Editor's Note: Window on the Clearwater has joined the Wednesday's Child network to help spread the word about children that are waiting for families to give them the loving care that they need. Each Wednesday we will profile a different child. For more information about Wednesday's Child and how you can be involved check the web site at: http://www.idahowednesdayschild.org/.
Profile and Portrait provided by NWAE (Northwest Adoption Exchange).
Late October 2011 Update: Leah's behavioral issues continue to be significantly daunting. She is an extremely strong and physical child who is destructive of her belongings and her environment. Whether it is tearing down décor in her room, banging blocks, or grabbing at people, Leah is without a doubt a very rough toddler. Sensory issues are suspected and a new evaluation will be occurring at some point in the near future. There are also concerns as possible mental health issues may be developing. Please note that Leah's worker is now greatly prioritizing families in states within easy travel distance to Idaho (i.e., Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Montana, and Wyoming), given that Idaho is where Leah's birth siblings have now been placed adoptively. Please - only skilled families without other children in the home (or only significantly older, stable, healthy children) are asked to inquire.
Leah's especially high level of special needs require that she have adoptive parent(s) willing and able to make considerable adjustments in their household, lifestyle, and schedule to accommodate her. A child who wants adults' undivided attention, Leah is highly active and very busy! Leah is not a child who will be able to tolerate a daycare setting for the foreseeable future. She loves the outdoors and especially likes playing at a nearby park. Building with blocks or making structures out of the small ottomans in her foster home also tend to engage her. When she is feeling "helpful," she enjoys doing her favorite "chore" which is sweeping. While Spot the Dog has replaced Pooh Bear as her favored toy, she still enjoys her Pooh toys, story books, and movies. Leah loves music and also at times finds it soothing.
Leah is extremely challenging to parent, and the adoptive parent(s) need to be able to tolerate extreme and unpredictable mood changes, sleep difficulties, rough physical behaviors, and a need for constant supervision. Leah has a high tolerance for pain and virtually no sense of danger; she frequently tumbles and falls during play. She also has little patience for change and transitions and has some repetitive behaviors. The folks' chosen to adopt her need to have experience with children who have emotional and behavioral special needs, including some difficulty trusting adults which may be indicative of attachment issues; The adoptive parent(s) should also have had training in behavioral tools and strategies or be willing to learn! Leah is legally free.
Prior to coming into foster care in mid 2009, Leah was assessed as Failure to Thrive. Although still small, she has not had any 'failure to thrive' issues for most of her time in alternative care. Leah is currently in her third foster placement. The first two homes had too many children in the home and could not meet her needs. She is now in a foster family with a parent who has the time, ingenuity, and skills to meet her needs. While there is one other child in the home, that child is significantly older than Leah. When Leah feels safe and comfortable with her caregiver, as she is beginning to do now, she is able to make progress.
Although developmentally behind, Leah has a great sense of curiosity and is always exploring. She is eligible for an Early Intervention Services' pre-school in the fall of 2011 and has benefitted from past EIS support. Leah has difficulty focusing on tasks and is always moving from one thing to another. Leah can be a picky eater, and when needed, she can be give pediatric supplements, Although Leah has had trouble sleeping through the night, since she having a bedroom of her own, she is doing much, much better and often sleeps the whole night.
As a highly active toddler, Leah needs her adoptive folks to have the stamina and energy to keep up with her and to provide essentially line-of-sight supervision to keep her safe. Leah needs adults who can parent a special needs child, advocate for her developmental progress and willingly accept outside resources, such as Early Intervention Services. Calm and very patient folks who can provide a quiet, low-key environment where Leah is an only child and can have her parent(s) undivided attention will meet her needs best. While couples may bring additional energy to parenting Leah, her worker is willing to consider a single parent who meets all of the criteria but has one or two much older children who are emotionally, behaviorally, and socially healthy - in other words, older children with no special needs!
Photos by Brenna Lonergan.
To find out more about Leah, adoption or becoming a foster parent, email the Idaho CareLine or call 1-800-926-2588. Leah is available for adoption through the State of Oregon.
|Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544