Meet Michael !
My son, Michael is an adorable, active 6 year old. He has lived in our home since he was three days old, as our foster child. When he was 14 months old, his bio sister was born and joined our home as our 2nd foster child. We could not love our children more. Sadly, their birth mother smoked cigarettes, marijuana, did drugs and drank alcohol during her pregnancy. She had no prenatal care for the kids. Both children experienced tremors and the effects of drug withdrawal when they entered our home. Michael was diagnosed with PDDNOS at age 1 1/2 and began an intensive ABA program in our home along with services for OT, PT, and Speech for Feeding. Months later, both children were diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Sometimes classified as a hidden disability because they don't display any physical characteristics, they do indeed suffer from permanent brain damage. Our prayers were answered when both children were legally adopted by my husband and I in 2011.
Michael is in a 15:1:1 self-contained setting in first grade with a 1:1 aide. He is impulsive and can elope. He perseverates on all types of vehicles (cars, trucks, helicopters, boats). He is a kind, loving boy with a huge imagination. He loves to run and has competed in two 5k's already in his young life.
The Liam Foundation came to the rescue last summer when we had difficulty finding a structured summer program for Michael. Without a 1:1 aide, we would not be able to enroll Michael in a summer camp. Last summer, Janelle was the LIAM shadow that worked with Michael. Her bubbly personality and kindness were a perfect match for Michael. He thrived attending the activities with Janelle by his side. Opportunities like going to his first movie in a theatre, playing at a bouncy place for field trips as well as the wonderful on-site activities like swimming and rock climbing are still recollected by him as his favorite moments!
Rather than being restricted to our fenced-in backyard for the summer, he flourished during the weeks he attended the LIAM Program at the YMCA. I have no support at home to take the children out in the community, and it is too risky for me to venture out without assistance. My husband is at work six days a week and can only assist with sport activities on his day off on Sunday.
I could go on with all the gratitude and appreciation we have towards The Liam Foundation for the adventures you allowed our son to participate in!
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