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Johnny was 28 months when he was placed with Key Assets and in the previous 10 months had already lived in a kinship home and three foster homes.
He had a possible diagnosis of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder and had attachment issues, aggressive behaviours, disrupted sleep patterns/night terrors and excessive head banging. Johnny was placed with the Morgan family – two foster carers and their three children aged 15, 10 and one.
Johnny arrived on a Monday morning after a night of poor sleep and a morning of tantrums and head banging, including a fresh bruise on his forehead. Johnny was afraid to go to bed and did have night terrors but the foster mother was by his side instantly to soothe him. She even moved a futon bed into his room to sleep on so that she could wake and soothe him immediately. This was incredibly reassuring for Johnny and, within six weeks of being placed, he settled into a regular routine which included sleeping through the night without any terrors.
Johnny did head bang on a couple of occasions but was immediately picked up by either foster carer, cuddled and nurtured. After four weeks in placement, Johnny no longer made any gestures associated with his head banging.
Johnny developed a strong bond early on with the youngest child in the family and they can often be seen playing together and sharing toys, which was a new skill for Johnny. Clinical staff from the Hospital for Sick Children have visited him at the foster home, and they have been surprised and impressed by his progress. His ability to make eye contact, his language development and his attachment to both his carers and their children were unexpected but very positive developments.
Johnny continues to develop skills and settle into his foster home. He is busy little boy, who still requires support, structure and guidance, but the progress and success he has already displayed has exceeded everyone’s expectations.