River’s Story

Where River Started

River started at Cornerstone Autism Center back in December of 2019. “I remember on River’s first day, his backpack was three times the size that he was,” said Team Lead, Kathleen Leahy. “He could have fit inside it!”

River used an AAC Device (Augmentative Alternative Communication) to communicate. He started at Cornerstone with only 19 VB-MAPP milestone points. Previously, he was dependent on adult assistance to complete self-help tasks.

River also engaged in the behaviors of physical aggression, elopement, tantrum, and task refusal to escape demands placed by adults. He could only tolerate responding to a handful of instructions at a time.

How River Has Improved

With dedication from River’s team and over a year of receiving ABA therapy, River learned to use his voice by speaking full sentences to communicate his wants and needs. River now uses his voice to talk to his peers and has become quite the popular guy.

“River is a social butterfly. He is the life of the party,” said BCBA Victoria Oliver. “Everyone always wants to play with River!”

He has also made significant progress across both the VB-MAPP and AFLS assessments. River graduated with 151.5 out of 170 total milestone points! He can now independently tie his own shoes, rinse dishes after a meal, and complete the toileting routine on his own.

Prior to his graduation, River could sit for 15-minute intervals at a desk, raise his hand to answer questions, and complete worksheets.

River made so much progress over his time at Cornerstone! His silly personality and incredible imagination will be greatly missed. We wish him the best of luck on his new adventure!

Watch River’s graduation video here: