International Adoption Info

Newsletter #117 for Internationally Adopting Parents
August 27, 2009 PAL Center Inc.


BGCenter Opens
West Coast Office -
the BGCenter-West!

Dr. B. Gindis
will travel between offices
and provide services
in both Centers

opens in cooperation with

Leaps and Bounds
Pediatric Therapy Center

at 1760 E Pecos Rd.
Gilbert, AZ 85296

Please call the main number at 845-694-8496
for the advanced scheduling
in both locations

New Articles

Teresa Evans
Fun Math Games For Children
Math games are perfect for school and home. By adding a few fun math games into the classroom or homework routine, you will turn ‘I HATE math!’ into ‘I LOVE math!’.

Bob & Sarah Major
Help Your Child To Easily Learn Through Explicit Phonics, Visual, Kinesthetic, & Tactile Elements
Product designers at Child1st look at children first to discover how they learn. We integrate explicit phonics instruction with strategies to engage children with an array of learning strengths.

You receive this newsletter
as a former client or correspondent
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 Directory

Questions and Answers

Schooling: When to Begin

Question: How soon after the children arrive should they be enrolled to and start school (week, two, etc.)?

Dr. Gindis:
The answer to your question is not as straightforward as you may expect. It depends on several key factors: the child's age, health condition, the adoption time and your own stress tolerance among them. There are at least 4 factors to consider deciding when to begin schooling, assuming your child is somatically healthy:

1. First and foremost is the age: the older the child, the more important it is to send him/her to school without extra delays, in fact -- as soon as the jetlag is gone. The reason for this is not the undesirable delay in the educational process (your child will be behind initially anyway and will need time to catch up with everything American). The real reason is that post-institutional children, especially those who had been exposed to schooling back in their native country, are used to a rigid structure and are in general more comfortable with the external control and discipline than with any necessity to manage their time and activities at home on their own. The older children, staying home when everybody studies, may perceive it as something irregular and unusual (in orphanages only sick children stay away from the school). In addition, their acute need for peer communications will be addressed at school. Last, but not least, you need to have a break and some time for yourself too.

2. For children who have attachment issues or, on the opposite, display some separation anxiety and need to stay in close proximity to their parents - this affects their emotional well being, it certainly makes sense to stay at home a bit longer, allowing time for resolving at least some concerns. At any age the children have to have a clear understanding that going away for school does not mean that they are going to the "next institution" and will not return to their family. It may sound bewildering for an adult, but international adoptees do not truly believe that their family is "forever family" for a very long time - sometime years.

Working on building and facilitating attachment does not imply that your child has to stay with you all the time and miss the school. Rather present yourself the way that your child wants to be with you and values the time together. Remember, your falling in love with your child does not mean that you will automatically get the reciprocity and appreciation of all the troubles you went through to bring them into your family. Thus, the quantity of time together does not guarantee attachment, but the break from constant proximity may enhance your mutual experience.

If you can't stay with your child at home and must work and are thinking about hiring a part-time nanny or a tutor, you should consider taking the child to the school instead rather than inviting attachment to another person, typically speaking your child's native language, familiar with their cultural background and capable of understanding them better than you can at this stage.

3. An upcoming initial screening appointment for an appropriate school placement often causes the same question: should parents wait until the results are known before taking the child to the school? If your appointment is soon after the arrival of the child, then it's a good idea to wait with the school appearance because the chances are your child will need placement that differs from a chronological age placement, and you will have to make changes in the environment, which the child has already accepted as a permanent situation. If the assessment is delayed for several weeks then you probably do not have a choice and will have to place the child as the school sees fit and make changes later. Try to explain it in advance to your child that the changes are possible in the future, and the current placement may be temporary.

4. Holidays typically break the continuity of the educational process, so if your child arrives not long before a major holiday or school vacation, it' a good idea to enter the school after the holiday: the kids will have a normal starting point at school helping them to blend in.

Another aspect of schooling: it is widely assumed that if a child looks like a nine year old, he/she may lack educational information and cultural background, but has skills and self-regulation expected from a 9-year-old. In the majority of IA children, several years of deprivation and educational neglect result in an astonishing lack of age-appropriate skills and ability to regulate their internal psychological processes. These children are very much in need of remediation along with education. Do not overestimate your abilities to give the child a necessary learning experience and remedial help. Keep in mind that the initial adjustment can go on for months, so just sitting at home and waiting while things settle down may not be an adequate approach, while the earlier you introduce structure, predictability and remedial help into your child's life, the less stressful it should be.


To unsubscribe
send e-mail to
with the subject: unsubscribe