International Adoption Info

Newsletter #123 for Internationally Adopting Parents
January 28, 2010
PAL Center Inc.


BGCenter Has Opened its
West Coast Office -
the BGCenter-West!

Dr. B. Gindis
travels between offices and
provides services in both Centers

Next trip
March 11-25, 2010

is opened in cooperation with
Leaps and Bounds
Pediatric Therapy Center

at 1760 E Pecos Rd.
Gilbert, AZ 85296

Please call the main number at
for the advanced scheduling
in both locations

New classes are coming to the BGCenter Online School

Online class PC1
The first year home: What to expect and how to respond

Dr. Patty Cogen, the author of the book
Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child--from your first hours together through the teen years.

Online class SJM1
Adopting a Child From Birth
to Three Years Old

Jean Roe Mauro, LCSW and Sara-Jane Hardman, the authors
of the book

If I love my kid enough

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

New Articles

Selecting Specialist For A Psychological
Assessment of Your Child

The questions about how psychological assessments at the BGCenter are different
from an earlier round of your child's testing in another place, or
how to convince your school district
to send your kid to another state for a comprehensive evaluation, or
to convince insurance to pre-approve services of the out-of-network specialist,
these questions are nearly every day occurrence at the BGCenter.

Here are our typical responses for such questions that may be
applied to your own case if necessary.
From the Editor

Q. Our school has its own list of professionals approved for providing an independent evaluation. Are these specialists appropriate for an initial assessment of my internationally adopted child?

A. Request the school to ask their professionals:

  • Do they have clinical experience in assessing adopted children from foreign institutions and orphanages?
  • Do they know the native language and culture of the child and can they read and interpret the original medical documentation?
  • Are they sufficiently familiar with the educational system in the orphanages of the native country to assess your child's educational history before adoption?
  • Did they work with children who experience abrupt first language loss? Do they know how to assess the damage done to their psychological functioning by the rapid first language attrition?
  • Are they familiar with the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and proficient in neuropsychological assessment of this medical condition, characteristic for a significant number of children adopted from Eastern Europe?
  • Are they comfortable with diagnosing and developing remedial programs for typical emotional and behavioral issues of international adoptees such as Attachment Disorder, PTSD, developmental childhood trauma, identity trauma, post-institutional behavior syndrome and others?
  • Are they experienced in assessing specific cognitive issues of adoptees like Cumulative Cognitive Deficit, often found in internationally adopted children?

Please ask for a simple "yes"/"no" answer, and if your selected professional scores better than professionals from the approved list, you have a good reason and the right to request an independent evaluator of your choice. See a Template of a Letter with such request.

Q. How is a combined developmental, neuropsychological and educational assessment with Dr. Gindis better than the one my son had with Dr. X two years ago?

A. Having already gone through the assessment experience once, you can now compare theoretical and clinical background of the doctors and see which approach appears more congruent with your own observations of the child. We can't judge your earlier experience, but that's what we do at the BGCenter:

  • The child has to be assessed with the developmental perspective in mind - everything what happened to him before affects his development and should be considered in the interpretation of his test data. That's why we always request all available clinical and historic data for the analysis: we want to understand the circumstances of the child's entire life, not just the latest events.
  • The loss of one native language and the acquisition of another native language is not just a fact of educational history; it's a fact of tremendous psychological and physiological importance that can throw the entire child's development off the track. Our assessments typically devote a lot of attention to detailed description of all aspects of language development of the child.
  • Learning and socializing in school setting is the "leading activity" for the child ages 5 to 18. The success or failure in the leading activity has considerable psychological impact on the entire cognitive, emotional and behavioral domains of the child. The interpretation of the test data in our clinical reports always focuses on schooling as the main child's activity.
  • Social factors (the circumstances of the child's institutionalization) are very important, but physiology, hereditary factors and an early neurological damage may play the dominant role. Thus, the correct leading medical diagnosis has to be established and addressed first as the basis for any further remedial work with the child.
  • The structural approach to remediation is important: a large number of remedial interventions does not define success, but the intensity and timeliness of the right intervention do make a difference. Our assessments are detailed and practical: a balanced plan for remediation of the child is structured (what is to be done first and what will be after that, …) and doable within school and family environment.
  • The specific evaluator's sensitivity to minor details and indirect signs present in the observed child's behavior (the intuition of a person conducting the tests) are as important as any other standardized test and measure. Our reports typically give a detailed account of various observations of the child during the tests.
  • We believe that good understanding of the testing process and its goals and outcomes by the family is important for the overall child's well-being, as it gives energy and stamina to the family to follow up with the implementation of the recommended remediation. At the BGCenter we always hold an extensive consultation of the family, when Dr. Gindis explains all the details of the proposed remedial plan and answers the questions about the test results.


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