Success Story - Brian

Brian received his first autism diagnosis at age 3 based on early markers, and a comprehensive assessment at age 9 due to increased behaviors impacting his ability to be in a mainstream classroom. In 2012, when Brian was 12, we moved to Tucson where Brian attended public school in both special ed and mainstream classrooms (with an aid). Brian has always been friendly, funny, and likable. But, as he matured, his meltdowns turned aggressive at school and at home. By his first year of high school, he spent more and more time out of school. We were at our wits end. Brian needed an environment that was supportive, geared to his special needs, where he could blossom.

In 2016, we found Intermountain Academy. When we met with their principal, Kyle, his office was quiet, with soft light, a comfortable space. Kyle was immediately disarming and loving, putting Brian at ease. When he was told he could attend, Brian was excited about school again. The smaller classrooms with multiple, specialized teachers were a great fit for Brian. However, he continued to struggle with his behaviors. We thought, here we go again, they are not going to let him stay. Instead, they worked with Brian and with his mother and I, assigned an excellent Recovery Coach, helped us all set goals, tracked data, welcomed outside team members, and helped Brian succeed. This was a true blessing to both Brian and our family.

In 2017, with Brian's behavior still an impediment, he attended Intermountain's AIC, a 30-day intensive behavior support program, and then transferred to an Intermountain behavioral home to continue his therapies, have his medications reviewed, and to focus on behavioral self-management skills. After a few months, he moved to a small group home and continued his focus on self-control. Brian has come a long way. We all enjoy our regular family time together and witness Brian personal growth.

Through all of this, Brian remained at IMA, focused on his academics, and participated in their first graduation ceremony in May 2019. We were so proud of him, and Brian of himself – we all teared up at the graduation. Brian is now in IMA's LIFT program, focusing on job skills, self-advocacy, internships, and is ready to seek employment. He is on a path to semi-independence and is happy.

Brian has received medical, psychological, therapy, and case management services through IM and now CPIH. They adjusted to the pandemic and have kept Brian engaged and supported through a very difficult time. He is now on a path to adulthood. Brian's goal is to be more independent, live in an apartment, and do those things he enjoys. IM continues their positive support of Brian's journey.

– Eric Peterson