Get a detailed description of what should be
recorded on the video tape so it is useful for a psychologist
or pediatrician. Find out what to expect from this videotape
evaluation. Like everything else, videotapes and reports may
significantly differ in quality, and you need to understand
what you are paying for.
If you plan a trip to Russia, in this presentation
you will find information about educational documents, which
should be collected while you visit the institution where
your child lives. See pictures of these documents and listen
to sound files of their native names:
it will be easier
for you to ask for them when you are in Russia.
Although medical and educational issues do coexist,
particularly, in older adoptees of age 4 and up, in perception
of many adoptive parents they may have different priority.
Practically all internationally adopted children receive medical
examination on arrival, while only a few school-age children
undergo a psycho-educational evaluation. Educational issues
should stand next to medical concerns in their significance
for adoptive parents, because these two aspects of international
adoption are more connected than it appears at the first glance.
Learn about occupational therapy and special
OT needs of the internationally adopted children. Become a
knowledgeable consumer: learn about types of tests, theory
selection, and service delivery models.
Learn about Sensory Integration Theory and its
applications for the remediation of internationally adopted
A bilingual psycho-educational evaluation of
a child on arrival is difficult to overestimate: it can help
avoid a lot of future problems for the child and the family:
you can rule out learning disability in the native language
(or confirm it) and measure the actual developmental and educational
status of your child before the native language disappeared
and the process of learning of the new language can interfere.
Your child may become eligible for the additional (special
education services) from the very beginning without waiting
for years when the problems escalate and the child is acknowledged
as having problems and can at last be tested in the English
The question is: can the parents have it done
with the help of their local education system, rather than
paying for the evaluation themselves?
Under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)
of 2001, all public school students must participate in
annual testing in academic areas outlined in the law. According
to NCLB, students with disabilities who have educational handicapping
conditions, are protected by the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
and must be provided with appropriate accommodations necessary
to participate in these tests. This provision of the federal
law has specific value for children who not only have an educational
handicapping condition, but also have "atypical"
educational background being internationally adopted post-institutionalized
Many parents of the internationally
adopted youngsters find themselves in situations when their
child demonstrates speech and language issues in the native
tongue that may be perceived at school as transient and borderline,
i.e. not significant enough, to warrant any intensive speech/language
remediation. This misunderstanding typically arises from a
lack of exposure of some educators and mental health professionals
to the specific needs and problems of international adoptees.
But the accumulated experience shows that any delay with timely
remedial services is likely to cause magnified problems in
the English language learning. To help parents address this
issue with their school, below is a template of a letter to
your educational facility with detailed explanations that
you can bring up when requesting remedial services for your
child. You are also welcome to print out the referenced articles
and bring them to your school.
Working with adoptive families and children
of different ages, we can recommend several institutions which
can address certain needs of international adoptees better
than others and where a lot of former BGCenter patients find
necessary support and remediation.