International Adoption Info

Newsletter #142 for Internationally Adopting Parents
February 28, 2011
PAL Center Inc.


New Specialist
in the BGCenter
Spanish Bilingual Extension

Initial screening
of your internationally adopted child
in the Spanish Language
is now available both at
the Phoenix &
New York
BGCenter offices!

Dr. Boris Gindis &
Carol Napier

team up
to offer two decades of expertise in psychological assessment of international adoptees and knowledge of the native language and culture of your
Spanish speaking child.

The initial psychological screening
in the native language
will help determine the appropriate school placement and services and insure that remedial programming will be started as early as possible for your child.

For information
Call the BGCenter
at 845-694-849
Upcoming Workshops

with Participation of
the BGCenter &
the BGCenter Online School

JCCA 17th Annual
Conference: Adoption
and the Family

Attachment Trauma &
the Stressed Shaped Brain

You receive this newsletter
as a former client or correspondent
of the Center for Cognitive-Developmental
Assessment & Remediation,
or a former student
of the BGCenter Online School,
or a user of the International Adoption Articles Directory.



Latest Articles
from the

International Adoption Articles Directory
New Articles
Helping Children with FASD

As more and more research is being published on communication, linguistic abilities, as well as speech and language delay of adopted children, a debate has arisen with regard to the necessity of early assessment of speech and language abilities of newly adopted children. Many medical and related professionals have posed a relevant question: “What is the purpose of performing a speech-language evaluation immediately after arriving in the U.S.?” After all how can you perform an evaluation in English when the child has minimal knowledge of English at the time of arrival? And what about speech and language evaluation conducted in the birth language post arrival? Will it yield any definitive or predictive results given that within a relatively short period (2-6 months depending on which study you look at) the child would have lost the birth language and rapidly gained English? And honestly, can one really translate or adapt a test standardized on English speaking children to the child’s birth language (e.g., Russian) with any hope of reliable results?

The truth is that one definitive answer simply does not exist. It would be erroneous to state that ‘yes’ all newly adopted children need to be assessed within the first week of US arrival or “no” you can wait until the child has been in the country for several months before a reliable assessment can be performed. Here, I think that an individualized and educated approach is necessary in order to determine whether an early speech–language assessment may be appropriate for your newly adopted child.

In order to better explain my position on this issue, I must mention something of my own background and how it affects my approach to speech and language assessments. I am a bilingual, Russian-English, speaking speech language therapist, and I specialize in assessing children adopted from Eastern Europe (vs. South America or China, etc).

I am also in a rather unique position because all internationally adopted children that I've evaluated to date have traditionally been referred to me by a medical or a related professional (pediatrician or psychologist vs. a parent who’s contacted me without a specific referral) who felt that the child needed to be seen because of a specific speech or language deficit that was manifesting rather overtly (e.g., significant speech or language delay in birth language).

Since such referrals are frequently made within the child’s first 2 weeks of being in US (e.g., immediately following a visit to the pediatrician), I typically perform the initial speech and language assessment in Russian, using recently published Russian speech language pathology materials, which though are non-standardized (in Russia standardized speech and language protocols haven’t been developed yet) are still more reliable than the standardized tests translated from English. Here, my window of opportunity to assess the child in his/her native language is very narrow, as birth language attrition occurs very rapidly post adoption.

So what do these early speech and language assessments in the child’s birth language reveal to me? Well, quite a lot actually!
FASD Project
Children with FASD in Schools

The Center for Cognitive-Developmental Assessment and Remediation (BGCenter) announces a new project
"Children with FASD in Schools"

There is no medical treatment for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD): an early implementation and continuous monitoring of an appropriate system of support at school and at home that include special education services, counseling and behavioral therapies is the only means of remediation.

FASD is acknowledged in some states as an educationally handicapping condition and is not accepted as such in others, but these children need to have an established diagnosis and individualized educational services as early as possible to help them compensate for their disabilities. That's where the Children with FASD in Schools project hopes to make a difference for families.

Read the full statement


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