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Psychological services for internationally adopted children
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Adopting older children internationally:
making a decision and coping with post-adoption difficulties

Meet your instructors

Boris Gindis, Ph.D.
Jody Sciortino, LCSW

  • How it all begins for a child

Part I. Before adoption: Will it work for me?

  Unit 1. Older internationally adopted children as a group
  • Life before institution: the impact of neglect, deprivation, and trauma
  • Life in institution: survival skills and behavior
  • The consequences: developmental delays in cognitive, language, and academic domains
  • The consequences: behavioral issues
  • The consequences: emotional and attachment issues
  Unit 2. Making a decision to adopt internationally
  • Examining your motivation and expectations for adoption of an older child
  • Taking an inventory: personal resources
  • Analyzing your own family history and dynamics prior to the adoption

Part II. After adoption: Helping your child settle in

  Unit 3. Building the family together and resolving emotional issues
  • Dealing with cultural differences and institutional background of the child
  • Developing a concept of home and family with the child
  • “Claiming” your child
  • Helping your child learn to rely upon you
  • Dealing with separation anxiety
  • Working on developing mutual trust and understanding
  Unit 4. Managing behavior and building new skills
  • Activities of daily living
  • Safety issues
  • Setting the limits and introducing the structure
  • Changing institutional behavior patterns
  • Avoiding over-stimulation
  • Building self-control and ability to delay gratification
  • Managing child's anger and resolving conflicts
  Unit 5. Addressing educational issues
  • The causes of rapid loss of the native language by an international adoptee
  • The therapeutic value and negative consequences of rapid loss of the first language
  • The dynamics of English language acquisition by an internationally adopted child
  • Pros and cons of preserving the native language
  • The child’s school readiness and school placement
  • Cumulative Cognitive Deficit (CCD) in international adoptees
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) program: opportunities and limitations

Part III. Parental skills:
Updating your parental techniques and reaching out
for help

  Unit 6. Parental survival skills
  • Managing relations: a story of a family
  • Dealing with your own anger
  • Adjusting expectations
  • Post adoption depression: taking care of yourself
  Unit 7. Professional medical and psychological help for your child
  • The role of medical and psychological assessment
  • Dealing with extreme behaviors


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