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|Race:||American Indian/Alaskan Native|
|Case #:||S06016146 Expand
|Last Profile Update:||09/12/12|
About the Siblings
Legally free, Michael and Rodney are delightful Alaska Native (Yup'ik) brothers who want to grow up together in the same adoptive family. They are very close to one another! Of course, their adoptive folks need to take pride in the boys' heritage and enjoy helping Michael and Rodney stay connected to their Alaska Native roots.
Michael and Rodney, who thrive on affection and attention from the important adults in their lives, enjoy good physical health and love having regularly structured activities where they can channel their high energy. Michael is taking pride these days in his ability to shoot baskets. Rodney, who was very afraid of water, has successfully worked through that fear and now enjoys swimming. Michael is most comfortable around adults and tends to like low-key activities, such as fishing and camping, creating with Legos, and playing video and board games. Rodney is open to a variety of activities that he can do alone, with other kids, or with adults. He's an enthusiastic fan of puzzles! He also enjoys playing the board game, Sorry, and making arts and crafts. Last but not least, Rodney enjoys and really needs lots of outdoor activities.
Among Michael's strengths are his sweet personality, his renewed capacity and desire to trust the significant adults in his life, and his increased ability to listen and follow instructions (which is a work in progress). Michael, who has been very dependent on his brother in the past, has been working on gaining his own positive sense of identity. As he's becoming more assertive and able to stick up for himself and more willing to share with others, his sense of self-esteem is growing.
Among Rodney's strengths are his love of learning, his interest in the world around him, and his willingness to try new activities. Once you get Rodney's attention, he does listen well. Over the last several months, Rodney has made huge gains in developing tools and strategies to help him handle frustration and stress without getting aggressive.
With the support of their therapeutic foster parents, individual weekly counseling, specialized school program, and mediation therapy, Michael and Rodney are moving forward. The medication therapy is focused on increasing their ability to focus and be attentive and curb their high energy, as well as to better manage related behaviors. They also benefit from taking a non-prescription medication at night to sleep.
Michael enjoys being around other kids but just hasn't yet got the hang of how to comfortably join in a group, initiate a friendly exchange with a peer, or start to build a friendship. In addition to continuing to work on these areas, Michael is also focused on strengthening his boundaries.
In the fall of 2012, Michael will be in sixth grade. He is still working on strengthening his ability to carry out his train of thought and increase his speech/language skills. The GOOD NEWS is that Michael is in a small classroom (7 to 10 students) in the extended resource program, where students are encouraged to learn at their own speed and are given a lot of individual attention. Michael's IEP provides extra supports in speech, math, reading, writing and behavior; he no longer. His adoptive folks, of course, will need to be strong educational advocates who can provide the encouragement and support he needs to complete his education. Michael is a boy who may benefit from having vocational training when he is in high school to help prepare him for adulthood.
Medication therapy has been especially important in Rodney's progress at school. Kudos to him for putting in the time during vacations to bring up his reading skills. While Rodney is about a year behind same-age kids academically; he does not have an IEP. He does though have a shadow for behavioral support.
Michael and Rodney's social worker especially wants to find an active adoptive family where the boys will have a strong, involved male role model and be able to participate in lots of family-related activities. While Rodney would likely do well in different family configurations, Michael will likely do best in a smaller family where he and Rodney are the only kids or where there are just one or two other siblings.
The parental traits that the boys' social worker will value most are patience, kindness, a good sense of humor, and the ability to provide clear rules, expectations, and limits, as well as firm consequences. The boys' special needs are believed to be due primarily to their early environment, but may also have some biological roots due to exposure to alcohol in utero.
Michael and Rodney have developed trust in their current foster parents as well as a much needed sense of security, and the boys are going to need a very thoughtful and slow transition into their adoptive family. Their foster parents and their social worker look forward to helping the boys make a successful transition.
It will be important for the adoptive parents to have a good grasp of how early neglect amidst parental substance abuse and domestic violence can impact a child's sense of well being, safety, and overall development. Having knowledge, too, of the range of possible effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol could be helpful.
Being willing to participate with Michael and Rodney in counseling during the transition would be a wonderful way for their adoptive folks to show their love and commitment. It would also show that they value using such resources to help family members deal with past hurts and grow emotionally and behaviorally.
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