Where Thomas Started
When Thomas began therapy at Cornerstone, he struggled to communicate with others. He would often use three-word utterances, grunt, and gesture toward items of interest. Along with communication barriers, social skills were an area behind others. Thomas showed little interest in peers and would often engage in activities by himself. He did not independently initiate interactions with others. Another area that Thomas struggled with was his ability to eat. He would eat a minimal variety of foods and struggled to sit at the table for extended periods. Thomas came in with noncompliance, tantrum, elopement (especially in parking lots), throwing objects, and had difficulty transitioning from one activity to another. Over time, his therapists worked diligently on his ability to mand with complete sentences, emphasizing enunciation and intentional communication.
How Thomas Improved
Since beginning at Cornerstone in August 2020, Thomas has made incredible gains across all areas of the VB-MAPP assessment. Upon graduation, his most important skill areas were manding, play, echoics, and linguistics. These were all areas where Thomas struggled the most when he first came to us. Thomas now mands in complete sentences to convey his wants, needs, and desires. He spontaneously engages in reciprocal conversation and even initiates conversation with others. He also participates in peer play without adult prompts and can maintain relationships with friends.
In addition to attending feeding therapy and food desensitization programs, Thomas can sit at the table with his family and enjoy a meal. He eats and often prefers a wide range of different foods like chicken, pizza, fruit, and yogurt. In addition, Thomas can feed himself using various utensils. At graduation, his maladaptive behaviors had improved immensely. We no longer tracked elopement, throwing, or tantrums, and his engagement in noncompliance was near zero throughout the day.
Thomas and his family have made such an impact on our hearts here at Cornerstone. We are so excited and happy to know he has made such remarkable strides and is now attending pre-school. We know Thomas will be a rockstar at school, and we can’t wait to hear all of the updates about what he learns and the friends he makes. We are so proud of everything he has accomplished over the last two years, and we will miss him so much!