. At that time, he could not work on academic tasks and, instead, focused on building foundational skills that would set the stage for academic success. Peyton initially would not respond to his name or engage in parallel play with peers. In addition, Peyton was energetic and loved going around the center to see his favorite things, which often led to elopement from his therapists.

Furthermore, Peyton had limited interest in playing with toys or using playground equipment. He enjoyed watching the microwaves count down, flipping light switches on and off, and watching timers count down. Peyton’s skills were in Level 1 of the VB-MAPP, with an overall score on the VB-MAPP Milestones Assessment of 11.5 points.

How Peyton Improved


By the time Peyton graduated from Cornerstone, his communication abilities had flourished with his AAC device. He could use complete sentences, including adjectives, to ask for things he wanted or to label things in the environment. He could also follow a daily academic schedule and comprehensive programming for 20 minutes before gaining access to reinforcement. Peyton would follow complex instructions with at least three steps and engage in pretend social play with peers for at least five minutes. He also engaged in a low frequency of elopement, averaging less than one time per day. Peyton appropriately walked with his therapists and asked before leaving the area. In addition, Peyton chose a variety of age-appropriate reinforcers, such as swinging and playing games, and he calmly selected a new activity if those options were not available.

Peyton mastered 135.5 programs from the VB-MAPP Milestones Assessment during his time at Cornerstone and achieved a score of 147 out of 170.

Peyton made incredible progress across areas that will aid him academically at school and increase his autonomy at home and in the community. He learned to write his name and read several words. He also completed many daily living skills independently, such as finishing his toileting routine, unloading the dishwasher and putting the dishes away, and folding laundry.

It was extraordinary watching Peyton learn to communicate and gain new skills. We know Peyton will blow everyone away at school, and we will miss him!