Date of Birth: May 5, 2014
Health History: Mental Delay
Arrival Date: May 19, 2017
Joanne came to us May 19, 2017, at just over three years old. In spite of her age, she was accustomed to eating only bread and drinking formula. It was difficult getting her to drink water or juice or to eat solid foods—and she was quite vocal in expressing her unhappiness at the changes to her diet! At first she was also uncomfortable being outside her crib.
An exact medical diagnosis has been elusive. Her orphanage file came with a noted diagnosis of cerebral palsy. After we had her examined, the doctor speculated she may have had an early cerebral hemorrhage. Our in-house therapist believes Joanne has some autistic behaviors—possibly due to institutionalization.
Following several months at Harmony House, Joanne has moved from being a timid child unwilling to be outside her own crib to interacting, playing and giggling with both adults and children. She had no language at first, but now she has started to babble and is able to imitate speech. She will need to keep working on both receptive and expressive language. She does have sensory processing issues but has improved from not being able to touch anything to now willing to touch almost anything she comes in contact with. From eating nothing but bread and formula, she is now able to feed herself and enjoys a wide variety of foods.
Her biggest improvement has been in her motor skills. Unable to stand for very long when she arrived, she now loves to be chased around and can clearly indicate her desire to keep playing the chasing game with an adult. She also shows signs of intelligence by knowing the way home from the community playground.
Lily’s words were, “She just need to be loved. We love her.”
Joanne is named for Harmony’s friend Joanne Seedborg of Menifee, CA, and is looking for her Forever Family.