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WELL-LIKED 7-YEAR-OLD FACES MANY CHALLENGES, NEEDS PARENTS WITH PLENTY OF PATIENCE

SHARE WELL-LIKED 7-YEAR-OLD FACES MANY CHALLENGES, NEEDS PARENTS WITH PLENTY OF PATIENCE

Heather, 7, is well-liked by other children, though she's more of a follower than a leader. Her social worker says she can be enthusiastic about things, but she doesn't show a lot of warmth and affection.

Due to a rare condition, Saethra-choetzen, passed down through mothers, Heather has a small head, small forehead, jaw deformation, hearing loss and below-average intelligence. Orthodontia has helped reshape her jaw.Until she was 4, no one knew Heather had a hearing loss. She learned in that time to read lips and talk. She now wears hearing aids in both ears and has an excellent vocabulary. Her speech is clear but she speaks in a monotone. Her speech and language therapist is teaching her to put more inflection into her voice. She will get occupational therapy through spring and will continue to need psychological counseling to help her deal with attachment issues and the disruptions and abuse in her past. She takes medication for attention deficit disorder. She is in kindergarten for half the day and a special class the other half.

She was abused when she was very young and placed for adoption before her hearing loss was identified.

Although her social worker feels Heather has some capacity to attach to a family, she'd probably do best in one with children who aren't too close to her age. She needs parents with lots of patience and a mom who won't easily feel rejected by Heather's need to test her commitment and to maintain

some emotional distance. Due to

the extra therapy and doctor's appointments Heather needs, an at-home mom with time to keep such a busy schedule is recommended. Heather needs to be able to visit her brother, who is being adopted by his foster family.

Financial assistance is available.