Brandi is a beautiful 7 year old girl. She is listed with bilateral hearing loss, but can definitely hear, as she will turn around and look for the person calling her name, and does respond to commands given if she chooses (if she doesn’t, she screams/attempts to run/swats at the caregiver). Cognitively, she is very delayed, more like a toddler, in ability to understand what’s going on around her, and in her responses, and appropriateness. She also has strabismus in both eyes, and has both a heart condition and anemia. She does NOT have CP, nor microcephaly. She does have brain malformations, significant developmental delays, and many stimming behaviors that are typical of lower functioning autism. She is completely nonverbal.
Families interested in Brandi should be aware that she appears to have autism, and that it impacts her significantly. She is a “runner” and will bolt and run unless contained or restrained and potential families need to be aware that this is common in autism, and that they will need to take appropriate measures to keep her safe in a home and family. She has a history of aggression when changes occur, such as a move, or unexpected event, which include biting peers and adults, and she struggled for at least a year after her last orphanage change four years ago, but is doing better now. However, as many with autism thrive on routine and predictability, families need to be aware that she may handle a transition poorly, especially at first. She has excellent mobility, and is very typically sized for a normal 7 year old in weight and height, and when she resists, it is challenging for a grown woman to hold her back. She has been in a school for the deaf, however, she knows no sign language nor does she read lips. She is very much in her own world in many ways. She enjoys music and will sometimes clap, but remains disconnected from the group and does not interact with adults (was not seen with peers).
Brandi attempts to smell/lick everything that is handed to her and when she realizes it isn’t food, she is not typically interested. The nannies report that she has an excellent appetite, and that she enjoys eating. She stims by rocking, throwing herself back and forth, sucking all four fingers on her hand, grunting, and moaning/shrieking. She walks with a lurching gallop. She flaps her hands often. A potential family should be aware that she has no awareness of danger, no fear of strangers and is very much like a very young child emotionally and cognitively, but physically is strong and very mobile. She currently takes psychiatric medications to assist in sleep and behavior.
She is a lovely little girl, with beautiful blond hair and clear complexion. She is in a good orphanage where she is well cared for. Families need to research autism, and be comfortable and familiar with caring safely for a child with the issues mentioned above, in order to provide Brandi with a safe, loving home.