Helping Tatum Thrive

As a toddler, Tatum Blanco was diagnosed with autism and at the time could not use words to communicate his needs, wants, or emotions. Often frustrated, Tatum would exhibit aggressive behavior toward himself and others. In 2018, his parents sought therapy services from Capper Foundation with the goal of helping Tatum learn ways to effectively communicate while they were taught how to adapt to his way of learning and processing to better understand and support his needs in different environments.

Fast forward five years to now. Tatum’s therapists describe him as a different child because of the immense progress that he has made. “When I evaluated him, he was very dysregulated, unable to sit at a table to complete tasks, and would run room to room in search of swings. Today, Tatum has mastered age-appropriate daily skills such as dressing himself, focusing on tasks for periods of time, and requesting needed breaks before coming back to complete the task at hand,” shared Amy Douglas, Occupational Therapist.

His Speech-Language Pathologist, Deborah Schloeman, works diligently with him on comprehension skills and the ability to follow directions which has reduced his frustration and aggression. “I’ve seen huge changes in Tatum’s verbal communication. He can advocate for his wants and needs and ask and answer questions,” noted Deborah. This progress has given Tatum and his family the confidence to try new things including Capper-related community events such as Fairlawn Plaza Christmas Shopping and C.A.S.T for Kids.

“Without Capper we would not have the guidance to support Tatum and successfully help him navigate life living with autism. As he gets older, we hope that his communication skills will continue to improve, and he will live as independently as possible. We will always be grateful for the help we have received at Capper,” shared Jolene French-Barr, Tatum’s mom.

With your support of Capper Foundation, more children like Tatum are gaining the valuable skills that will help them today and through a lifetime of milestones yet to come.

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