Speech and Language in Children Adopted Internationally at Older Ages Relatively little is known about the speech and language development of children adopted from other countries at older ages. The majority of children are adopted as infants and toddlers under the age of 2. Studies of internationally adopted children’s cognition and language development have primarily focused on this group (Glennen, ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2007
Speech and Language in Children Adopted Internationally at Older Ages
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sharon Glennen
    Towson University, Baltimore, MD
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Healthcare Settings / International & Global / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Articles
Article   |   October 01, 2007
Speech and Language in Children Adopted Internationally at Older Ages
Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, October 2007, Vol. 14, 17-20. doi:10.1044/cds14.3.17
Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, October 2007, Vol. 14, 17-20. doi:10.1044/cds14.3.17
Relatively little is known about the speech and language development of children adopted from other countries at older ages. The majority of children are adopted as infants and toddlers under the age of 2. Studies of internationally adopted children’s cognition and language development have primarily focused on this group (Glennen, 2007; Glennen & Masters, 2002; Roberts et al., 2005; Rutter and the English and Romanian Adoptees Study Team, 1998). However, children adopted at older ages undergo a different language learning experience than younger children. On the positive side they begin the language transition with more developed abilities in their first language. These existing language skills provide a scaffold which accelerates the language learning process (Snedecker, Geren, & Shafto, 2007). However, these children have two risk factors working against them. The first is that longer stays in institutionalized settings such as orphanages negatively impact child development and are linked to worse developmental outcomes (Johnson & Dole, 1999; Morison, Ames, & Chisholm, 1995; O’Connor et al., 2000). Children adopted at older ages typically experience longer stays in orphanages. However, some older children reside with family members for several months or years before orphanage placement (Miller, 2005a). Their outcomes may be better or worse, depending on the family circumstances that led to the orphanage placement. Other children reside in foster care before adoption and tend to have better outcomes (Miller, Chan, Comfor, & Tirella, 2005).
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