Newsletter #12 for Internationally Adopting Parents
April 2, 2006
PAL Center Inc.

In this issue

Adoption training courses are convenient and most affordable way
to quickly access a psychological consultation on the issues you
need to address.
Check out the course library,
use the opportunity to speak to the instructors


From our database:
Speech and Language Evaluation

Q. A speech pathologist (private) recommended speech therapy, but our school district rejected these recommendations, saying that "her learning has not been affected by her articulation problems". Why does the school district reject my son's speech pathologist's recommendations?

A. Many private therapists use a medical model in evaluating and treating a child, whereas the public schools are restricted to an educational model. This means that the schools will generally not address certain problems unless they specifically indicated to hinder the child's learning.

School systems are required to test in the child's native language, so you may request screening upon arrival in the US Speech therapists will evaluate your child's understanding and use of words, the use of language for different purposes, pronunciation of speech sounds, physical ability to produce speech, voice quality, and fluency or smooth flow of speech.

You receive this newsletter as a former client of the Center for Cognitive-Developmental Assessment & Remediation, or a former student of the Bgcenter Online School, or a user of the International Adoption Articles Directory.


Latest Articles
from the

International Adoption Articles

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
Need help parenting a teen?

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
When a child with special needs and complex disabilities surfaces with behavior problems


Old Trauma, New Trauma, Post-Traumatic Stress...

Message from Dr. Boris Gindis
I would like to share with you my most recent experience.
I have had 4 cases within the last two months in which newly adopted older children shared with me during their psychological screening that back in Russia they had been told that "Americans kill adopted children". They expressed their fear in different ways: from an acute anxiety that sounded in the question to brief comments about "stupid rumors" shared among their peers in the orphanage. One 7 year old boy told me that the director in his orphanage brought him to the office just before his departure and told him to be aware that "15 children adopted from Russia were killed in America." An adoptive parent confirmed a few days ago that her 8 year old daughter (2 months at home) was also told that "they [American parents] can stab you with a knife if you do not behave."

The most detrimental part in this merciless "information" fed to young minds is that these children had already seen a lot of abuse - they may believe it! Never before in my 14+ years of work in the field of international adoption have I encountered such a weird source of psychological trauma in IA children. Now I am trying to evaluate how serious and widespread it is. No doubt, this new source of distress in some IA children reflects the current Russian attitudes towards international adoption in general and in the US in particular. There's not much that any individual adoptive parent can do about public opinion in Russia (Ukraine and Kazakhstan seemed to be not affected), but there is something you can do to set your children at ease and help them overcome a shocking expectation.

First of all, parents who plan to adopt older children should be aware of the rumors circulating in Russian orphanages and be observant and sensitive to this. In the first several weeks or even months, while a significant language barrier exists, it is difficult to find out the presence of such fears and correctly interpret related behaviors. Do not just brush any suspicion off as ridiculous; it might be quite real for your "primed" child. If you have a reason to believe that this fear exists, try to find a Russian speaking person who can talk about it with the child; make sure your own behavior is logical, stable, and is correctly understood by the child. And if your child is in any kind of therapy (e.g. attachment, PTSD, etc.), let the therapist know about this newly discovered source of frustration.

Bryan Post, Ph.D., LCSW
The adopted child: trauma and its impact
Many adoptive families struggle for years to create the peaceful family of which they had dreamed. Regrettably, one of the main barriers preventing such family harmony is one of the least understood when it comes to understanding the plight of the adopted child. That barrier is trauma.

Boris Gindis, Ph.D.
PTSD in internationally adopted children

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition in which victims of overwhelming negative experiences are psychologically affected by feelings of intense fear, helplessness, and vulnerability. Many studies have shown that there is a connection between children's exposure to traumatic events and their subsequent psychological problems. PTSD symptoms in children may last for a long time, and include, but not be limited to: disturbing memories or flashbacks ( nightmares and fear of re-experiencing traumatic event), avoidance behavior (avoiding thoughts, feelings, conversations about the event), hyper-arousal (hyper-vigilance, exaggerated startle response).

Dr. Mark Lerner
Post-traumatic stress and its manifestation in the young institutionalized child
Unfortunately, a significant number of young institutionalized children are exposed to traumatic events. These include, but are certainly not limited to, neglect, physical and sexual abuse and various degrees of abandonment. By having an understanding of traumatic stress and how it impacts young children, we can identify post-traumatic stress reactions and address the unique emotional and behavioral needs of these children.


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