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/.
"Hi, my name is Austin. I like to play baseball or have baseball practice. If it's raining outside I like to play Tony Hawk skateboarding video games on the PlayStation. I can catch and I'm also good at football.
I would like a family that would play laser tag with me and do things like going to the lake and going swimming. I might like to be the oldest kid in the family, because I am the oldest now. I'd like a dad who will ask me to go hunting with him and a mom that's nice and cooks good steak.
When I'm a dad I will have family rules like no guns, knives or swords, or weapons. My kids won't get help on homework if they watch TV before they start their homework. They can't go places without telling me. They can't have sleepovers, but I would buy them an ATV or BMX and build them a track in the yard to ride on.
Someday I would like to go to Disneyland, ride on a submarine, go paint-balling, and get rich. I will have a dog for a pet...maybe even a crocodile, too! Maybe I will become an inventor. People tell me I'm creative and good at building things with my hands. Maybe I'll invent a big robot dog."
Austin wants families to know "I'm a great kid!" And he is! He loves to actively explore and thrives on creative play. If he had to choose an activity to do all day long, he would select fishing or hiking (or maybe both?). Austin loves to ride his bike, play soccer, shoot hoops, run, and build things. A particular point of pride for him is his tree-climbing ability. Austin's warm nature, sense of humor, and engaging personality reward those who spend time getting to know him.
Some of Austin's projects include building a tree swing and a clubhouse or fort, which he re-configures frequently to suit the needs of the day. Indoors, Austin's interests run towards construction as well; he likes creating with LEGO or making things out of paper. Austin can spend time playing board games with the other children in his foster home. Even with his competitive nature, Austin is working hard at playing well with his friends and peers, especially when it comes to personal space. He is a good conversationalist and enjoys individual attention from adults.
Austin has remained in mainstream classes at school with academic and behavioral support from an IEP. Within a specialized learning environment, he's doing quite well.
Positive reinforcement works well for Austin. This takes the form of acknowledging when he behaves well and praising him for positive behaviors. Austin's impulsive behaviors are gradually responding to a behavioral incentive plan, with rewards such as a prize box, special snack, or staying up 15 minutes past his bedtime. Time-outs or loss of privileges are consequences that help Austin make the connection between right and wrong choices. He likes to please the adults in his life and tries to follow rules.
The family that welcomes Austin into their home should be ready to make a life-long commitment to raising a son with challenging and rewarding behaviors. The spice of Austin's life is outdoor physical activity. Austin is a delightful, affectionate boy who will be a great addition to a family, especially one with experienced parents who provide structure, routine and consistency in daily life.
Portrait by Tom Boyd
Austin is available for adoption through the State of Oregon. For contact information, please contact the Idaho CareLine at 1-800-926-2588.
|Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544