From a volunteer who spent several months at this orphanage:
Aiden is visually impaired (I’m not sure if he has some vision or if he is 100% blind). Aiden has some more significant delays however it is difficult to tell if he is cognitively delayed for medical reasons or if his delays are simply a result of institutionalization / lack of stimulation. Aiden engages in a lot of self-stimulation such as poking his eyes, tapping his head on the side of his crib, rocking back and forth, etc. When I first met Aiden he was able to walk around the edges of the crib holding on to the sides, but he would not walk independently, even while holding on to someone’s hands. As I worked with him however and he grew to trust me he began to take his first steps and now he loves to walk! Still, at least while I was there, the workers never let him out of his playpen. Aiden does not speak but he responds to his name and I believe he understands simple directions. He is not toilet trained but he is learning to feed himself. Aiden is difficult to engage. He doesn’t initiate interaction but when you play with him/tickle him, etc. he is full of smiles and laughter. I believe that this boy has way more potential than can be seen right now. Whoever Aiden’s family will need to be persistent about getting in his face in order to force him to engage and patient with what may be slow progress but I believe that with the consistent love and stimulation that a family would bring this little guy has all kinds of potential.
From a missionary who spent several months at his orphanage at the end of 2011:
Aiden is a complicated little boy. His years of minimal attention and probably some sensory issues seem to be the biggest of his struggles. He does at times hit his head or bite his hands to self stimulate. He let me hold and comfort him when he hit his head harder than he meant to one time, which was a great sign as far as attachment and trust goes. I like to refer to Aiden as my “mouthy” boy. He loves to chew on hard toys, and he very much enjoyed holding a slinky in his mouth and shaking his head to make it fly back and forth. He does not seem to have any vision at all. He navigates fairly well despite his lack of sight. His favorite thing ever is to be tickled. He has a wonderful smile and laugh. He will need a lot of attention and stimulation to help him to recover from all he has experienced, but I think he would really blossom with the right family!
More pictures available.
$1160.87 is available towards the cost of my adoption!