Tutorial  |   November 2002
Language Development and Delay in Internationally Adoped Infants and Toddlers
Author Notes
Development / Tutorial
Tutorial   |   November 2002
Language Development and Delay in Internationally Adoped Infants and Toddlers
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology November 2002, Vol.11, 333-339. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2002/038)
History: Accepted 08 Jan 2002 , Received 07 Jun 2001
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology November 2002, Vol.11, 333-339. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2002/038)
History: Accepted 08 Jan 2002 , Received 07 Jun 2001

When children change cultures through adoption, they experience a transition from a birth first language to a new adoptive first language. Because adoptive families rarely speak the birth language, use of that language arrests at the time of adoption and undergoes attrition while the child learns the new adopted language. During this process, internationally adopted children have limited abilities in both languages. This makes it difficult to determine which children require speech and language services, and which will learn the new language spontaneously over time. This article reviews information on arrested language development in bilingual children and applies it to the internationally adopted child. The influence of cross-linguistic patterns of transfer and interference in infants and toddlers is explored, along with the medical and developmental risks associated with children adopted from orphanages. The primary goal of this article is to help professionals understand post-adoption language learning issues affecting internationally adopted children, as well as the impact of preadoption history on those developmental processes.

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