Leo

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Leo was born in April 2009 and has a hemangioma (port wine stain) on his face.  He also has some stiffness in his right limbs.  He can run and jump but sometimes loses his balance. Leo was hosted in the US for three weeks in 2016. US doctors believe he has Sturge Weber Syndrome.

AGENCY DESIGNATED SPECIAL FOCUS CHILD

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Leo is said to be a little introverted and shy, but he gets along well with others, likes to help out and to share his things.  He’s in kindergarten, isn’t very communicative but can talk in short sentences, and he understands adult instructions.  He has good independent self-service ability.   He likes building blocks and bouncing a ball. He has a slight mental development delay compared to his peers.

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JULY 2016 UPDATE FROM LEO’S HOST FAMILY BELOW:  

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Leo’s host family has said, “Leo is super sweet and easy going. He loves blowing bubbles, jumping on the trampoline, playing with his 3 host sisters’, and going to the park.  He also really loves toys that make noise!  He is not afraid of our dog, cat, or rabbit, and has started to help me feed them during the day.  He hasn’t been picky about food, and has tried just about everything we have given him.  He loves ramen noodles for breakfast.  He also likes watermelon, tomatoes, popcorn, French fries, peanut butter and jelly, and pasta. He is fascinated with how things work around the house.  Leo has excellent fine motor skills, and great hand-eye coordination.  His right side is weak, so he is unsteady at times on his feet and especially on stairs.  This little boy is full of joy, is affectionate, and really seems to love being the center of attention right now in our home!

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We noticed after a couple of days that he appeared to be having small seizures several times a day.  We were able to have his MRI scans sent over from China, and a Dr. at John’s Hopkins reviewed them.  His response was “He definitely has Sturge Weber.  He has a smaller hemisphere are the left side with some vascular malformations.”  Since Leo was only here for a short time we were not able to have him seen by a neurologist in person.  However, we were able to talk to the staff from his orphanage when he was leaving.  We told them how important is was to have him seen in China by a specialist, and that he definitely needs to be on seizure medication.

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Although his language development is delayed, he seemed to understand everything when he was spoken to in Chinese.   We had several translators in our home while he was here and he appeared to understand all of them.  He was shy around adults, but once he felt comfortable he would answer in one or two words, and sometimes a short sentence.  Towards the end of hosting he started to understand some English, and was repeating some English words.  We saw Leo make progress in his development in just the few short weeks that he stayed with us.  He has so much potential, and would really thrive in a family!”

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