Leif from European Union
Leif was born premature in September 2015 and since being abandoned by his family of origin, he has been living in foster care. He spent three years with his first foster family where he was doing well, but due to their own declining health, the foster parents could no longer take care of him. In his second placement, Leif experienced a developmental regression and was removed from the home after only three months. For the last six months, Leif has been living in his current foster home. He has been diagnosed with microcephaly, moderate developmental delay, most pronounced in the area of expressive speech, and hypermetropia and astigmatism for which he wears glasses. Curious and calm Leif walks independently, is potty-trained, feeds himself using utensils, and greatly desires to communicate and interact with peers. He speaks in single words, augmented with gestures and facial expressions, and understands much of what is said to him. He selectively carries out instructions. Leif’s attention is easily distracted, making targeted educational activities challenging for him. He loves to help with gardening. Leif attended kindergarten where the other children rejected him due to his delays. This led to some aggressive behaviors on Leif’s part. He is currently waiting to be enrolled at a Daycare Center for Children with Disabilities where he will be able to access appropriate therapies and interventions. Leif’s social worker and foster parents believe that the stability and continuity of care in a permanent adoptive family will accelerate his development. He would do well with older siblings who would include him in play and serve as peer models. Leif’s foster mother stated that he is a joy to be around.