This week’s Wednesday’s Child introduces a special young man who is looking for a loving home that will give him the educational and developmental care he requires. This active and energetic 16-year-old boy has autism, but it doesn’t stop him from living a joyful life.
Melvin’s interests include going to school and swimming. The pool seems to be a place of solace for the child. His case worker, Crystal Davis with the Arizona Department of Child Safety, thinks the sensory stimulation of water makes him feel a great sense of happiness. The joy on his face when he is splashing around is contagious.
During the interview, Melvin was taken to a swimming pool at the gym, where he was introduced to Ashley, his swim coach for the afternoon. Davis was impressed by his ability to follow directions, and interact and engage with Ashley upon first introduction. He allowed her to guide and direct him through different swim moves and water games.
Melvin has communication limitations where he doesn’t verbalize words. He expresses himself through sounds and gestures. His educators are teaching him to concentrate and engage in communication through physical and eye contact. They find that holding his hand allows him to concentrate and they are working with communication boards and devices so he can someday express himself with words. He does understand people and gets excited when he completes a task.
After spending six years in DCS care, Melvin is ready for a forever family. His cognitive disorder will require lifelong care, daily supervision, special one-on-one training, and special education for him to learn.
The ideal family for Melvin would be one that is very patient, loving and understanding with parents who have had experience with autism or are willing to learn about the disorder. The family should have a full understanding of his needs today, tomorrow, and in the future.
“I’ve been Melvin’s case manager for over a year, and I have seen him grow significantly in his abilities to communicate. I think he would bring a family a lot of joy with his laughter, interests and learning ability. He will also bring a sense of love. He responds well to kindness and patience. A family that would accept Melvin into their home and love him would benefit him greatly. Because of his energy, affection, and ability to grow and learn, the family that brings him home would be rewarded by Melvin just being Melvin,” said Davis.
With a boisterous laugh, Melvin echoes joy throughout a home. He is easy going by nature and enjoys any type of activity that involves more of an independent type nature.
For more information about Melvin, please contact AASK at (602) 930-4900 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.