Over the past decade, U.S. citizens have adopted more foreign born children (150,000) than the citizens of any other country. Prominent among the developmental issues faced by these children is language delay, which can be compounded by medical problems, according to a panel of experts who will present their findings today at the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association meeting in Philadelphia.
The panel, led by Rena Krakow, Ph.D., associate professor and assistant chair of Communication Sciences at Temple University's College of Health Professions, is composed of experts in linguistics, speech/language pathology, and pediatrics, some of whom also have a personal interest in the topic as family members of internationally adopted (IA) children.
"Because most adoptive parents do not speak the language of their child's home country, IA children typically experience an abrupt change in their language environment. This coupled with a history of non-optimal care (most reside in orphanages prior to adoption) can increase the risk of language delays or disorders," said Krakow. The level of risk depends on such factors as age at adoption, which usually correlates with time spent in an orphanage, quality of pre-adoption care, and health status.
Krakow's most recent study compared children adopted as infants with children adopted as toddlers, from a single orphanage in China. The toddlers had both an advantage and a disadvantage in acquiring English. They learned faster than the younger children, but had more to learn to become age-appropriate. In general, the younger the child is when adopted, and the shorter the time spent in an orphanage, the sooner the child is likely to become age-appropriate in English.
Although there was no evidence in Krakow's study to suggest that the language switch from Chinese to English was a formidable obstacle for either the infants or toddlers, some of the children in the study, as in others, did indeed experiencePage: 1 2 3 Related medicine news :1
Contact: Eryn Jelesiewicz
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