Special Needs Fostering and Zip-tied Shoes

A tired sounding DSS employee calls. We have a boy, she says. He is a teen. He has special needs since he has autism. He has been all over the state. He has been in a bunch of foster homes and several group homes. He is on a bunch of medications. He pushed his foster mom. No one will take him.  My first thoughts were, "This sounds too hard... I can't handle this... I don't even have any experience with special needs kids... Maybe  he is dangerous."

Then, the worker says he's in a car now, and we don't even know where he will go. I don't know what else to do. I don't have anyone left to call. Can you help?

For some reason, I say yes. If not me, then who? He arrives and immediately and starts playing video games with my nephews and my daughters. He is just a boy. He is scared. He has been through too much. He respects us, and we respect him. He says please and thank you. He rocks back and forth. He repeats video game phrases and acts things out. We accept him as he is, and give him some extra time and grace for things. We have to watch him carefully because he will wander, and he isn't good at remembering the rules we have around our home. But, mostly he is just a boy. He likes grilled cheese, but not pizza. He is scared of showers, but loves to swim. He loves video games, but not shopping. He likes costumes, but hates pajamas. He is just a boy. And, he is ok.

-Submitted by an Oconee Foster Mama

Fostering Faithfully was thrilled to replace his zip-tied shoes missing insoles, get new socks, and be sure he had a new duffel bag for his things. We love helping foster parents who’ve said YES, when many had said NO.

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Abby Crooks