Leah is a delightful and busy girl who is a challenging toddler to parent. She wants to play and be showered with attention. Leah likes to help out around the house and play outside (one of her favorite activities is sweeping the floor). She likes to "wash" the windows and dust the furniture, and loves to play "house" with babies and stuffed toys. Her favorite books are Clifford and Pooh Bear. Leah loves music and it can be used to soothe or comfort her; music also makes her environment feel safer to her. She is in need of a very special home, but her team is confident that Leah will make significant improvements if she can find the right home.
Please note that Leah’s worker is looking for families in states who can demonstrate the means, ability and firm commitment to make trips to Idaho to maintain a connection with Leah’s birth siblings who reside there.
While Leah is a child with significant attachment needs, as she develops socially, her needs are becoming more predictable. As she attends preschool and is able to experience more typical social settings, she will be able to teach her caregivers more about how she sees the world and what she needs. Leah is most successful in interactions where adults can maintain a calm tone and affect (including facial expression and body movements). Leah needs help finding the words to use to share her plans and feelings. For example, what may look like Leah being oppositional could be Leah having an idea and wanting to show her caregiver what she is thinking. Leah would benefit from parenting that facilitates her being able to increase her awareness of her environment in a developmentally appropriate, exploratory manner, while supporting her in increasing her vocabulary about the activities she engages in.
Leah does not easily accept adult-initiated physical contact, and at times presents as if she finds it threatening or triggering. A good parenting fit for Leah would be a family who can follow her lead with providing physical nurturance. Leah is often soothed by sensory experiences, like playing in water or with play dough. Leah develops relationships in a complicated manner, and ongoing family therapy is likely to be necessary as she integrates into and builds relationship with a new family.
Leah is beginning to understand the ways in which her actions make others unhappy or uncomfortable, and it is important for her to receive unconditional acceptance from a caregiver so that she does not develop a sense of shame or insecurity even though she may make a lot of mistakes. Leah is very attentive to the emotional state of those around her, and even though she may not have the words to talk about it, her stress level and anxiety will match that of the household.
Leah is in a developmental period where she learns by observation how to meet expectations and uses imitation to practice new skills. She needs creative parenting that can model for her ways to solve problems that are within her capabilities (and may not be totally reliant on verbal communication) and that can teach her new skills (like appropriate language or nonverbal cues to get her needs met.
Leah needs and deserves highly skilled parenting from parents who are comfortable with feeling confused sometimes, as her behaviors are challenging. If her parents need to utilize outside daycare, the daycare provider should be specialized and open to consultation with Leah’s team. Leah needs adoptive parents who will ask for help and who have a strong support network already built. Leah needs parents who are successful in managing their own emotions and stress alongside hers. For her own safety and those of others, Leah would do best in a home without other children. If there are other siblings in the home, they should be older adolescents or teenagers and not have any special needs. The most important thing for Leah is to be given unconditional love and support from a very special family. With the unique home and parents she needs and deserves, Leah's team is confident she will be able to grow to her potential.
|Click to view|