International Adoption Info

Newsletter #71 for Internationally Adopting Parents
September 13, 2007
PAL Center Inc.



Initial Psycho-Educational
of preschool and school age

Children from China
In the Native Language
Now Available

Psychological services at the Center for Cognitive-developmental Assessment and Remediation

845-694-8496 for details

At the BGCenter we often hear the same question about the initial screening which we now do in many languages: What are the benefits of doing such assessment on arrival, and why not to wait and see if the child needs it at all?

Here is the answer we arrived at through many years of working with IA children.

Yes, you may be lucky, and your child will be able to fit in and learn the new language and culture without much help, as many immigrant children do. But, what if several months later you will notice that things are not entirely OK, but your child is not speaking native language any longer, and the English is not coming easily, and the school keeps telling you to wait and see because nobody can test your child at this moment in any language?

To prevent this situation, a psycho-educational screening in the native language of your child should be done on arrival because:

  • You will receive a document with written baseline measurements of your child's developmental status, which the family and school will be able to use for measuring your child's educational progress and it's adequacy.
  • Your child will be recommended an appropriate school placement that reflects best practices with the internationally adopted, not immigrant children. It will be based on your child's individual developmental needs.
  • You will be able to detect your child's possible developmental problems early enough, when the new language learning does not interfere yet.
  • If significant problems are detected during the initial screening, the remediation can begin immediately - before the child learns English. In this case, your clinical report based on the initial assessment is your document required by school districts: free remedial services are provided on its basis.
From the editor

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Latest Articles
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International Adoption Articles Directory

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From the book “Let’s Fix the Kids” by Dr. James Jones, provided by Roberto Bell
What is True Listening?
Dr. James Jones suggests that true listening is not advise, counsel or trying to solve problems. Listening is just hearing what your troubled teen has to say. Parents often respond to a teen with comments that are judgmental, advisory or are non-accepting in some way. These responses “close” or shut down the conversation and do not promote further dialogue. Closed responses also “discount” the other person.

Matthew W. Grant
Checking Up On Your Children's Online Usage

There are many options to control kids' online time. Here you'll discover one simple way that costs nothing and is instantly effective.

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Where To Seek Help For Infertility?
When you are going for the first visit to the specialist or doctor for help, you will need to get ready to give the doctor a medical and gynecological history. The male will probably be sent to see an urologist about his problems and the female will send to see a gynecologist. There will be an inspection of both of them. Infertility help will come after you have completed the testing and a cause is identified. The health care provider can then begin the infertility help treatments.

Internet News Digest
We begin a new rubric in our Newsletter to help you stay informed about international adoption news, relevant new sites and blogs without looking through hundreds of pieces of information appearing on the Internet every minute.

New Site
International Adoption for the Uninitiated

A lot of selected information compiled by a parent for parents thinking about adoption from China.

Sergio R. Karas, B.A., LL.B.
Tuberculosis Rising Amongst International Adoptees
TB infection among international adoptees is rising. This puts everyone at risk!

Natasha Sky
Making me a liar: responding to intrusive questions about my children

I hear one question from strangers more often than any other: “Are they all yours?”

Guatemala Adoption Information and News

Questions and Answers

Q. I would like to know what age group you would recommend for adoption when it comes to language. We have been approved to adopt a child 4-8 years of age. We also speak French at home but are a minority group surrounded by English... My biological youngest child is 10 years of age and I wouldn`t want to have a big gap between them either.

A. Within the age group you reference (4-8 years), the younger child will be much better adjusted to multiple languages he/she will need to deal with than a child of a school age. If you have a choice, select the youngest age group possible: the child will have enough time to learn conversational/cognitive French at home, before schooling. Select a French school for him as well, because this will be his dominant language for cognitive activities at home and it will be reinforced at school. New cognitive language acquisition is the main effort for internationally adopted children, and the parents should create an environment which is most conductive to managing this challenge. When you see that there are no issues and significant delays with French at school, you will be able to work on the English language in the additive mode (it will not begin to replace French, but rather will co-exist with it.) Otherwise, learning two new languages on the background of a weak and disappearing native language may be excessive for the normal child's development and may cause series issues. As far as the difference in ages between a biological and an adopted child goes, it's not important. It, in fact, will be natural for the younger adopted child to look up to his older brother and receive help from him as needed. It would be unnatural for both kids to be close in age and differ tremendously in cultural and developmental aspects.

B. Gindis, Ph.D.


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