3rd Jul, 2009

Fostering again

Although I still have Angel visiting one weekend a month and little Shane for two days a week, I was happy to receive the phone call asking me to take on the placement of another two year old boy for around six weeks.  I’m picking him up this afternoon so I should be downstairs sorting out his room but I thought I’d share my news instead.

This little guy is presently with another carer (a friend I’ve known for years)  but she has to go in for an operation on Monday and will need a fair bit of time to recuperate before she will be ready to have little Jamie back with her. We’ve had a few visits with him and one overnight stay, during which he seemed fairly settled, so hopefully he’ll adjust to the move without too many difficulties.

Jamie demonstrated some unusual characteristics during his infancy which concerned his carer (a very experienced lady who has been fostering babies for over forty years) and were put down to early trauma and the lack of a good attachment prior to coming into care at five months.  With good care and attunement he improved and developed a good relationship with his carer but she still had concerns.  It took months to convince the protective worker, who saw Jamie rarely and felt there was nothing unusual about him, to allow her to take the little boy (then almost two) to see a paediatrician.  A couple of visits later the doctor diagnosed Jamie with autism which explained a number of his odd behaviours and gives everyone a little more direction.

He is two and a half, has very little language, plays with toys in a fairly limited fashion and interacts with people on his own terms.  In the short time I’ve had him with me I’ve found he will listen to simple conversation and short stories,  engage readily in fun, physical play with me and the two older kids, enjoys being held and accepts hugs and other affectionate contact. I’ve yet to see him dissolve into rage or even get upset, but I hope he already feels comfortable enough with me to be held and soothed when that does happen (as I’m sure it eventually will!)

I wonder what Angel will think when he arrives for the weekend (end of next week) and finds another two year old in his space and with “his” family.  I’ll have to rope Portia in to be very available that weekend (she’s pretty good with little kids – lots of experience in a fostering family) so we can share the attention around.  Should be fun….(but anticipating hubby will spend a fair bit of time hiding out in his study!)

Now I’m off to sort out our fosterkid’s  room – just a bit of dusting and rearranging of toys and clothing – ready for the new occupant.

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