International Adoption Info

Newsletter #106 for Internationally Adopting Parents
March 19, 2009
PAL Center Inc.



6th Annual Education Conference


April 17-18 at
Texas Christian University
Fort Worth, TX

For more information



Sunday, April 26, 2009
8:15 am - 5:30 pm

UJA Federation,
130 E. 59th st. Manhattan

BGCenter Presenters
Boris Gindis, Ph.D.
Ida Jeltova, Ph.D.

In Round Table

1:15 - 2:30 pm

For more information

From the Internet Digest

Nikki Gamer, GateHouse News Service
Parents say adoption process is a roller coaster of emotions

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Latest Articles
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International Adoption Articles Directory

New Articles

Why should you look for IA specialist
for your child's assessment?

I am trying to arrange a neuropsychological evaluation for my son. I was told by our Director of Special Education Services, that our school district has a list of fine neuropsychologists, but none with any specific knowledge of IA children. She wants to understand why we need an evaluator with an expertise in IA children before she can grant us permission to seek an outside neuropsychologist. Would you be so kind to explain in a few words why a background in IA children is so essential?
From a message of the parent of an internationally adopted child.

Dr. B. Gindis
First, I would like to refer you to two our recent newsletters where this issue is discussed:

To summarize: if a specialist has no prior experience with this very special population, he/she could be easily confused with post-institutionalized children and may either overlook or dismiss an important issue. How can it happen?

When you bring your IA child to the office of a psychologist, the professional sees a well-groomed and nicely dressed child accompanied by a "regular" middle-class, well-educated parent. If this child lived in the country over a year, his conversational English would be indistinguishable from his peers. So, in the psychologist's perception, this is a typical family with may be serious but still "typical" issues. Even when the history of a child is known, it is difficult for a psychologist, who never dealt with the metamorphosis of post-institutionalized children, to change his set of mind and to re-examine the ways of assessing and interpreting the results. It is especially obvious in the assessment of developmental disabilities and issues related to language processing.

On the other hand, a professional specializing with internationally adopted children and speaking their native language (especially important on arrival of the child), is able to:

  • Read and properly interpret original medical documentation that may contain invaluable information about the child's early history and neurological impairments diagnosed in the country of origin.
  • Recognize the presence of such rarely dealt with in the US conditions as Alcohol-related Neuro-Developmental Disorder (known also as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome), Failure-To-Thrive, and other medical conditions that may have educational and behavioral implications.
  • To distinguish between institutional behavior (learned behavior) and the symptoms of organically-based disorders, such as autism or a host of behavioral and emotional disorders.
  • To recognize a possibility of post-traumatic stress disorder related to the early childhood trauma.
  • To understand the implications of an abrupt first language loss by the child and the dynamic of the English language learning on this child's academic and social functioning.
  • To determine the presence of cognitive, language, academic, and social/emotional consequences of early childhood deprivation and institutionalization, e.g.: detect a cumulative cognitive deficit in the child.
  • To develop a remedial plan that is comprehensive (medical rehabilitation, educational remediation, social/emotional healing) but focused on the specificity of an IA student's educational and social/emotional needs.
  • When an IA child just arrived, a bilingual and natively fluent in the targeted language specialist can do initial evaluation in the child's native language that becomes the foundation for the child's remediation from the beginning of his life in the US.

Sara-Jane Hardman and Jean Roe Mauro, LCSW
A dialogue with a family in distress
How often do the adoptive parents who “poured their lives into their children,” as the mother writes, find themselves in a situation when, in the moment of high emotions or simply “right out of the blue,” their children turn against them, distance themselves, accuse them of perceived wrongdoing, cruelty, and other impossible things? Not so rarely, unfortunately. In this dialogue with such family in trouble, the authors of the book If I Love My Kid Enough: The Reality of Raising an Adopted Child Sara-Jane Hardman and Jean Roe Mauro talk about how it happens with those who were abandoned young and how long any path to healing is.

Online class: Adopting a child from birth to three years old
Course authors and instructors:
Jean Roe Mauro, LCSW and Sara-Jane Hardman

  • How do babies develop in the womb?
  • What can I do to ensure that my adopted child gets a good start in life?
  • What are the developmental steps that occur from birth to age 3?
  • How do I provide a healthy and stimulating environment for my adopted child?
  • How is parenting different for an adoptive parent?
  • How do I know if my child is developing as expected?

Get the answers to these questions and many more. Prepare yourself for doing the best parenting job you can and earn credit while you do it.


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