Wednesday's Child: Rayshad

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by CYNTHIA IZAGUIRRE

WFAA

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 25 at 7:01 PM

This week's Wednesday's Child will steal your heart.

Forget about walking like an Egyptian; this three-year-old Rayshad showed us how to walk like a penguin!

We spoke with his caseworker, who is hopeful this story will lead him to a loving home.

The Dallas World Aquarium knows how to make a child smile — especially the ones who need a home. Rayshad was blown away when workers brought out a live penguin for him to play with.

Caseworker Kindra Brown said this precious little boy will do well with almost any type of family.

"Rayshad is very sweet and affectionate and loving. He's very strong willed and he needs a foster family that can definitely stand up to him and be a good influence," she said.

Rayshad has Down syndrome and can say some words, like "fun" and "penguin."

During our adventure at the aquarium, not only did he learn to walk like a penguin — he got really excited about blowing kisses and getting to pet his new friend.

Rayshad is learning to communicate more effectively and often uses his own signs to get his point across. He's got the "high five" down pat!

"He does not have any other medical issues because of that," Broen said. "He has a healthy heart and thyroid and there have been no other effects from it.

Rayshad can be over-friendly, and does not understand "stranger danger" or boundaries. He needs a family willing to become knowledgeable about his syndrome and to be an advocate for him.

He has grown attached to Brown, who tearfully told us it's easy to fall in love with him.

"I think he will bring happiness and joy to a home. He's just a super-sweet boy that needs a loving family," she said.

Brown noted that Rayshad comes from an extremely neglectful past. His parents were on drugs and they abandoned him.

"It's hard to understand how a family could take off and leave a child like him," she said. "He just clings to you and wants that love. It's just hard to understand how a parent can just take off and leave."

It is this caseworker's hope that Rayshad will find a loving family and a forever home.

If you would like more information about Rayshad or the other children available through Wednesday's Child, call 800-233-3405 during weekday business hours.

E-mail cizzy@wfaa.com

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