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/.
Alex is a special boy who loves to play with his collection of play horses. In his imaginary world, the horses line up in a daytime and nighttime routine that is safe, orderly and dependable. As they enter the stable, they know what to expect and depend on their owner to make them safe. That's just what Alex needs in an adoptive or guardian family--safety and a dependable routine in which he can achieve his greatest degree of independence. Alex also needs a family that's familiar with autism or one that is willing to learn. Are you ready to step into what will be both a rewarding and exacting lifetime role?
Alex needs a patient single parent or dedicated couple that's able to maintain structure and consistency. Caring for him might mean monthly team meetings with his school and a service coordinator to help access services such as Intensive Behavior Intervention. The Department of Health and Welfare will help his family acclimate to needed services before and during a pre-adoptive placement period of at least six months. SSI payments are available to Alex's family to assist with his care.
Though Alex may never be able to live completely on his own, as an adult, he may be able to maintain an apartment with regular assistance services.
Currently, Alex has mastered some verbal skills. He still needs assistance with many daily living tasks such as bathing, feeding and dressing. Alex has no awareness of strangers or of concerns in the community (streets, stop lights, looking both ways, not talking to strangers.) He needs a vigilant family that will watch out for safety concerns and at the same time help him learn and do all that he can for himself.
Alex likes to read and watch television. He likes tigers as well and enjoys looking at National Geographic magazines. If Alex is over stimulated, going to his room and playing with his large collection of horses is very calming for him.
Alex can get overwhelmed by a lot of people and chaos. He would do well with a peaceful parent who tells him what is going to happen during the day when he first wakes up and then reminds him of those activities consistently. If his routine is going to change, he needs to be told in advance. Alex's caregivers currently provide a time chart. Corresponding times show scheduled activities; for instance, a picture of a sandwich shows lunchtime and a drawing of a bed shows when it's time to go to sleep.
Alex is ok around other children. He has no boundaries, so he may take another child's toys, walk through a group, or may not sit still or raise his hand very often. The kids at his school are very patient with him, both in the resource room and when he transitions to the regular classroom for 30 minutes each day. He does quite well in an accepting environment.
Alex is very good with animals, especially with supervision. He doesn't understand boundaries very well so he may get down on their level when they are eating. His caregivers and social worker say he is the sweetest boy and extremely funny. When he gets up in the morning he says "good morning everyone."
Alex has grandparents he needs to stay in touch with, as well as a mentor couple who visit him regularly in his group home. He is also very attached to the staff.
The family that adopts this sweet boy must be knowledgeable and ready to help Alex transition as smoothly as possible from a group home to a residential environment. The Department and group home staff could help with this transition. Like the imaginary herd of horses galloping into the safety of Alex's play world, this special boy deserves the love and triumphs a family could provide as he learns to make sense of his world. A loving single parent or couple that accepts the challenges ahead could make such a difference in this boy's life!
Portraits by The Big Picture Portrait Studio
To find out more about adoption or becoming a foster parent, call the Idaho CareLine at 1-800-926-2588. In Idaho simply dial 2-1-1. If inquiring about this child profiled, you may be asked to provide this reference number: 30356.
|Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544