History: When Mark was 3-years-old, he was brought into the foster care system due to physical abuse in the home. He was placed in two different foster homes where his behaviors became extremely severe. He would throw toys, flip tables, and attempt to jump out of windows when he was upset. He was recommended for placement in a residential facility to control these behaviors. But, his paternal aunt would not let that happen. She went through the licensing process with Little City, and with the help of Little City staff, they fought together for him to gain placement with her. Now, at 8-years old, Mark remains stable for over one year and is thriving in his foster placement.

Services: Mark had a lot of trouble in previous foster homes due to his difficulty with transitioning and aggressive outbursts. These were due to his inability to regulate his emotions, consistent with his diagnosis of Autism and history of trauma. Some techniques that they have used to help him regulate himself in day-to-day life are visual schedules, countdown boards, and sign language. Throughout the last year, Mark has improved drastically –He no longer exhibits bouts of aggressiveness and his communication has improved significantly. A formerly primarily nonverbal youth has now mastered simple sign language and is able to sign “Please”, “More” and is mastering the art of signing for “Help”. Mark’s foster family has worked really hard with his therapist to learn how to meet his needs. Mark and his foster family have a mutual understanding of when Mark is becoming upset and the best way for him to cool down – by taking a few moments in a quiet place, and reemerging when he has been able to calm himself down.

Outcome: Mark’s legal guardianship with his fictive kin is in progress. He is set to attain this goal in Spring 2019!