Connecticut Heart Gallery
To learn about any of these children call 1-888-KID-HERO
Sweet Amanda is a 15-year-old young lady who needs a patient and accepting family who understands, or is willing to learn about, autism. Within her abilities, Amanda participates in family life and her daily school schedule with ease. She enjoys playing outside, taking a walk in the park, and keeping her hands busy with fidget-toys. When inside, she loves to watch "Veggie-Tales," playing on her tablet or bouncing her yo-yo.Although loved by her foster family, Amanda cannot stay with them permanently; and a summer-time transition into a family where she can grow up and thrive would be ideal. She attends school five days a week and she has been doing quite well. Numerous supports are in place to help her achieve her fullest potential and she can communicate with some signs and a vocal communication box. Amanda's school works hand in hand with her family, to help her improve her daily living skills while also attending to some occupational and speech needs. With structure and consistency, Amanda thrives when she knows what to expect. She is somewhat independent at home; undertaking routine self-care and dressing herself when the clothes are set out for her. Due to her teeth brushing routine, she is proud to have no cavities! Amanda is a good sleeper who wakes up happy and well rested. Her foster mother is proud of her and describes her as "a really good kid!" They enjoy shopping or attending church on occasion; although Amanda can become overwhelmingly shy when she sees a lot of new people. Due to her unique needs, Amanda's family will receive a higher level of training and support while learning how to best meet her needs. Her laughter and bright smile will show you the contentment she feels when she knows she is safe and loved. This happy little lady is eager to join a family where she can be loved for her lifetime!
For information about Amanda contact Sandy Carroll: email@example.com
Just about to hit his teenage years, 12-year-old Daniel is hoping to celebrate this milestone as part of his forever family! Daniel is a funny, happy, and creative young man who loves building structures in the backyard, including tents, forts, and treehouses. With a hammer and nails, this young man has great potential around the home as a "handy-man."Having a contagious laugh, Daniel takes joy in making those around him happy. He has a very silly side; playing with nerf guns, super-heroes and hot wheels; but his overall love, and strongest hope, is to join a family where he can once again have a dog of his own. He very much misses having a dog at home to play with and has shown he is very loving and caring to animals. Daniel receives up to 35 hours a week of ABA services to support him in the home regarding his Autism Spectrum Disorder needs. He works cooperatively with his family and providers, who help teach him the language, social, and adaptive skills he needs to be successful. He is high functioning and understands and responds appropriately to questions and problem solving. He needs gentle reminders at times, as his biggest struggle is hearing the word "no." With support from his ABA team, school and caregivers, Daniel continues to make progress in all areas. This amazing young man needs an affectionate and patient family where he can be the only child and center of attention. He craves adult interaction and loves the color blue. He would love to sit around the dinner table and share his favorite foods of BBQ chicken and pizza with his family, and of course delight in ice cream for dessert! Above all, Daniel just wants to be loved and know he is finally home. For information about Daniel contact Bryan Lerch: firstname.lastname@example.org
This 10-year-old sweet little girl has a bright personality and has been very expressive lately about how important it is for her to be- and feel- part of a family. Aiyanna is a very friendly child who enjoys singing, dancing, gymnastics and cooking; and she longs to share these experiences with a family she can claim as her own.
Overall healthy, Aiyanna has a peanut allergy and is prescribed an epi-pen. Due to trauma she has experienced, she attends clinical support; and this will continue, preferably with a patient and loving family involved, to help her understand her past. A home where she can have her own bedroom will enable Aiyanna to feel safe and respected. She is actively involved in addressing her trauma; and with time and positive supports, there is great potential for Aiyanna to flourish as a resilient and independent young lady.
Supports in her 5th grade classroom have enabled Aiyanna to make great strides in her education. Although still behind on some subjects, she works diligently to overcome any obstacle in her path and her teachers describe her as "a bright, charismatic young lady." When her emotional needs are met, Aiyanna has an easier time attending to her classwork.
Although well loved by her foster mom, Aiyanna is aware this is not where she will grow up and she is wonders who will raise her. She deserves a family who will emotionally commit to her for a lifetime and be by her side as she learns about her past and plans for her future. She is a child who should worry about making friends and having fun; not worrying about whether or not she has a family. She describes herself as "kind, funny and helpful" and she would love to share these traits with a family.
