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
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
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.