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This is a developmental, psychological, and
educational examination of an internationally
adopted post-institutionalized child completed on arrival,
in his/her native language (Russian)
or in any other language with translator.
This evaluation is done within the first several weeks in
the US, while the native language is still fully functional.
The main goal of the
screening is to determine the child's developmental and
educational level of functioning for appropriate school
(preschool) placement. This examination has to rule out
possible cognitive limitations, learning disabilities, and
speech and language impediments in the child's native language
while these can not be mistaken for new language learning.
Depending on the child's
age, the in-office part of this screening may take from
6-7 hours and is completed in one day. It includes a follow-up
consultation with the parents on the results of the evaluation
and proposed recommendations.
For the children who
are educationally at risk and may need school placement
below their age level and/or classroom accommodations and
supportive services within the general education, a written
report is prepared in several business days, suitable for
presentation to your school and/or referral to other specialists.
For children who are
found to be developing without significant delays
and will catch up with their peers being placed at school
according to their age or without formal remediation, an
oral consultation with the explanation of the screening
findings may be a sufficient lower cost solution.
There are certain limitations
in this screening, particularly in respect to long-term
emotional/behavioral issues (e.g.: attachment, post-traumatic
stress disorder, ADHD, etc.). The initial screening procedure
applies to cases when the collected data show that the
child does not have an identifiable educational handicapping
condition (as spelled out in Individuals with Disability
Educational Act legislation) beyond delays typical for internationally
adopted children, and the child does not require a formal
educational classification needed for special education
placement and/or services.
If the initial screening
reveals an identifiable educational handicapping condition(s),
a full psycho-educational assessment and/or specialized
assessment (e.g.: speech and language) may be necessary.
In this case the adoptive parents can decide (during the
same office visit) on following through with a full assessment
procedure for their child instead of screening.
Screening is based
on the principles formulated in The Standards for Educational
and Psychological Testing, developed jointly by APA,
AERA, and NCME.
To collect information
needed to achieve the above goals, the following tests and
clinical procedures are used:
- Review of the original
adoption-related medical, legal and educational documentation.
- Interview with the
- Quick Neurological
Screening Test - Revised. (Clinical observations of neurological
status, behavior and social interaction during testing).
- NEPSY-ll Guidelines
and Behavior Observations Tables.
- The 4-Digit Diagnostic
Guide for the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. (Standardized
methodology for identification of FASD conditions with
the computerized program of facial FASD features).
- Universal Nonverbal
Intelligence Test (UNIT). (Standardized test to determine
intellectual potential without direct language involvement).
- Bender VMG Test,
2nd edition and samples of handwriting and drawings to
estimate visual processing, visual-motor integration,
and grapho-motor skills.
- The Bilingual Verbal
Ability Test. (Test for cognitive/academic language, Chinese,
Spanish, Russian and English forms).
- An informal evaluation
of the articulation and communicative fluency/pragmatics
as well as reasoning and comprehension in the native language
using country-specific educational examination procedures.
- The Brigance Inventory
of Early Development (a criterion-referenced inventory
of pre-academic skills).
Psycho-Educational Battery, lll. (Tests of Achievement,
Normative Update, four subtests: Calculation, Math Fluency,
Applied Problems, and Quantitative Concepts).
- The Bracken School
Readiness Assessment Test (BSRA). (Translated and used
as a non-standardized criterion-referenced test).
All screenings are done
using the same methodology developed by Dr. Boris Gindis