The following post is on literacy and language development of adoptees by the Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio. Since we homeschool, I found this to be extremely interesting. I hope it may shed some light for you if your child struggles academically.
Helping Adoptees Read!
Whether you adopted your child in infancy or as an older child, reading problems can occur. The typical scenario is – in kindergarten and first grade – the adopted son or daughter “learns to read.” Yet, as the child enters third, fourth or fifth grade – when he or she needs to “read to learn”, reading comprehension problems surface. These “late-bloomers” most often do not catch up! See, Waiting Rarely Works: Late Bloomers Usually Just Wilt –http://www.readingrockets.org/article/11360/
Literacy relies on early language development. Frequently, the child adopted from an orphanage or a neglectful birth home wasn’t spoken too. Thus, this child arrives in the family with underdeveloped speech and language. While he or she appears to grasp English quickly, there is actually lack of the depth and richness of the language. ESL – English as a Second Language – services are not always the route to go. ESL assumes the child had a first language. This assumption is often inaccurate.
Parents are encouraged to do some reading in this area. Then, take select resources to a speech therapist. No matter how young your child arrived – obtain a thorough speech and language assessment. (Really, it is best to obtain this right after the child arrives.) The key to your child learning to read may very well be working with a speech therapist.
Below are 4 resources that parents, teachers and speech therapists will find quite helpful:
Speech and Language “Mythbusters” for Internationally Adopted Children
Speech and Language Development in Adoptees
Understanding the Extent of Speech and Language Delays in Older Internationally Adopted Children
Abrupt Native Language Loss in International Adoptees
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association