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Wednesday’s Child: 6-Year-Old Donnie

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BOSTON (CBS) — Donnie, 6, is a lovable, affectionate Caucasian youngster who is happy, smiley, and has a wonderful sense of humor. He loves spending time with his foster family and especially enjoys playing with his older foster brother, with whom he has a typical sibling relationship. With his foster mother, Donnie loves giving and receiving affection. Donnie has been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. He is able to understand simple directions, but needs assistance to complete tasks and self-care.

Donnie can write his own name, knows all the letters of the alphabet, shapes, colors, months of the year, and is reading simple words and phrases. He loves video games, books, coloring, painting, sand play, blocks, LEGOS and trains. When he is interested in a toy or an activity, he will easily stay engaged in play for a long period of time. He is able to communicate his needs, and his speech is readily improving. Donnie has made significant gains in his overall abilities in the last year.

Donnie is always on the move exploring his environment; he needs consistent supervision to stay safe. He is able to play unsupervised in his foster home, as the home is set up to promote his independence. Donnie has an Individual Education Plan in school and receives speech/language services, as well as physical therapy, occupational therapy and behavioral services. He does very well in his school placement and is continuing to show steady academic, social and emotional progress. Routines and knowing what to expect are very important for Donnie.

An ideal family for Donnie would consist of one or two parents, with or without other children, who are patient and understanding, and have reasonable expectations for him. His caretakers should be able to advocate for his best interest. It would be beneficial if they have a strong support network and a background in working with children with special needs. Donnie is legally free for adoption, and an adoptive family should be open to Donnie maintaining some contact with his birth parents.

To learn more about Donnie, and about adoption from foster care, call the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) at 617-54-ADOPT (617-542-3678) or visit www.MAREinc.org. The sooner you call, the sooner a waiting child will have “a permanent place to call HOME.”

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