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Helping Osbaldo Communicate

Blarney Breakfast

Osbaldo is a sweet, affectionate, and loving child. He loves going to school and playing with other children. He loves to play basketball and swim at the YMCA. Osbaldo has Autism and sometimes struggles to communicate. He is able to use simple words but will rarely use phrases. Since he does not say phrases, his words can sound harsh and short.

Osbaldo’s parents speak Spanish and have appreciated working with Osbaldo’s Case Manager Hannah Wheeler along with Scarlet Grassie, Rainbows’ Interpreter.  Having Scarlet help during their meetings gives the family added confidence that Osbaldo’s needs and Hannah’s expertise are shared between everyone. 

The Communication Application made possible through funds raised at the Blarney Breakfast will help Osbaldo communicate in both Spanish and English. “I would love for Osbaldo to tell me how his day was in more detail,” said Erika, his mother. “Typically, when he is asked about his day he will only respond with Good or Bad. I want to know if he colored that day or went out to play. I work with him to speak in a polite manner instead of demanding. I’d also like him to learn to say please and thank you.” Osbaldo often has a hard time communicating his wants and needs. Sometimes when his family or caregivers cannot figure out what he wants he will scream and get upset.

“I also want Osbaldo to be able to communicate whether he is being harmed or mistreated in anyway,” said Erika. “It really concerns me that he can’t communicate if something bad were to happen to him.” Last year, the family experienced an incident that caused Osbaldo to come home crying and upset, but he was not able to tell his mother what happened. “He would come into the house, cry and hit the coffee table,” said Erika. “He was really upset and I was unable to console him.” Fortunately, it was just a misunderstanding that was easily worked out.

“I had never heard of Autism when Osbaldo was diagnosed,” said Erika. “Osbaldo’s pediatrician shared some information about what Autism was and what we should expect.” The family was connected with support groups in the community, one of them being Rainbows United. “I have felt so blessed to have such wonderful support and hope that my experience can help other families who are going through the same thing,” said Erika.