For information about Aiyanna contact Alysa Adamcewicz: email@example.com
Isaiah & Elijah
These amazingly warm-hearted and wonderful brothers crave a family where they can grow up together and share all the joys and challenges of maturing from little boys to young men. 15-year-old Isaiah and 10-year-old Elijah are resilient boys who will add much love and affection to a family willing to enjoy life with a ready-made sibling group of two!A young man with aspirations to attend college and to have a career in computer technology, Isaiah is very motivated to work and has made great progress with becoming more expressive with the adults in his life. He has engaged in very difficult conversations surrounding post-secondary education planning, case planning goals, and about adoption. He asks very thoughtful questions and is respectful, despite what emotions the conversations bring up for him. Self confidence is always a "work in progress" for Isaiah, despite his strong abilities to work independently and his academic excellence. Although currently attending a clinical day school, Isaiah can transition into public high school where he will be placed in the honors program. He has requested a bit more time to enhance his emotional regularity but is on the cusp of making the move. This young man likes to watch TV, play video games, swim, and play football. He is well versed in technology and an avid reader. He will often use reading as a means to calm down and once steady once again, he can be very easily redirected, and comforted. Isaiah presents as much older due to his intelligence, disposition, height, and ability to communicate with the adults around him, however, he is learning to trust others to parent his brother which allows him time to "just be a teen." Elijah is a very smart, curious, and creative boy who loves to talk, play video games, construct with Legos, and enjoys swimming. He's an avid and exceptional reader who is especially fond of the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series. Other ways in which he uses his creative mind is drawing, coloring, and making up games. He has a fascination and fondness for calendars and office supplies and a strong ability to recall dates and time. His love of numbers extends to his intrigue of the stock exchange and a hope to one day work on Wall Street, become an astronaut or work for a game developing company. With Elijah's eccentric and extremely intelligent personality, he'll probably do all three! Elijah enjoys dressing in bow ties, robes, and glasses.
Elijah struggles with emotional regulation due to the trauma and loss he’s endured throughout his life, and for that reason he attends a clinical day school. In this setting, Elijah is prone to emotional outbursts which are well controlled by the educational and clinical team. His aggressive outbursts can often be very short-lived if he is provided with a motivator for redirection. With structure at home, these behaviors usually do not extend into the home setting. At home, Elijah can have occasional defiance or verbal outbursts, but responds well to clear instructions, patience, and redirection. When Elijah is emotionally stable, he is an absolute pleasure to talk to and his school has reported Elijah is “highly intelligent” and fully capable of exceeding academic expectations. He is friendly and outgoing and gets along with the other children in school and in the neighborhood.
Both children have a very close relationship with some birth family members who are a strong, appropriate component of the children's support system which would extend to their adoptive family. Their current family also wishes to maintain a lifelong connection with the boys and all these added family members will extend and solidify the boys' feelings of connectedness between their past and present journeys.These boys have been through a lot, and they deserve a committed and loving family by their side as they grow up to be the amazing men, they are destined to be
For information about Isaiah and Elijah contact Adam Liebowitz: firstname.lastname@example.org
Playing on the swings, taking long car rides and jumping on the trampoline are just a few of the things Amari would love to do with a family.
Amari is a sweet 10 year old little boy who has a great attitude and a love of the outdoors. When it is nice outside he enjoys playing in tents; but if it is a rainy day, he is content to be inside, simply watching the rain fall. Amari would do best with an adoptive family, or a visiting resource, who has a lot of patience, an interest in learning sign language and an awareness of caring for children with autism.
Sensing danger is not an ability Amari has, so when he is playing and running outside, he needs a safe environment. Watching for oncoming traffic, helping him to go up and down stairs or recognizing when he places himself in risky situations are particular ways a loving family could assist Amari in having everyday childhood experiences. Some of his excess energy could be spent swinging on a swing, jumping on a trampoline and taking long walks.
Communicating with Amari is completed by the use of picture books (PECS) and using American Sign Language (ASL). He has Cochlear Implants to help with his hearing, but he does not like how they feel, and struggles to use them. Everyday life skills such as dressing himself using buttons and zippers, and manipulating utensils to eat, are all things with which Amari's teachers and support staff assist him, however, he needs to be part of a family where he belongs. He is well loved by the adults in his life who are willing to provide a future family with the extra support, education and training they will need, in order to raise Amari into a healthy and fine young man.
A family who is willing to be strong advocates for Amari and who will continue the positive relationships he has with some biological family members, will be rewarded by caring for this sweet-natured little boy.
For information about Amari contact Denise Lopez: email@example.com
Described as both shy and energetic, 15 year old Jesus is a young man who wants to grow up in a family where he can explore the world around him. This inquisitive young man asks a lot of questions to assure his surroundings are safe and although initially reserved, once he warms up he can be quite engaging. Jesus is a bundle of energy, can be playful, has become more social with others and loves to attempt to do many things at once.
He has a great ability to complete any hands-on task and his skills may someday develop into a career as an architect or video game developer! He has a serious interest in Legos, as he loves to build things with his hands, and can happily spend hours building something. He also thoroughly enjoys the game ‘Minecraft’ because he gets to design his own world and what takes place within. Jesus loves animals and caring for them gives him a sense of responsibility, while also calming him when he needs a break. Although he will participate in activities at his pace and interest, Jesus is not a fan of competitive sports.
Because of negative experiences he has endured in life, Jesus has a difficult time talking about his feelings and emotions. He will often “shut down” and ignore questions; but having something to “fidget” with in his hands while he talks is helpful to him. His inability to stay focused has caused some struggles both in and out of school as he can be intrusive within his surroundings and other people’s possessions. If he becomes frustrated or upset, he has trouble following multiple step directions. He works hard with clinical help to make improvements and address some past trauma. Educational and clinical supports within school are helpful for Jesus as he navigates his high school years.
If one thing is for certain, it is Jesus’ desire to have a family by his side. His life experiences have resulted in some challenging behaviors, however, with the right family supporting him, he has great potential to continue to grow into a successful young adult.
