Children of Intercountry Adoptions in School: A Primer for Parents and Professionals

By Ruth Lyn Meese | Go to book overview

Chapter 6

Accessing Special Education and Section 504 Services

Children of intercountry adoption who come to the United States as infants may grow and develop just the same as do other children born to U.S. citizens. Many other children of intercountry adoption will catch up with their chronological-age peers once they arrive home and adjust to their new surroundings, family, and language. Those arriving at ages 5 and above may certainly receive help learning the English language once they enter the schools through ESL or LEP programs such as those described in Chapter 5.

Of particular interest, however, are studies of children of intercountry adoption who have been with their parents from 1 to 4 years. Between 15% and 25% of children adopted from institutions in Romania, Russia, and the former Soviet States require special education for speech and language delays, developmental delays, learning disabilities, or emotional/behavioral disorders during their preschool or school years (Groze & Ileana, 1996; McGuiness, 2000). Thus, the percentage of children of intercountry adoption who are receiving some form of special education is considerably larger than what would be expected given that not quite 12% of the overall school-age population is placed in such programs (U.S. Department of Education,

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