TACOMA, Washington -

Ryan’s favorite people right now are the significant adults in his life. When you first meet Ryan, he can be reserved and, perhaps, a bit shy. Once his comfort level is sufficient, though, he’ll want to hang out and do things together with you.  Compassionate, supportive, and encouraging, Ryan enjoys giving and receiving hugs. Some of his favorite activities are riding his bike, coloring, doing crafts, and playing a variety of games.
Ryan is now in third grade, where he is receiving 45 minutes of pull-out services for speech and reading through his special education program’s Other Health criteria. While Ryan has been in a regular classroom thus far, his teacher believes that he might do better in a small classroom setting. Intellectually, Ryan is in the average range, but socially other students see him as different. In a smaller setting, there would be fewer kids but they would all be kids who have special needs. In addition, Ryan would have more support from teachers in modeling social interactions and simple problem solving behavior.
Ryan’s special needs include developmental and medical issues. The significant trauma he experienced in his early childhood has left Ryan about three years behind the social and emotional development of his peers. Ryan also has speech delays and wears glasses to correct his vision. Medically, both Ryan’s blood sugar and his carbohydrate intake need to be routinely monitored throughout the day. Ryan takes various medications to help manage his issues, including lessening his frequent feelings of anxiety, stabilizing his blood sugar, dealing with his asthma, and lessening his attention difficulties and restless energy.  Of course, eating an appropriate diet is also a must for Ryan to maintain good health.
Ryan’s adoptive parent(s) must be able to manage his daily medication therapy very consistently, see that his food intake is appropriate to his health needs, and supervise his daily participation in maintaining his health and well-being.
Legally free, Ryan came into foster care in late 2010 due to chronic neglect of his basic and medical needs. Ryan continues to participate in mental health counseling to help him sort through and lessen his feelings of grief, loss, anger, and abandonment and to deal with his emotional and social delays. Currently, his therapist is using trauma focused behavioral therapy strategies.
It would be very helpful for Ryan’s adoptive parent(s) to participate with him in counseling during his transition into his adoptive home.  It would not only show his new parent(s)’ love and commitment, it would demonstrate that they value using such resources to help family members deal with past hurts and move forward in healthy ways. Because it is likely that Ryan will need to have ongoing counseling for the foreseeable future, at least on an as-needed basis, his adoptive parent(s) need to be highly supportive of his mental health treatment program and be willing to participate as requested.
Ryan’s social worker looks forward to hearing from couples and single parents who understand how to help a child manage blood sugar and carb levels and support his full medical and mental health treatment programs. To properly monitor his medical needs, Ryan really needs to have a stay-at-home parent or significant adult during the hours that he is home. His adoptive folks also need to be strong educational advocates who will make sure Ryan has the academic, social, and emotional supports he needs to be successful in the classroom. Ryan and his worker will both highly appreciate a very nurturing, good humored adoptive family which will provide Ryan with lots of fun family and community activities.

For adoption information call the Northwest Adoption Exchange at 1-800-927-1411.