For information about Jesus contact: Stephanie Frascadore Stephanie.Frascadore@klingberg.com
Although legally blind and non-verbal, Taina will attempt to make eye contact in order to connect with whomever is speaking to her. She will make sounds and utterances to make her needs known and once you get to know her, it easy to understand the emotions she wants to express.
She loves to receive affectionate touch by the stroke of her head or the holding of her hand. She is content being near windows and lights; and her smile is as bright and warm as the sun.
Squealing with delight when she hears pop music, having books read to her and playing with toys which have music and lights are just a few of the activities 16 year old Taina enjoys. This precious girl is described as "a joy" by her caregivers in the medical group home where she lives, however, she is ready for discharge and needs a family!
Taina was born with a chromosome disorder which has resulted in life-long medical, physical and developmental challenges. She receives numerous supportive services and relies on a wheelchair for mobility. She spends time each week in her stander, a swing and a scooter seat to help her build muscles and increase mobility.
This beautiful young lady needs a family willing to learn about her challenges and work alongside her medical team to help her stretch her muscles, feed her through her G-Tube and assure all of her needs are met. More importantly, however, she simply needs a family….people to welcome her home and be there to celebrate her physical and developmental progress, watch "Frozen" with her and read storybooks to her.
Parenting Taina will no-doubt bring both challenges and joy; however, she is deserving of an environment only found outside the walls of a hospital or a group home setting. She deserves to live with a loving and supportive family where she can experience a sense of belonging for her lifetime.
For information about Taina contact: Adam Liebowitz: firstname.lastname@example.org
As a very active 15 year old boy, Damani enjoys playing basketball, riding his bike, dancing and swimming. He is a handsome young man of African American descent with a bright smile and big brown eyes which are always looking toward growing up and being a member of a family.
As a typical adolescent, Damani will spend his time listening to music and spending individual time with his mentor doing fun things. He attends church every Sunday where he enjoys participating in the church programs and hanging out having dinner, or going out to the movies, are activities Damani wishes to share with a family where he can be the youngest; or only, child. A two parent household, or a single dad, would be the ideal match for Damani.
Given his trauma history as a child, this young man has difficulty trusting people when he first meets them. He can appear shy and does not make eye contact. However, when he becomes comfortable with a person, he becomes much more relaxed and engaged in conversation and lets his true personality come forward. He has been learning to control his emotions and social anxieties by using his coping skills, and with positive reinforcement and encouragement he continues to make improvements.
Now that he nears the end of his 7th grade school year, Damani’s teachers and support staff state he is a leader and role model to other students and he is generally happy at school. He can have both good and bad days however, he often has a very positive attitude. The school has noted his intellectual disabilities affect his overall ability to retain or process information, yet with support, encouragement, and frequent reminders he continues to make improvements. He specifically enjoys math, has excellent money skills and works hard in class.
Socially, Damani works hard on ignoring and not engaging in matters which do not involve him and he also works on taking responsibility for his actions. He possesses some basic life skills such as cleaning and organizing his bedroom, doing his own laundry and taking out the trash and with reminders or reinforcement, he has the capability to make progress.
Belonging to a family who will love him unconditionally and will not give up on him despite his some of his challenges is a lifelong dream for Damani. He deserves a loving family by his side.
For more information about Damani contact: Sandra Tapia-Arcos at email: email@example.com
This precious little man turned seven in July; and he is in need of an adoptive family who will help him celebrate! Jay’Vion is a handsome and sweet boy who is of African American and Hispanic descent. Although he is just a little guy, he has some big feelings for which he needs the right family to help him sort them out.
Although he can be a very endearing and loving child, due to trauma he has endured as well as multiple moves within the foster care system, Jay’Vion struggles in identifying his feelings and expressing his emotions in a healthy way. He can be physically aggressive and impulsive; so a patient and consistent parenting style would best suit his needs. Transitions are hard for him so he works well with a predictable routine. Clinical supports, along with a mentor, are just some of the resources Jay’Vion has to help him navigate the world around him. When calm, he understands right from wrong and good versus misbehavior. His little body tries to make good decisions and when he has really good days, he knows it, and is happy.
Jay’Vion has a great imagination and loves to use his creativity while he plays with his toys. He loves to be inside watching ‘PJ Masks’ just as much as he likes to be outside playing and expending some energy! He is a kindergarten student who receives supports in school to help him reach his fullest potential. Close family-school communication is important in fostering seamless transitions as well as to provide consistent expectations for him.
Jay’Vion needs a very special family who is willing to learn how to best parent him and help him overcome some emotional obstacles. He has had a pretty rough start but with the right family by his side, he has great potential for his future.
For information about Jay’Vion contact: Sandra Tapia-Arcos at email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Finding a family who shares a similar culture and interests are among the wish list items for 14-year-old Eddy. Eddy has some very funny and distinct preferences, loving spicy foods but hating spicy mustard! His favorite food is spaghetti and meatballs & he likes being in the kitchen either cooking or baking and overall being helpful with household chores.
