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Foundation donations help child with autism – Intandem

rehabcenteroleanny-6He was a preemie who was growing as a healthy child. By the time Odin was 19 months old, he was verbal, walking, and on his way to a normal childhood.

Then, for unknown reasons, he suddenly regressed and was diagnosed with autism.

His mom and dad, Elida and Alex Green, can’t say exactly what caused Odin’s sudden regression. At his well-baby visit he was fine. After that, for no known reason, he became non-verbal.

“His diagnoses are severe autism disorder, apraxia (speech disorder), developmental delay, an eating disorder, and a sleep disorder,” Elida said.

The bright and happy three-year-old loves to run, and does so with abandon through their home in Olean with his tablet that seems to express what he can’t. He plays with his toys and is affectionate with his parents and his one-year-old baby sister, Lennox.

“He’s learning sign language, but it’s extremely frustrating for him,” Elida said. “He would get so overwhelmed and rail his face into the window, bang his head on the glass, and we were concerned he would break the glass and hurt himself.”

Odin’s unbounded impulsive streak could have sent him dashing into the street terrifying his watchful parents about on-coming traffic on their busy North Union Street.

“Odin has no sense or understanding of fear. We were concerned he could. We knew we had to do something,” Elida said, adding while Odin was eligible for Medicaid, he wasn’t eligible for safety modifications until after age five.

In the Green’s home there are four large windows, two in the living room, one in the bedroom and one in the toy room.

The family’s Medicaid Support Coordinator, Jessica Paternetti who works for the ReHab Center, took the initiative and turned to the Rehabilitation Foundation for some financial assistance for new windows and a fence.

“The Foundation was honored to ensure Odin has a safe, happy childhood,” Elena Bombardier, Director of Development for the Foundation, said.

“Generous donations and support from the community allow us to help local families like Odin’s.”

The Foundation responded by funding a six foot high fence that completely enclosed their backyard and four super strong large windows in the Green’s home.

“We are very grateful to the Foundation. I don’t know what we would have done otherwise,” Elida said.