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|Last Profile Update:||10/17/13|
Dachai is a loving and affectionate child. He has maintained stable placement in his current home for over a year and has built a bond with his foster mother. Dachai has been able to identity and understand that this is not his permanent home, but struggles with the idea of moving to a new home. Careful planning and transition will be very important for Dachai in moving to an adoptive home. Dachai has a good sense of humor and laughs easily. He always has a smile on his face. Some of his favorite pastimes are skateboarding, shooting hoops, dancing and playing video games. Dachai has also enjoyed participating in a therapeutic horse camp. He loves to help his foster parent around the house as well as his teacher at school. Dachai enjoys food and is a great eater. He loves one on one attention and is eager to please. Dachai struggles with trying new things as he is afraid of failure, so it takes some prodding to get him involved in activities and hobbies. He is anxious child and typically when he is anxious he gets hyperactive. Thus meeting new people and trying new things can cause him to act out behaviorally.
Dachai can be very insightful and articulate. In his classroom, Dachai has the behavioral and academic supports he needs. While some of his behavioral issues are due to his early environment, others are biological in origin and due to prenatal exposure to alcohol. The impact of that exposure on his neurological development has resulted in him having difficulty focusing and being attentive, struggles with learning and receptive language challenges. Dachai tends to shut down when he has difficulty grasping concepts. His teacher is working with Dachai by giving him time to process and then encouraging him to try again. Dachai’s teacher has reported that humor works well for Dachai. Dachai’s teacher notes that Dachai does struggle reading body language so it is important to be direct and clear with him. Dachai’s teacher is working with him on asking for help when he is struggling and being more independent. Dachai has made progress academically. He struggles both socially and behaviorally in the classroom. Dachai has made improvements and has demonstrated this by putting himself in the time out room when he is feeling anxious, as well as asking his teacher for help when he is having struggles with other students. It is important for him in developing his social skills to have the significant adults in his life model healthy, interpersonal relationships and boundaries. It is also important for the adults at home and at school to be willing and able to patiently and calmly redirect him as needed, encourage and praise his efforts, and provide him with rewards for good efforts and jobs well done.
While Dachai loves being around other kids, he needs lots of social skill building resources. One such resource is having a caring adult to coach him.
His current therapist is working out a treatment plan for Dachai, which will include using behavioral techniques to help him develop tools and strategies to increase his ability to self-monitor his behavior and be more accountable for his behavior. His counseling will also include talk therapy to help him deal with the residual effects of past trauma and difficulty trusting. Dachai is very confused about his life and is experiencing a significant amount of grief and loss regarding birth family and former foster parents.
Multiple placements in his birth family throughout his early childhood and then in foster care have exacerbated Dachai’s special needs.
Dachai’s social worker wants to hear from couples who have experience with children who have special needs and who have a good grasp of how instability, neglect, and abuse can impact a child’s sense of safety and his emotional and behavioral development. His adoptive folks must also have a good understanding of (or the willingness to learn about) the kinds of educational and behavioral resources that can help a child meet the challenges related to fetal alcohol exposure. Couples who already have a good repertoire of behavioral tools and techniques for parenting will be ahead of the game. Of course, it will be important for the adoptive parents to take pride in Dachai’s biracial African American-Caucasian heritage and to provide cultural and community opportunities for him to learn about his roots and to become truly comfortable in his own skin. Being willing to participate with him in counseling during his transition into his adoptive home could be an important way for his adoptive folks to show their love and commitment to him.
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