Update June 2016: Cullen was moved out of the institution and into a group home 18 months ago and he is thriving in that environment. He is talking, playing appropriately with peers, performing all self-help skills, and attending a special education school where he fully participates in games and activities. Videos taken in June 2016 show him engaged in pretend play and talking about his birthday (and he asks when he will get to have another birthday party!). The director of the group home says that he has been very healthy since moving into the home and she believes that he will thrive in a family. Photos and videos are available.
Update January 2012: Cullen is in 4th grade this year. He knows the names of all the children in his class and has a best friend. He pronounces short words and simple sentences. He can repeat numbers and counts to 5 with help. He is very musical and loves to dance.
Additional photos and videos of Cullen are available. Cullen is 15 years old. He’s been living in a mental institution since the age of 5. He is completely healthy with no physical delays or health problems. Cullen is in 3rd grade at a local special education school. He enjoys going on walks and field trips. He plays with blocks, mechanical toys and kitchen sets. He engages in pretend play. He likes to look at books and will look at the pictures in the book and point to objects in them upon request. He can identify animals and foods and choose them from photos. He has well developed self-help skills. He’s toilet trained, feeds himself, dresses himself, folds his own clothes and washes his hands and face independently before bed each night.