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

Suspicious descriptions

A child did not start school at age of 7 or was retained in elementary school.
Formal schooling in former Soviet Republics and most East European countries starts at the age of 7. Second grader is supposed to be 8 years old, 3rd grader - 9 years old, etc. If a 7-year-old has not started school or a 10-year-old is still in the second grade - this is an indication of school difficulties and should be investigated.

A child is a student in special school or resigns in a special "Children's Home".

This is usually related to a diagnosis of oligophrenia or other medical diagnosis. Sometimes no specific diagnosis is mentioned, but the fact that the child was placed to the children home for "neurologically-impaired" may suggest that there are reasons for him/her to be there.

A child received remedial services in school or had been under "observation" of a specialist.

For example, this specialist may be a "logoped", which means "speech pathologist" in Russian medical terminology. This is a definite indication of a special need, because to obtain such a remedial service in Russia is even more difficult than in the US, so, it must be a solid reason for remediation.

A history of an extreme educational neglect, social/cultural deprivation, and starvation prior to being placed into an orphanage.

It is common knowledge now that a child's history prior to institution may be more damaging than years spent in "Children's Home", where a minimal care is usually provided. If there is such data in legal or educational documentation, I would consider it a "red flag" in relation to future school functioning.
            
Psychological issues of older internationally adopted children: courses and publications
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Last update on March 9, 2018