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Presentation 3: Myths and reality B. Gindis Ph.D.

Adoptive parents may have the following wrong assumptions about internationally adopted children

All what an adopted child needs is love and good nutrition.
In reality these are necessary, but at times insufficient remedies for your child's educational needs.
The younger the child, the lesser is the chance that I'll encounter problems in his/her upbringing.
In reality the very fact of an adoption at a young age (before 2) is no guarantee for problem-free school years.
If a child is healthy, there should be no special problems for him/her in the school too.
In reality general health is needed, but not sufficient: specific learning disabilities or school-related behavior issues can be found in a perfectly healthy child.
Children will learn the new language very quickly; it will come to them without any additional efforts on parent's part.
In reality international adoptees may master conversational English in a matter of several months, but it may not prevent them from having significant problems with cognitive/academic language.
The longer the child was in an institution before the adoption, the higher is the risk factor, and the more severe are the consequences.
In reality this is a long-lived erroneous belief. In fact, life before institution may be more damaging and detrimental than life in an orphanage where a minimum care was provided.
The native language of a child and the cultural traditions of his/her country of origin are very important to the child and should be maintained whenever possible.
In reality this is a complex and controversial issue; there is a therapeutic value in an alienation from native language and culture in some older adoptees, while external imposition of a native language and superficial cultural artifacts may be a traumatic experience for some international adoptees.
Psychological issues of older internationally adopted children: courses and publications
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