This resilient adolescent currently resides in a congregate care setting with lots of fresh air and farm animals. He has a strong affinity for caring for the larger animals on the farm, including the cows and horses; and he has had a special love for larger dogs, which provide him comfort and have been especially useful to him in therapy. Eddy is a typical "guy" who enjoys video games, fishing, and playing or watching basketball. His favorite NBA team is the Boston Celtics, and he also enjoys watching the New England Patriots play football.
Eddy can describe his ideal family as one with two moms and a large dog. He would thrive in a family where he is an only child, or as the youngest child in the home, benefitting from the leadership and modeling of older siblings. He is very energetic and needs two-parents who will be patient with him, both with his behaviors and in the length of transition time it may take for him to feel secure within their relationship.
Despite having been let down by important adults in his life, and experiencing significant loss and traumatic incidents, Eddy is an empathic and kind young man who hopes to become a police officer when he gets older. At times, his adverse life experiences impact his ability to manage his behaviors appropriately, however, he works extremely hard to identify triggering emotions to manage his self-control. As he grows, he will need a patient and guiding hand along the way. He wants more than anything to belong to a family who will take the time to build a trusting, stable, and successful relationship with him…and mean it!
Academically, Eddy is a middle school student who receives special education supports, and he responds well to structure and clear expectations. He continually works on reducing his negative behaviors in school to fix his mistakes, and identify the causes and emotions leading up to certain behaviors. He is a "work in progress" and his progress has been amazing. He looks forward to a family being by his side to help him stabilize and grow, and he craves and deserves a secure and loving family where he can believe in his future.
A longer transition period with ongoing clinical supports for both Eddy and his family will help blend the family unit. This smart, affectionate, and deserving boy eagerly awaits the opportunity to build a relationship with a family with whom he can develop security and belonging; and where he can grow into a healthy and happy young adult. Any investment a family places in Eddy will be rewarded ten-fold.
For information about Eddy contact Holly Fortier:Holly.email@example.com
This very special 11-year-old little boy is in need of a family who will love him unconditionally while attending to his special needs. A one or two parent family versed in the needs of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, will be rewarded by Teagan’s sweet smile and happy disposition. Although he has some very specific and unique challenges, with the right family, he can thrive and blossom.
Described as a daytime “rabbit,” Teagan is an energetic little guy who has a hard time sitting still. He likes to be active and can be impulsive, so holding his hands and keeping him close allow him to engage with the world around him in a safe manner. Even though he is non-verbal, Teagan can communicate with sign language and can make his needs known by using some sound vocalizations. Engaging in face-to-face communication enables him, and his caregivers, to have successful interaction. Teagan understands what is being said to him and he enjoys watching TV and smiling and moving to the sound of music.
In time, Teagan may have the opportunity to engage in activities such as riding a bike, playing with age appropriate toys and independently playing outside. However, for the time being, Teagan’s inability to assess safety requires constant supervision and attention. He responds well to consistency and nurturance and his behaviors are not an intentional means to disobey, rather, a consequence of his cognitive limitations.
While receiving educational and clinical supports, Teagan will be transitioning to a therapeutic school where his education will be enriched and his social development enhanced. He tends to struggle with paying attention and understanding certain concepts, but he enjoys the interactions with his teachers and friends. Teagan has special transportation accommodations to keep him safe while riding on the bus.
Therapeutic connections will remain in place to help Teagan and his family with a successful transition; and working collaboratively with helping professionals will be crucial to a family’s success. Although parenting him may present with some challenges, the rewards of seeing Teagan progress and thrive into the special young man he will become, are many.
For information about Teagan contact Holly Fortier:Holly.firstname.lastname@example.org
Taking long walks, running, playing with toys which have sound or music and staying physically active are some of the things 13 year old Christopher; or Ghabil as he is known, would like to share with a family. Patient parents with a willingness to learn about autism will be the best match for him.
Although he is non-verbal, Ghabil’s strengths lie in his ability to use sign language to communicate. In addition to sign language, he also understands Spanish and English. He has some language skills to include words such as “hi, ball, water” and “blue” and he continues to work with his providers to increase his ability to mimic words and express his needs. He loves to have books read to him where he can follow along and point to pictures in the story. A clinical, year-round educational setting helps Ghabil make progress in his school work as well as socialization. His teachers and support staff all truly love him and reflect he has great potential if he joins ‘just the right’ family.
Going out in the community to visit places such as the park or shopping malls; as well as going to the movies, are other activities Ghabil enjoys. His specialized needs require 100% supervision at all times. His family will learn ways to help him with transition to reduce his anxiety while also educating them in regard to how to respond to possible behavioral outbursts. With assistance, Ghabil has been learning how to accomplish daily self-care skills such as washing his hands and eating independently.
Careful consideration needs to be made when sharing new experiences with Ghabil. Due to a significant sensory sensitivity, at times it may be difficult to predict how he will react to his surroundings. New or unknown opportunities may find him curious to explore, or they could increase his anxiety, rendering him likely to become stressed and engage in negative behaviors. Proactive techniques such as a structured daily schedule with built-in breaks, as well as positive reinforcement when he completes an activity, allow Ghabil to be successful and feel a sense of accomplishment.
