Michael has been growing by leaps and bounds and has absolutely turned his behavior around in school. He is doing fabulously well academically and behaviorally, and has been discovered to be a math whiz! He’s completed seventh grade where he fully engaged in his school work and his current behavior clearly enhances his learning. Michael has even made his own behavioral charts, which he uses for self-evaluation; he is clearly taking ownership of his behavioral goals. Michael is now turning in all of his home work and is steadily building his writing skills. He met all of his special education goals from last year during his first semester this year.
Some of his other special interests are music, writing poetry, and glass blowing. He eats breakfast and lunch with his glassblowing teachers in their studio and has sixth period with them as well. It would be absolutely wonderful if the family chosen to adopt Michael lives in proximity to his current school so that he could continue there until he graduates from high school. The mentoring he has received from his teachers and others has given him such a huge boost forward. They just love Michael!
An articulate boy with impressive language and conversational skills, Michael is doing very well, too, in his foster home where he continues to grow emotionally and behaviorally. He is also developing musical skills as a drummer. At one concert where he played, he received accolades and praise. The performance gave him a wonderful sense of accomplishment and was a great source of pride. The family chosen to adopt Michael will need to make sure that he has many more opportunities for success. Among Michael's favorite pastimes are riding his bike, playing video games, and playing imaginary games in the backyard.
Michael requested an out-of-home placement for himself. He longs to be adopted and has told his social worker that he would especially like to have a dad. He says, "A single dad would be great!" Michael came into foster care with symptoms of past trauma, as well as feelings of sadness and being overwhelmed. Michael continues to work on these issues in counseling, and on developing his social skills.
It is likely that Michael will need to have counseling supports in place, at least on an as-needed basis for the foreseeable future. Being willing to participate with Michael in family counseling during his transition into his adoptive family would be a wonderful way for his adoptive parent(s) to show their love and commitment to him. It would also show that they value using such resources to help family members heal past hurts and develop their full potential. Michael could also benefit from working with a behavioral therapist on further developing tools and strategies to help him cope in healthy ways. A high level of supervision helps Michael stay on track.
Due to his greater than average need for parental time and attention, Michael needs to be the youngest child by more than a few years or an only child in his adoptive home. It will be important for his adoptive parent(s) to have a very good grasp of how chronic neglect and physical abuse can impact a child's sense of well being and safety, as well as his emotional, social, and behavioral development.