Communication and Academic Challenges in Early Adolescence for Children Who Have Been Adopted From the Former Soviet Union Purpose This was a Time II survey of outcomes for children, now ages 9 to 13 years, who were almost 4 years old on average when they were adopted from the former Soviet Union. Method As part of a larger study (see T. McGuinness, R. Ryan, & C. ... Research Article
Research Article  |   July 01, 2008
Communication and Academic Challenges in Early Adolescence for Children Who Have Been Adopted From the Former Soviet Union
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Brenda L. Beverly
    University of South Alabama, Mobile
  • Teena M. McGuinness
    University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • Debra J. Blanton
    Bureau of Indian Affairs/Bureau of Indian Education, Crownpoint, NM
  • Contact author: Brenda L. Beverly, University of South Alabama, Speech Pathology and Audiology, 2000 University Commons, Mobile, AL 36688-0002. E-mail: bbeverly@usouthal.edu.
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Professional Issues & Training / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   July 01, 2008
Communication and Academic Challenges in Early Adolescence for Children Who Have Been Adopted From the Former Soviet Union
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2008, Vol. 39, 303-313. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2008/029)
History: Received August 7, 2006 , Revised February 19, 2007 , Accepted July 2, 2007
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2008, Vol. 39, 303-313. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2008/029)
History: Received August 7, 2006; Revised February 19, 2007; Accepted July 2, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 18

Purpose This was a Time II survey of outcomes for children, now ages 9 to 13 years, who were almost 4 years old on average when they were adopted from the former Soviet Union.

Method As part of a larger study (see T. McGuinness, R. Ryan, & C. Broadus Robinson, 2005), parents of 55 children (M age = 11 years) were surveyed regarding their children’s speech-language, behavior, and eligibility for special education. The children’s mean length of institutionalization was 36 months.

Results A total of 45, or 82%, of the children had at least one special education label. The most frequent was communication disorder, which was reported for 34 children, or 62%. The frequency of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was high, 42%. The ratio of boys to girls for communication disorders and ADHD was 1.5:1. Girls who were adopted after 36 months of age were 4 times more likely than girls who were adopted before 36 months to be labeled ADHD, and children with low birth weight exhibited learning disabilities twice as often as children with normal birth weight.

Conclusion Speech-language, learning, and attention deficits for late-adopted, early adolescent children were higher than expected. These children from the former Soviet Union experienced substantial preadoption adversity associated with lengthy orphanage stays and poor care. Gender and low birth weight were also factors.

Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access