Parenting Ghabil will bring both challenges and joys and ongoing contact with his biological grandmother will bring him happiness. His family will receive extra training and in-home supports to make family life successful, but having innate characteristics such as being calm, patient and organized will be key to a successful match for him.
For information about Ghabil contact: William Larson email@example.com
As the court proceedings for this young man continue, his name has been changed and a growing up family is being sought for 13-year-old 'Cole.' This resilient and handsome young man of Caucasian decent will require a very specific family to welcome him into their hearts while also willing to learn all about his special needs. Due to being diagnosed with a rare, hereditary genetic condition, Cole's family will receive extra supports and training to help him reach his fullest potential.
On-going care from specialists such as orthopedics, gastroenterology and neurology allow Cole to be as healthy as he can be. He receives support within his specialized 8th grade classroom and despite his significant developmental delays rendering him non-verbal, Cole has the ability to make his needs known using his iPad for communicating. He also uses non-verbal communication skills such as using body language and facial cues. He works very hard each and every day to be the best he can, and he enjoys praise and affection from adults.
This unique and loving young man needs a unique and loving family to claim him as their own. He has much love and affection to share with just the right family.
For information about Cole contact Denise Lopez: firstname.lastname@example.org
CONNECTICUT FAMILIES ONLY
This amazing 11-year-old boy will bring so much happiness to a family's life! Logan is kind and helpful and loves to chat with others and meet new people. He is a young man who needs a family willing to become educated in the Autism field, and one whom will envelop him with the support and love he needs to continue his positive path. Logan entered the care of the Department after the death of his mother. Despite their love for him, other family members could not meet his fulltime care needs but can remain as natural extended family members. He is a well-loved child who deserves a family in which he can grow up and feel secure.
Logan is an interactive, independent, and happy young man. He is unique in that he loves to help with household chores, while he also enjoys both indoor and outdoor activities such as playing video games and exploring outdoors. He had a great time at summer camp and is well rounded in all his interests and capabilities.
Logan's current foster parents and the connection with his biological relatives, will be key components to assuring a smooth transition into his family. These relationships are loving and positive and are natural supports for Logan; and can also be for his growing up family. His family will receive education around his specific needs, and bi-weekly individual therapy allows Logan time and space to understand the losses he has experienced. Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) helps both Logan and his family understand and improve his connections with others.
Special education services in school provide Logan the supports he needs to reach his fullest academic potential in the 6th grade. He is always happy to attend school, easily makes new friends and enjoys spending time with his teachers. He is on the school's basketball team and has recently shown a natural interest in finding a girlfriend.
Growing up to be happy, healthy, and surrounded by unconditional love are basic needs Logan so richly deserves. He will add the missing piece to a very special family's puzzle.
For information about Logan contact Adam Liebowitz: Adam.Liebowitz@ct.gov
This very special 11-year-old boy deserves a patient family who will unconditionally provide him with a fresh start in his young life. Adam is very funny and sociable, and he has one of the most kind and caring hearts. He is extremely loyal and forgiving, and he craves a family relationship which will stand strong despite any obstacles he may face.
Adam works very hard to be the best version of his self both in the home and at school, however, due to many adults failing to meet his emotional needs, he experiences feelings of self-doubt which requires encouragement and a parent who can recognize and remind him of his many strengths. Trust does not come easily for him and a family must be willing to put in the effort and be patient with him. Once he can feel secure within his family, his bright and wonderful personality shines through. Family has always been important to Adam, and although unable to reside together, his siblings are the most important people in his life. He has an older and younger sister who have already found their forever family and he hopes to find his own perfect family, who will also embrace the relationship with his sisters.
In his 5th grade class, Adam receives support to help him modify some of his behavioral needs which impact his ability to concentrate and learn. He is extremely talented, and he has found a strong interest in art which is a great way for him to express how he is feeling. He thrives knowing what to expect when provided structure and consistency. He looks forward to making friends, but sometimes tries too hard which can become negative interactions.
As a 'typical' boy, he never bores of building with Legos, playing video games and watching television. He has played on both recreational football and wrestling teams and he enjoyed them both very much. A strong male parental role model would be ideal for him and provide him someone to whom he can look up for guidance as he embarks on becoming an adolescent and a future grown man.
Above all, this young man just wants--and deserves--to be loved and know he is finally home.
For information about 'Adam' contact Alysa Adamcewicz: Alysa.email@example.com
Since the legal proceedings have not yet concluded, Brian is not the true name for this very special 12-year-old boy. What is true, however, is Brian's desire to grow up in a family where he will receive unconditional love and support.
Brian is of Caucasian descent and stocky build. He is presently residing in a special setting able to meet his needs, however, he is ready to join a family familiar with, or willing to learn about, Autism. With supports, consistency and structure, Brian has made great strides in learning appropriate behaviors and developing positive social interactions. Although Brian displays dysregulated behavior at times, he has learned to "take space" when he needs a moment or two to calm himself down. A chore chart helps Brian know what needs to be done and he responds well to positive reinforcements. He makes his own bed and he selects his own outfits for school with pride.
