Ayla from Bulgaria
Ayla was born in April 2007. She has been diagnosed with infantile cerebral palsy (mild lower spastic quadriparesis), moderate internal hydrocephalus, an arachnoid cyst, bilateral convergent strabismus, mild cognitive delay, atypical autism, and trichotillomania. She has been living with a foster family since 2016. Ayla is a joyful child, who is shy around strangers but interacts readily with peers and known adults, initiating hugs and returning smiles. She is well-oriented in familiar environments and knows the route to school and back. Ayla understands and follows instructions related to everyday life and does best when these directions are provided in step-by-step fashion. She speaks in simple sentences, though she struggles with correct grammar and pronunciation. Ayla walks independently, mainly on her toes, climbs up and down stairs and can kick, throw, and catch a ball. She holds writing implements with the correct grasp and strives to stay in the lines when coloring. She can feed herself and drink from a cup, dress and undress with support, and usually announces her physiological needs. Ayla interprets others’ emotions and reacts appropriately to them. She is often calm but quickly becomes upset and sometimes aggressive when a wish or request is denied. Ayla enjoys playing with stuffed animals, drawing, and watching children’s programs on TV, and is able to change the channel to find her preferred shows. She does not recognize letters or numbers and is unable to read or write at this time. She attends a day care center for children with special needs where she receives physical therapy, speech therapy, and sessions with a psychologist. Slow but steady progress has been noted.