Diagnosis: Down syndrome
No, the date of birth is not a typo, this little boy is THIRTEEN.
Tommy looks like a healthy little 2 year old boy with chubby cheeks and chunky legs.
The reality is that at 12 years old he weighed just 26 pounds. Tommy is in an orphanage where the children receive only the most basic care and very little stimulation or opportunity to grow and develop. Tommy can sit up and pull to a stand. He can walk with assistance and move around in a baby walker (yes, he’s small enough to fit in a baby walker).
He makes sounds and pronounces syllables such as “da-da”, “ba-ba”, etc. He eats from a spoon, but has not been taught to feed himself.
Many additional photos and videos of Tommy are available. In the videos, Tommy is a happy little boy who responds very well to positive praise and attention. He’s following simple verbal instructions and making an effort to interact with the adults in the video. He can scoot himself around in the walker and responds to his name.
He’s a tiny package of potential who’s waited 13 long years for a family to help him blossom into the child that he was meant to be!
It is of crucial importance that any family considering the adoption of an older child from the mental institution setting be well prepared for what to expect with regards to how the neglect and lack of adequate medical care and nourishment has affected this child. These children are truly living on borrowed time.