Phoenix’s Story

Where Phoenix Started

When Phoenix sees his afternoon therapist, he cannot wait to tell her about his morning session, what he ate for lunch and the craft he made during group. Sometimes the conversation will drift off into his favorite subjects – emergency vehicles and airplanes. When he started therapy, these conversations led to problem behaviors because Phoenix was difficult to understand. His needs couldn’t be met right away due to his struggle with enunciation, which led to tantrums.

Enunciation wasn’t his only obstacle. Phoenix wasn’t able to independently play for more than a few seconds without becoming upset. This caused issues not only with programming but also at home during dinner. When his therapists first implemented his independent play program at Cornerstone, he would scream and cry, knock over the kitchen set, spill out buckets of toys and disrupt other materials. After he was calm for 15 consecutive seconds, his therapist would come in and he could do something else immediately.

How Phoenix Improved

Phoenix has improved in his enunciations, resulting in the decrease of tantrums. He is able to communicate clearly with his therapists understanding him right away.

“At the beginning of our time together, I would have to ask him to repeat a majority of his words,” said his morning therapist, Jennie Williams. “Now Phoenix is stringing whole sentences together without us skipping a beat!”

After only days of implementing the independent play program, Phoenix began to play. After this, he excelled and the duration of his play lengthened. He can now play independently with no negative behaviors for over 13 minutes. They have hit the point where they can do varying amounts of time without any issues.

Every day, Phoenix comes in enthusiastic and ready to learn. He loves interacting with adults and is better at interacting with peers.

“I want families to realize that there is hope and things will get better – no matter how much they may be going through now,” said Jennie. “In the short time that I’ve worked at Cornerstone, I have seen so much progress in our kids. It is an amazingly wonderful thing to witness and I am so blessed to be able to witness it firsthand.”

To see his progress, watch the video on our youtube channel by clicking here.