As a 7th grade student in an extended day, extended year, educational setting, Brian is working very hard at meeting all his educational goals. He continues to require a high degree of visual supports and staff prompting to complete his work; however, this young man has the resilience to work hard on his self-help skills and following a schedule independently. He enjoys attending school and his teachers are proud of the efforts he puts in each day.
Watching movies and cartoons are favorite activities which Brian would love to share with a family. Recently he asked for his hair to be cut short "like Buzz Lightyear" and his innocence is charming. Brian enjoys coloring and crafted his own cat made of construction paper, naming the cat "fur ball." His joy shines whenever a holiday comes around.
There are extended family members with whom Brian can spend time, however, they cannot care for him full time. Their involvement in his life is positive and will continue. The family members give Brian a sense of familial connectivity and they will be a support to any family he joins. Attentive, patient and encouraging parents who are willing to work with in-home supportive services will be thrilled to watch Brian as he continues to grow and learn every day. A two-parent home where there are no pets in the home would be ideal. DCF will work as a team with his family to ensure his successful transition into, and ultimate creation of, a family where he can grow for a lifetime.
For information about 'Brian' contact Sandy Carroll: firstname.lastname@example.org
A very special family is being sought for 'Connor,' a 15-year-old adolescent. Connor is not his real name due to confidentiality at this point, however, he is a resilient youth ready to be discharged from his hospital setting and ready to join a family capable of meeting his diverse medical needs.
This handsome young man is of Caucasian descent with dark hair and a smile which envelops his whole face. Despite being non-verbal, Connor communicates excitement with his bright eyes and body motions. He is happy overall but at times when he presents as uncomfortable, he needs a family to sooth and comfort him. Connor is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and spastic quadriplegia. His substantial medical concerns will last throughout his lifespan and he is wheelchair dependent, and a home is needed to accommodate his challenges.
Connor is in the 10th grade where he receives special education services. His teacher reports he is making good progress in all goals and he enjoys social interaction with his friends. Listening to music and toys that make noise brings joy to Connor's daily life. He loves the feel of being outdoors and having stuffed animals around him for comfort.
Given his profound medical condition, Connor will be followed closely by many medical professionals to ensure he maintains his optimum health and any family considering the care of him will need to attend many medical appointments on a regular basis, as well as engage with service providers in the home.
Connor will require comprehensive care from loving adults for his lifetime and although he will be medically dependent on others for the rest of his life; what he really needs is a family he can depend on.
For information about 'Connor' contact Sandy Carroll: email@example.com
On the cusp of beginning high school, 13-year-old Mahki is yearning to join a family who will share with him all the joys and challenges adolescence brings. He is a friendly young man who is respectful and enjoys in engaging with others. He eagerly awaits the opportunity to build a relationship with a family with whom he can develop a sense of security and belonging.
Due to exposure to significant traumatic events in his past, as well as the on-going rejection by many adults, Mahki struggles with allowing himself to be vulnerable in a relationship and his family will need to be patient and supportive while he, and his family, continue to work with clinical supports to overcome his past. He needs to be reassured adults can be safe and he can rely on them. Trust in a family's willingness to 'not give up' on him while he attends to his strong emotions will be a key element to his success. To expect him to be 'quick' in his ability to heal and address his past will be unrealistic; and he will require constant reassurance he is worth the wait.
Mahki is a resilient youth who enjoys the typical adventures of any teenager. He enjoys caring for Hermit crabs and other similar creatures. He is creative, using his mind to build and put things together. Additionally, he enjoys riding his scooter, playing video games, and reading.
Overall, Mahki needs a very special family who will commit to giving him the opportunity to know and feel what it's like to be loved and wanted. He wants more than anything to belong to a home and a family, and that family needs to be willing to 'prove' he is worthy of this dream.
Mahki is a smart, handsome, and deserving boy who needs a family in his life to help him grow and be successful. He is looking for a place where he can grow into a healthy and happy young adult, where he will be provided all of the feelings belonging to a family everyone deserves.
For information about Mahki contact Sandy Carroll: firstname.lastname@example.org
A patient and loving family, experienced with autism-or willing to learn-is being sought for newly turned five-year-old Jeayson. This little love bug will brighten anyone's family with his sweet smile and affection.
Jeayson's family will be supported by a myriad of medical and therapeutic services. He was a pre-term newborn who has always struggled with weight gain and developmental delays. He has made great strides in learning to eat, however, still has a G-Tube for some feedings. When he eats, he is a typical little guy who loves chicken nuggets, hot dogs and fruit cups!
Starting kindergarten this year will be a milestone for Jeayson and he will receive supportive services in the classroom to assist him in reaching his full educational potential. As he is non-verbal, he is adapting to making his needs known in other ways. CCMC has been his main team of providers, and he will also begin services through the UCONN Health Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services in the fall. With all of these supports in place, the hope is for his family to take the lead and become the "captain" of his team!
Despite his many medical and developmental struggles, Jeayson is an overall happy little boy who loves to play with his toys and expend excess energy by running around and playing outdoors. While he will struggle with behaviors at times, he is affectionate and loves to be hugged; and will meet you with open arms to welcome a squeeze or two.
