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Semin Speech Lang. 2005 Feb;26(1):86-101.

Five years later: language in school-age internationally adopted children.

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Department of Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology & Deaf Studies, Towson University, Towson, MD 21252, USA.


This study followed a cohort of 46 school-age children adopted from Eastern Europe who were originally studied by Glennen and Masters up through age 2 or 3. Five years later, the children were 6 to 9 years of age. Data on their school-age abilities were collected through surveys of parents and teachers. Parents indicated that 17.4% of the children were receiving classroom accommodations or special education programs and 54.5% had one or more diagnoses. The most common diagnosis was attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), occurring in 25% of the children, primarily boys. Learning disability and speech language impairment were each noted in 11.4% of the children. Language and Social Skill profiles on the Children's Communication Checklist-2 and Social Skills Rating Scale (SSRS) indicated that structural and meaning-based language abilities were areas of strength. Measures of pragmatic use of language (i.e., Use of Context, Social Relations, Nonverbal Communication) were relative weaknesses. Behavior profiles on the SSRS indicated higher than average levels of hyperactivity. The profile of Language and Social Skills strengths and weaknesses was similar to patterns observed in children with ADD/ADHD. Age of adoption was not predictive of school-age outcomes on these measures, but the children's expressive vocabulary when they were 2 to 3 years of age predicted SSRS outcomes for Social Skills and Problem Behaviors.

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