Boy, born July 2008
Such handsome brown eyes!
Stellan has Cerebal Palsy. He’s another one who will greatly benefit from being part of a family!
From a family who met him in 2012:
Despite his obvious lack of proper nutrition he was very strong. He stuck his feet out of his crib on the floor and pulled himself to a standing position. He cannot walk but with help he can take some steps. I strongly suspect this is due more to lack of opportunity than actual loss of ability. He is able to sit up and pull up on his crib. He vocalized vowel sounds and made good eye contact. I believe that given a chance and some therapy he would be able to walk and be at least semi-independent.
I really cannot speak to his mental ability because I just did not get to spend enough time with him. There was one special day that visitors came to the orphanage so the staff let him out of his crib. That’s how I got a picture of him in a stroller. It was very hard to get a picture of him because he was very near a toy and he was obsessed with getting to it and playing with it. I could not get his attention as he was fixated on the toy. Who could blame him? I would do the same thing for a toy too if I was never allowed to play with one. So I do not know if his obsessive behavior was again due to the institutionalization or connected to some ‘special need’, I just want to mention it so that a family that considers him has a good picture of him and his behavior so that can prepare to help him. He seemed to just pull and toss toys. Like most institutionalized children he has not learned how to play purposefully with toys. No one has taught him so he does not know any better.
I did notice Stellan licking his hands a lot. When you are in an environment that is void of sensory stimulation you will find ways to get it. His oral sensory seeking can be corrected rather easily with things like chewy vibrating toys, chew sticks, vibrating toothbrushes, crunchy foods, etc. His licking really just speaks to his level of neglect and it is just so sad to me.
The one thing I will always remember about Stellan is that he had a very sweet demeanor. Despite his lot in life he was very happy and very sweet. No child EVER deserves a life sentenced to a mental institution but especially a child like Stellan, who really has the chance to blossom with some opportunity to work on his abilities. I just know in my heart that with some therapy and some love, he could be a completely changed boy. Please…someone…rescue Stellan.