Without doubt, parenting Jeayson will bring some challenges; but right alongside those challenges will be joy in knowing he will grow up to become a happy young man with a family by his side.
For information about Jeayson contact Adam Liebowitz: email@example.com
Nine-year-old Isabella, or Bella as she is called, is a robust little girl with light brown hair and fair skin. Bella is seeking to become a family member with two parents and older siblings willing to learn about her and help her to grow up to be the healthiest and happiest young lady she can become.
"Highly curious and extremely active" are descriptors which come to mind when thinking about Bella's personality. She likes to give hugs and kisses and enjoys attention and affection from those who care for her. Having been born with a very rare genetic condition where various amounts of genetic material is missing from one of her chromosomes, as well as some exposure to substances while in utero, Bella is a little girl who will require life-long support and care. She is overall medically stable; however, it is generally difficult to predict long term outcomes for children with this genetic condition.
Educationally Bella receives supports in school and throughout her extended year program. A behaviorist works with the school and the after-school program to help everyone best meet Bella's needs. There are times Bella's negative behaviors are able to be redirected, however, her impulsivity and desire for attention sometimes get in her way.
This little girl loves rainbows and animals. She happily plays on her tablet, makes puzzles or creates with putty. Her short attention span requires much attention from adults, and music is used to help her calm down at times. Of all the things Bella enjoys, all of it pales in comparison to the desire for her to be able to join a family where she can receive the unconditional acceptance and love only a family can provide.
For information about Bella contact Ginny Curbow: firstname.lastname@example.org
A truly special family in the Norwich/New London area is being sought for 14-year-old "Drew." Due to pending legal proceedings, Drew is not this young man's real name, however, the need for him to feel loved and secure within a family is very real. Drew appears physically older than his teenage years, and he is fondly referred to as a "big teddy bear." Drew is a very tall and husky young man; however, he has a sweet, innocent disposition.
Drew has a special relationship with some relatives who, although he cannot live with them, love him very much and will remain a part of his life. A family willing to accept him into their lives will benefit from these extended family relationships and his ideal family would have no younger children as their exuberance can be agitating for him.
Some things Drew would love to do with his family include listening to music, watching YouTube videos and sharing meals. He loves all types of food! Drew can keep himself occupied for long periods of time and although it may be difficult at times to understand him verbally, he is patient and will communicate his needs by writing things down. His Autism diagnosis and limited verbal skills do not limit him in any other way. He is kind and thoughtful and loves to think about presents and making Christmas lists for others.
A special school environment has been successful in meeting his educational needs, and he is adored by his teachers and school staff. When his surroundings become overstimulating, he will stand up and begin flapping his hands above his head for about one minute and then he sits back down. He is not easily flustered and solid communication between school and home provides the structure and consistency he needs for ultimate success.
The legal process for Drew will be on-going for some time, however, stability within a patient family is his most immediate need right now! He will thrive within a family where he feels connected and secure and understands he does not need to move to any other home.
For information about Drew contact Denise Lopez: email@example.com
Lyliana, who likes to be called "Lyli," is a resilient and independent young lady who aspires to become a lawyer someday. She is spirited, needing just the right family to provide her with the structure and independence this time of her life requires. She has relationships with some biological family members and has expressed her desire to stay in Connecticut and maintain these connections; this is a key element necessary for the right family for Lyli.
As with most 16-year-olds, Lyli can be somewhat of a puzzle. At some moments she is amazingly self-sufficient and has above-average life skills. She knows how to cook and clean and operate any household appliance. However, in other moments, she craves the one-to-one attention of adults and seeks to be nurtured and comforted. Because of past traumatic experiences and a chaotic living environment, Lyli can become anxious when feeling events are out of control and her emotional needs tend to get the best of her. However, with clinical support in place, she is making great strides in learning better ways to express herself and cope with things that require patience and time. With a family by her side, to support and encourage her, she can relax and allow her sweet and engaging personality to shine through.
Lyli is very smart, making first honors after the first semester of her freshman year in high school. She is in the 11th grade now and recent events are causing Lyli to struggle. Her team of providers is working with Lyli to assist her in getting her focus back on track. She can express herself through her art and she enjoys singing.
While Lyli first envisions a single mom or two moms as an ideal family, she has been able to do well in a family with a mom and dad. A single dad or two dads would not be a match for Lyli. As a youth who is bi-lingual in both the Spanish and English languages, Lyli would enjoy having a family share her Puerto Rican descent, but this is not mandatory for her.
This young lady deserves a family who will commit to her for a lifetime and walk by her side as she flourishes and becomes the most successful version of herself.
For information about Lyliana contact Sandy Carroll: firstname.lastname@example.org
A very special family is being sought for 'Jacob,' a sweet 9-year-old boy. Jacob is not his real name due to confidentiality, however, he is a resilient young boy who is ready to be discharged from a hospital setting and ready to join a family capable of meeting his medical needs.
