Joel is a charming, often playful young boy with a wonderful smile and a love of being silly. Joel is very attached to his caregivers at the pediatric medical center where he resides. He loves to be held, tickled, and chased. Joel is very attached to his iPad; it’s among his very favorite playthings. He is also very fond of Elmo!
Joel was born with multiple complex medical issues. He has a feeding tube and is unable to eat or drink by mouth. He has very limited eye sight with just partial sight in one eye; he is also extremely photosensitive, whether inside or outside. However, his tolerance level to light does appear to change a bit at times. Joel communicates primarily through sounds and hand gestures.
Despite his limitations, Joel appears to have a good quality of life. It is very clear that he understands most of what is being said to him. He responds to requests and commands – when he wants to, that is! He does very well socializing with staff and other kids. He was recently thrilled with a gift of new boots and is enjoying wearing them to go outside to play. Joel seems to vacillate between being rather lethargic (probably when he’s not feeling that great) to being very energetic and wanting to run around, laughing and being a bit mischievous. One of his nurses rather likes it when he is in his lethargic state because he likes to have her hold him and snuggle with him. Joel can be a bit of a handful when he is in active mode, but it is always great to see him feeling good.
Joel is doing well at school and attends just a few hours a day. Joel continues to qualify for a 1:1 aide in the classroom in order to meet his needs. He has received OT and PT at school in the past, and is now doing very well with his gross motor skills. His aide reports that Joel is an “emerging symbolic communicator.” He uses one sign at a time to communicate needs and wants in a few specific situations. He understands routines and has a basic understanding of simple one-step directions. It was found that at school Joel works better in a room with limited light. The school has found some special rose-tinted glasses for Joel to wear in the classroom to help with his photosensitivity.
For families who want to make a difference in the life of this darling boy, there are a few different placement opportunities. His primary doctor is open to the possibility of Joel being able to live with a family at some point given the right set of circumstances. With that in mind, his worker hopes to recruit a permanent family for Joel, and that could look like any one of the following options: option one – a family that could make a long-term commitment to visit and be his “special” people but not adopt; option two – a family that would adopt Joel while maintaining his residency at his medical center with scheduled home visits on special occasions. Finally, it is also possible that if the right family is found and Joel’s situation is right at the time, it will work out for Joel to be adopted and actually live with a family. In this situation, strong preference will be given to local families, as it will be challenging to transition him from his life and medical team here – challenging, but possible for the right family. If you want to be considered for one of these family options for Joel, please contact us soon.
If you are interested in providing nurturing and love for Joel or for any other Special Needs Children, please call our office @ 419-726-5100 for further information.