International Adoption Speech and Language Mythbusters Ten years ago the adoption of my 17-month-old son from Russia started an unexpected journey into international adoption research. His initial attempts to learn English were perplexing. Words were often unintelligible with a unique phonological system that did not match classic textbook descriptions. Despite a large vocabulary and good language ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2007
International Adoption Speech and Language Mythbusters
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sharon Glennen
    Towson University, Towson, MD
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / International & Global / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Articles
Article   |   October 01, 2007
International Adoption Speech and Language Mythbusters
Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, October 2007, Vol. 14, 3-8. doi:10.1044/cds14.3.3
Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, October 2007, Vol. 14, 3-8. doi:10.1044/cds14.3.3
Ten years ago the adoption of my 17-month-old son from Russia started an unexpected journey into international adoption research. His initial attempts to learn English were perplexing. Words were often unintelligible with a unique phonological system that did not match classic textbook descriptions. Despite a large vocabulary and good language comprehension, he never combined words. As a concerned mother and speech-language pathologist, I began combing literature for information about speech and language development in internationally adopted children. In 1998, most of the “evidence” was a collection of anecdotal reports that painted a less than rosy, and at times quite scary, picture of his future. Perhaps the only evidence-based information was the work of Eleanor Ames and her colleagues (Ames, 1997; Fisher, Ames, Chisholm, & Savoie, 1997; Morison, Ames, & Chisholm, 1995) and Michael Rutter and his colleagues (1998).  They separately produced ground-breaking research analyzing the cognitive, behavioral, and social development of children who were adopted from Romania in the early 1990s. Their work, however, did not specifically focus on speech and language.
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