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Dalton Hanna

Small miracles occur every day at Bancroft. But Steve and Karen Hanna credit Bancroft with something huge:enabling them to keep their son. “Bancroft was the reason we adopted Dalton,”says Steve Hanna,referring to his 6-year-old son with autism. “Emotionally,we wanted to adopt him,” recalls Steve, “but we needed to know what we were getting into; we had to think about ourselves and the other kids.” Steve and his wife,Karen,had taken Dalton at just six weeks old,as one of about 30 foster children they’ve helped raise over the years.But when Dalton started having severe tantrums and regressing around age 3,the Hannas knew something was seriously wrong — and they weren’t sure they could continue meeting Dalton’s needs. A neurologist diagnosed autism,and the Hannas soon met with Bancroft professionals to determine Dalton’s prognosis — and whether they could handle raising him. Bancroft’s experts were confident they could lessen the tantrums,and teach Dalton a wide range of academic, social and independent-living abilities. “Because Bancroft got involved,they gave us a ray of hope,”says Steve,who’s currently a stay-at-home dad.“Bancroft said ‘You can do it and we’re going to be here with you.’” Within a couple weeks, the Hannas decided to go through with Dalton’s adoption. “They [Bancroft’s staff] teach us what to do to correct specific problems,”explains Karen,a medical secretary and volunteer EMT.“They come to the house.They’ve hidden...to observe him.” “For instance,when the Hannas would remove Dalton from the bathtub,“he’d go ballistic,”says Steve.Bancroft taught the parents to make such transitions gradually,by giving several minutes’ warning and counting down from five to zero. “He’ll stand up and pull the plug,”says Steve.“Now he comes out of the tub with no tears.” Today,Dalton is a happy, affectionate child who plays more with his three siblings and has fewer tantrums. He’s also learning to read, initiate conversation, respond to the questions and use the bathroom independently, among other skills. “...there was such a change in him, it was unbelievable.”says Steve. For that, the Hannas are immeasurably grateful.
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