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**Blog post by BACA behavior technician Kayla Rider 

I met Jacob on February 18, 2013, and shortly after that he became my primary client. Since then we’ve had a pretty amazing bond and a fantastic working relationship. This bright, funny and beautiful boy brightens my day on a daily basis. He does this with his personality, charm and slightly flirtatious side.

Jacob’s potential is limitless and his determination is great; however, his social skills need some tending to.  We all know that teaching social skills can be some of the hardest because most of our kiddos lack the MO for social interaction with their peers. This was definitely true for my little man.

Jacob was lucky enough to join the Sprouts program which allowed Alicyn (his secondary) and me to really work on these social skills. We worked on him manding, responding and holding conversations with his peers. This turned out to be quite the process; a process that took so many prompted trials. After so many trials, Jacob started to catch on and we started to see his social interactions increase slightly. He still needs work to improve on this skill, but now there is a foundation for him to build on. However, this is not where this story ends!

Jacob’s program now consists of following directions and manding for items simultaneously throughout our center at BACA Z. Yes, that’s right; Jacob has multi-step/multi-purpose probes! (Insert happy dance here!) One of Jacob’s probes is to go to Rae, our administrative assistant, and ask her for a pen and then return back to his room. Jacob does this by using his hall pass to move throughout the building. Yay for Jacob exercising his independence!

This day was a little different because on Rae’s desk was a beautiful bouquet of flowers, which are normally not there. As you all know, almost anything can serve as a distracter! Jacob did not seem to notice and continued on about his business. He asked Rae for the pen like he was supposed to, but before he walked away he told Rae that he “liked her flowers.” A completely spontaneous social sentence effortlessly came out of little Jacob’s mouth! That small little sentence felt like Jacob had the whole world in his hands just for a few seconds. What a great accomplishment of his!

Sometimes as therapists or BCBAs we get too caught up on reaching the huge milestones or seeing the huge strides in progress, but the truth of the matter is our clients make baby steps every day. These baby steps make up the milestones. They make up the steps necessary to meet goals. So, my hat is off to Jacob for reminding me that sometimes it’s okay to smell the roses…or in this case, look at the pretty bouquet.

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