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We have received new information for a boy we represented last year. His name is Damon and he was born February of 2012. Damon has a diagnoses of severe mental retardation due to (most probably) the Arnold-Chiary syndrome Type 1. The information below is from a meeting between our attorney’s staff member, Damon and his foster father held on April of 2021. She reports the following:
I met with Damon at a playground close to the Social Services, in the presence of the child’s social worker and one of the foster parents – the foster father. Damon is very attached to the foster father. When I got there, Damon was in the swing and the foster father was swinging him, and later he was left alone. Damon is able to swing himself and likes it.
At the initial placement into the foster family, Damon had quick adaptation. In a new place Damon may have some difficulties, needs a period of adaptation, but at times he alone shows where and what he wants to do, where to go, what to see, to touch. He feels very well outside. He likes to be on playgrounds. Apart from swinging, lately one of his favorite activities is riding the electric scooter with his foster father. He is so enthusiastic that at times he even screams with pleasure. Sometimes, he tends to carry out certain commands: sit down, bring me the cup and etc. When he sees one of the foster parents going out, he takes his shoes and he prepares himself to go out with them. In general, he loves colorful things and has a special preference for red to a bright red color. The foster father bathes him. When something hurts, he tends to retire and start whining. When he is angry, Damon raises his voice. The foster father shared that Damon finds a way to communicate with his biological children, he feels that there is some closeness between them, even shared about one case in which they played with an ordinary plastic bottle, which rolled, but the boy had a lot of fun and laughter. On the slide, he likes to stand high rather than slide. The foster father also shared that Damon does not know that something is over, for example, that there is no more liquid in the bottle. He doesn’t realize that there is nothing inside anymore and keeps lifting the bottle. The foster father shared that the boy has an incredible balance, which definitely surprises him a lot. He tries and finds a way to reach some things that are considered difficult to reach.
He sleeps alone, on an ordinary single bed, but sometimes goes to look for the foster father’s closeness. In general, Damon has a good night’s sleep. And cases when he looks for the foster parent are rare. Damon hasn’t napped since last year.
Damon can go up and down stairs without help, just holding the railing sometimes. There are no pets in the foster home. He initially reacts to the animals by trying to ignore them, but there are some worries and rather fears. Damon can get dressed and undresses himself, but for one reason or another, he does not want or feel that they will help him and accordingly does nothing. Sometimes they even left him with one arm not fully inserted, for example, and he sat like that for a long time. The specific twitching was also very characteristic of the syndrome with which he was diagnosed.
Pellets and chocolate waffles are some of his favorite foods, although they are not the healthiest. He also loves apples and semolina. He very much likes juices. He generally has a good appetite. One of his favorite dishes is moussaka (a Bulgaria dish with potatoes and meat). He does not like white foods.
At the moment, doctors do not recommend Damon to wear glasses, as he has no diopter, and is generally only strabismus. At this stage, they do not think to do him a surgery because it would have only a cosmetic effect, rather than a real one. Damon makes some sounds, but at this point it can’t be said that he makes any syllables. When he wants something, he often goes to the person to take his hand and accordingly take him to where the thing he wants is.
Presently, he takes only Convulex, and until recently he had it three times a day, and now only twice daily. Damon has a type of duck walking that was characteristic of the syndrome, or so the doctors explain. For last time he has been hospitalized in early 2020 for epileptic seizures. Despite the reported allergies, according to the foster father, at the moment the child is not on such a strict diet that in the past they have complied with. He has problems with going to the toilet in “the big need” and it takes time. He does not report his physiological needs. Since Damon is taking Convulex on a doctor’s prescription, there has been some improvement in his state.
After I gave him some space and time to get used to me, Damon had no problem to be touched by me and he was ok when I made an attempt to give him something. It was obvious the relationship between the boy and the foster father.
Damon attends a day care center for children with disabilities, although in the meantime he is enrolled as a third-grade student, outsourced. In the center which he goes, he works with an occupational therapist, a psychologist and a special pedagogue. The main goal at the moment is to be able to remove his diaper. The opinion of the foster father is that when the environment changes in a new family for Damon, things will work out, it will happen, there are a lot of opportunities and options through which Damon can be attracted with.
Damon definitely needs a loving family, but he has a lot of work to do with specialists. At this stage, it seems that the foster family has not focused on alternative communication options other than verbal, for example through pictures or gestures.
We hope that this sweet boy will have the opportunity to find his forever loving family!
Please meet darling Damon. Damon was born in February of 2012. Damon lives with a foster family whose report is from March of 2019. Damon is saying a few words such as no, give me, Granny, Daddy, etc. He loves listening to music. Damon has a diagnoses of severe mental retardation due to (most probably) the Arnold-Chiary syndrome Type 1. He is able to focus on an activity if several are offered. He responds to his name especially if it is someone he knows. He does not understand orders but tries to engage in conversation with people he knows. He can differentiate between familiar people and strangers. Damon can throw and kick a ball, can jump on both or one leg, can run and can climb up and down stairs. He can hold a pencil although he only scribbles on the paper. If he wants a desired object, he can move a chair or something he can climb on to reach it. He likes playing with sand and paints. He can feed himself and drink from a cup. He can dress and undress and put his shoes on and off with some assistance. He is still in diapers. Damon is said to have good hearing and recently has been reacting more actively to the sounds around him. He has a serious speech delay and usually shows what he wants by pointing. Damon is especially attached to the foster father from whom he seeks protection. He goes to a day care center for children with special needs. The specialist there is mainly working on helping him to respond to verbal requests. His foster parents report that in his natural environment Damon is much different from the child seen on the video. The video was taken in an unknown environment with people he didn’t know. At home Damon shows no manifestations of aggression and/or self-harm and according to his foster parents, he can learn to engage in and contact with others.
Video from 2018:
For more information, please contact: Kathy@wiaa.org. You will be asked to complete a parent eligibility form before any file information can be released.
Please be aware that children on our waiting list may be under review by multiple families. Additionally, a child’s availability status may change on short notice. Please contact Kathy@wiaa.org for the most up-to-date status of a child.
WIA is not responsible for the medical information summarized here. Medical information sent by other countries may be inaccurate or incomplete. Prospective Adoptive Parents reserve the right to have medical information evaluated by a medical professional in the United States.
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