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 Northwest Adoption Exchange
Allen, or "AJ" as he likes to be called, is friendly, talkative and highly likeable. Upon meeting AJ, his youthful enthusiasm and appearance leave you guessing his actual chronological age of 16! AJ is bright and, currently, he is working at about a tenth-grade level academically, and his reading skills are at a twelfth grade level.
AJ is an avid devotee of role playing games especially a specific online gaming community! These activities allow AJ to utilize his fantastic imagination and creativity while also allowing a certain level of escape and acting as a way of connecting to his past. AJ identifies strongly with characters who protect, find support in group identity, and who have felt left behind by those around them. While role playing games offer many positive outlets to AJ, his very high level of interest in role playing takes his attention and interest away from other important relationships and activities in his daily life. In order to show support and to keep up in discussions, AJ needs a family who would be willing to learn about these activities and to help limit his participation when he becomes too single focused.
School participation in the past has been emotionally difficult for AJ, who in an effort to individuate, can come across as very intense and as having very different interests than his classmates. Often, AJ's peers, and sometimes teachers, find him unusual, and he becomes a target for bullies. On the other hand, AJ has successfully utilized some of his talents to engage his classmates such as building code languages and creating new role playing games.
Since the fall of 2007, AJ has been living in a therapeutic center, where the structure helps him to feel secure and the unconditional acceptance by staff and therapists give him a sense of belonging - both of which are important to AJ's well being. An important component of AJ's therapy is medication therapy, which helps him to manage his emotions and behavior and stay focused in the here and now.
In twice weekly counseling, AJ is working on developing his social skills with peers, decreasing his emotional sensitivity, and exploring his self identity. AJ's strong interest in gender roles has led him to voice what qualities and characteristics he feels are intrinsically synced to being a mom or a dad. He has a very clear view of the parental traits he would to see in his own adoptive family - he especially wants folk(s) who are highly accepting of differences among people, who are trustworthy and kind, and who want to guide and support a bright teenager as he transitions into adulthood.
AJ's social worker is interested in hearing from couples and single moms and single dads who are open and willing to helping a young teen explore his sense of identify and come to accept himself with positive regard. It would be an act of love and acceptance for his adoptive folk(s) to participate with him in family counseling during his transition into their home. Of course, they will need to be supportive, too, of AJ's counseling on an as-needed basis for the foreseeable future.
To find out more about AJ, call the Idaho CareLine number, 1-800-926-2588. In Idaho you can dial 2-1-1. You may be asked to provide this reference number: 30315.
|Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544