This adorable boy is of Caucasian descent with dark hair and a smile that lights up the room. Jacob is non-verbal and blind but he hears and responds best when told what will be happening, he enjoys toys that make music and vibrate. At times Jacob will present as uncomfortable but he is able to make noise if he's frustrated or in pain to alert those around him, he needs a family to sooth and comfort him. Jacob is diagnosed with Hydrocephalus, Epilepsy and Arnold-Chiari malformation. Jacob requires total assistance for all activities of daily life (bathing, dressing, and nutrition). His medical concerns will be ongoing as he grows up and he is wheelchair dependent. A home is needed to accommodate his challenges, but nursing supports are available to assist as well as medical training to learn about his specific needs.
Jacob is in the 5th grade where he receives special education services. His teachers report he is making good progress in all goals and he enjoys social interaction with his peers. Listening to music and toys that make noise brings joy to Jacob's day.
Jacob will be followed closely by many medical professionals to ensure he maintains his optimum health and any family considering the care of him will need to attend medical appointments on a regular basis, as well as engage with service providers in the home.
Jacob will require comprehensive care from loving adults for his lifetime and although he will be medically dependent on others for the rest of his life; what he really needs is a family that will love him and be by his side forever.
For information about Jacob contact Sandy Carroll: email@example.com
Snuggling in soft blankets and sharing chocolate ice cream are just two examples of things nine-year-old 'Garret' would like to do with a family where he can thrive and grow. As legal proceedings are still underway, Garrett's name has changed due to confidentiality, however, what has not changed is the need for him to feel safe, secure, and unconditionally loved for a lifetime.
A family who is already knowledgeable about Acute Autism Spectrum Disorder, or one willing to learn, would be ideal for Garrett. He is an energetic and curious child who thrives with structure and routine. Although mostly non-verbal, he can communicate a few words with repetition. Services within his 4th grade special educational setting aid him in reaching his fullest potential. There are many supportive systems in Garrett's life, and he also has biological family members who are very important people to him. Although they cannot care for him full time, the relationships are vital and need to be sustained.
Garrett's loving and gentle personality shines when he is calm and relaxed, however, when he is unable to verbally express his needs and becomes frustrated, his negative behaviors require special attention. He is a sweet little boy who enjoys playing with stuffed animals and watching movies. He also loves watching TV, going on the swing, and playing with blocks or any activity that involves using his hands to build.
A patient, loving and structured family, where Garrett can know what to expect each day, will enjoy his hugs and watching him grow and develop. He does well with animals and likes to be affectionate with adults. He is a very special little boy, looking for one very special family!
For information about Garrett contact Sandy Carroll: firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy, sweet and inquisitive are just a few words which come to mind when describing 11-year-old Ektor. As a result of his premature birth, Ektor has some significant medical issues which will impact him for a lifetime, but he needs a family by his side to help him reach his fullest potential!
Although he is limited verbally, Ektor has the ability to make his needs known by his expressions and his gestures. He continues to make much progress in his vocalizations and is starting to formulate short sentences. He is wheelchair dependent, however, if on the floor he can use his arms and upper body strength to scoot himself around. He has a stander he can use both at home and in school. Various supports such as occupational and physical therapy, as well as routine appointments and a hip surgery in the summer have helped him improve his range of motion and resulted in his medical stability. Educationally Ektor is receiving instruction in a small group setting at a pre-kindergarten level. He is described as inquisitive and eager to learn.
Always curious about his surroundings, Ektor loves animals and firetrucks and likes to play in the pretend kitchen at school. He has the strong will of a survivor mixed with the innocence of a child, and all who meet him says his infectious joy is a delight to be around.
A very special family is being sought for this very special little boy.
For information about Ektor contact Olivia Mott: email@example.com
Sweet and giggly, 10-year-old Isabella is just like every other little girl who deserves to be part of a family where she is loved and cherished. Having been born prematurely, Isabella, or Bella as she likes to be called, has some medical issues which will stay with her for life. However, this inquisitive and determined little girl never lets her disabilities outshine her abilities!
Having a very loving and social disposition, Bella blows kisses, claps, and laughs when she expresses affection and is excited. She loves to be hugged and she will hug you back and snuggle while you chat about your day. She is sensitive to some sounds, so her reactions could take the form of screaming or appearing panicked. She is working hard and increasing her language skills, however, she can also communicate through her iPad and let her needs be known.
Being wheelchair dependent for mobility, Bella also utilizes a stander and is able to "bunny hop" around the home. She receives various therapies to increase her movements, and she loves the feeling of being "stretched" to improve her muscle tone. Working on her independence, Bella can feed herself, drink from a sippy cup and propel her wheelchair to get where she needs to go. Structure and routine are important for her success, and she shows up to her 5th grade classroom prepared and ready to work. Her positive energy can be felt by her teachers and her friends.
Given Bella's medical and physical condition, she will be followed closely by professionals, both in and out of the home environment, to ensure she maintains her optimum health. She will need ongoing care from loving adults over her lifetime during which she will reward her family with hugs, smiles and love in return.
If you are interested in learning more about Bella please contact Sandy Carroll: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographed by: Patty Swanson - Certified Professional Photographer (2017 CTPPA Award of Excellence; 2014-15 March of Dimes' Mission Triangle Award; 2012-2013 2x Connecticut Photographer of the Year, Creative and Art/Electronic Imaging.) www.pattyswanson.com and www.facebook.com/pattyswansonphotography