WORDS Project Zero
IMAGE Ashley Carson Photography
VICTORIA, AGE 15
This lovely teen is Ms. Victoria. She is a super-sweet young lady who just happens to be on the autism spectrum. But don’t let the phrase “autism spectrum” scare you. It’s called a spectrum because everyone with autism has different abilities and strengths, and Victoria has a lot! She likes to do educational activities on the iPad, and she likes to help clean up the table after lunch and pick up her room. Yes, you read that correctly…a teen who enjoys cleaning up! She also gets along well with others and enjoys being included in group activities. She does great on field trips for shopping, eating out, haircuts, etc., and she takes care of her own personal hygiene. As you might expect, Victoria’s diagnosis comes with some challenges.
Communication is a big challenge. She can say a few words in sign language but is not interested in learning more at the moment. She also does not like the dentist, and she struggles with high-pitched noises like screaming. But, knowing her struggles and triggers makes it easier to manage her daily routine. We asked Victoria’s foster mom what her favorite things are, and she had quite a list for us! First and foremost, Victoria loves going to Valentine’s dances and prom. She enjoys dressing up and getting her hair done. She loves new clothes and shoes. When she gets new clothes, she likes to try them on right away! She also likes Sponge Bob, puzzles, swinging, being outside, bubble baths, and tickles! She also really enjoys the local splash pad. Victoria is an amazing, fun young lady, who will be such a wonderful daughter and sister for a very lucky family – someone with experience with autism or a willingness to learn how to properly care for Victoria. Don’t pass up the chance to get to know more about this incredible young lady!
In partnership with Project Zero and Arkansas Heart Gallery, each month Do South® will feature a waiting child, or sibling group, in foster care in Arkansas. To inquire about these incredible children, please visit theprojectzero.org.