Sixteen-year-old Johnathan loves to make a joyful noise.
He moves from keyboard to drum kit to microphone stand at a small store-front church playing and singing gospel songs with enthusiasm, if not precision.
“Johnathan really enjoys gospel music,” says Kayla, a child specific recruiter at Aid to Adoption of Special Kids (AASK). “He loves to sign and dance.”
The teen also loves talking long walks and even enjoys strolling around a shopping mall during the hot summer months.
Johnathan has autism and is largely non-verbal. He uses an iPad-like device to communicate.
“A lot of his communication is through texting,” says Kayla, adding that Johnathan’s vocabulary and ability to express himself has dramatically grown over the last two years.
Johnathan is very neat and likes to fold his clothes and make his bed. He is eager to jump in to help with chores around the house.
“He’s become very independent,” Kayla says.
“He will get up and make his own breakfast or make a peanut butter sandwich,” she says.
Johnathan gets along with other children and would fit in well with siblings.
“Johnathan will do well in any type of family,” Kayla says. “As long as they have a really good structure and routine set in place, he will thrive.”
It’s important the parents have some experience with children with special needs.
Watch the stories of children in foster care waiting on forever families each week on the Wednesday’s Child segment each week between 5-6 a.m. on 12 News. You can also view previously aired stories at www.aask-az.org.
For more information on children eligible for adoption, call Aid to Adoption of Special Kids (AASK) at 602-930-4900, or visit www.aask-az.org.