We are considering adopting a 3 1/2 year old boy that has been described as having developmental delays in speech, cognitive, and motor skills(global developmental delays). At this time he is functioning much like a 24 month old, so he is approximately 1.5 years behind. He is also described as being very social, smiling a lot, he enjoys interacting and recieving attention. he is currently attending a specialized preschool.
Does anyone have expeience or know anyone that has had a child with similiar delays? We want to know if there are other children that have 'caught' up. We don't know if he will always be 1.5 years behind, in which case he might be able to attend a regular school but will be older than his classmates or if he will most likely be in specialized education.
We have experience with this. First of all I think it depends on if anyone knows why he has the delays or what caused them. In our case we had no idea, could have been neglect, illnesses, etc. Our daughter was 2.5 when she came to our house but much more like 12-18 mos in everything (speech, gross motor, cognitive, etc).
We got her lots of early intervention, special pre-school private pt, ot and speech etc. She is 5 now and about 6 mos behind or on age level in most areas (except gross motor but that is because of her physical disabilities). So 6 mos instead of 18 that she was when she came to us means she has made significant progress.
We were told when she was 2.5 she would most likely always be delayed and probably significantly. Well, she proved them wrong, in fact her pre-school teacher and speech therapist think she will probably not even need special ed services next year when she starts kindergarten.
I definatley think you should go into this with the knowledge of the delays and that they might always be there. If you feel like you can parent a child with delays I say you should move forward and things might change and the child will "catch up" but you should be prepared in case they don't
Just my 2 cents (probably not even worth that much). Best Wishes - Suz
we got our now son at 3 months old out of the hospital he had global delays sleep apena pulmanary issues and a heart problem he was a mess but with pt ot speech and lots of love and therpays hes come so far but you also have to go into it knowing it may not always be roses . pt and ot must be done at home also it sure does help my son also will most likley start regular k hes now 2 in a special ed program and qwill be till hes 5 hope this helps :love:
We brought home our son in August at 2 years and 8 months old. Had him evaluated in September and he was significantly speech delayed and somewhat motor skills delayed. He has the exact same attributes you mention about the child you are considering. He is ETERNALLY smiling and happy and understands absolutely everything anybody says to him. He even talks and talks and we are now (after 4months of ST private pay) understanding more and more every single day. It's wonderful and we have absolutely no doubts at all that this is the child God picked for us. We are about to have him enrolled in a preschool ESE program our county offers through the school system so that he will be able to work on his speech development all day, every day. Do not hesitate on this child if it is just because you are worried about developmental delays at all in my opinion. Our child's issues were due to severe malnutrition for the first 1.5 years of his life. We had his medical records evaluated by an international adoption physician and had tests he requested performed too. This might make you feel more comfortable.
We brought our daughter home @ 3 mos...a micropreemie who survived. It was long believed that all her difficulties were from prematurity & she would "catch up". (I must've heard that 10000times). She hasn't...not that she is incapable of learning, she just stays at the same level of "delayed". However, now that she is in 3rd grade, the language delay is becoming more noticeable by more people & more problematic. It has also come to light that she does not have a very high IQ....both her bmom & bgmom have both been described as "borderline". Our child may have outgrown the prematurity issues and now we are looking at the genetics...who knows? She's had every intervention, therapy & education money can buy & she still struggles, so of course, we do too. The only reason I would change her at all is to make life easier for her, but that's the only reason. We connected from the second she opened those baby blues & there was not then & never will be any regrets. Just don't listen to those who proclaim that it's nothing or the child will grow out of it. It can become a very big deal & it may be forever....or not. Listen to your heart...even a "typical" child can make you crazy lol
We have a foster daughter who is now 6 years and was placed with us at 3. When she came she had all the issues that you are speaking of. She has had every medical test that was thougt of and nothing has come up. The only thing is that the parent both said that she wasn't fed properly as an infant. She now attends a PPI program and is getting services in school as when we got her she tested at the 18 month range. She also had Reactive Attachment disorder but because of her global delays she is easier to deal with.
She has made great progess but I don't believe she will ever caught up to her birth age. Right now she is closer to the 48 month level and sppech is her main concern. She will still attend her specialized school next year all day. WE are adopting her and she is who she is. She will need advocation and to continue to work to the best of her abilities.
OK, I have questions. I mostly just read, but reply occasionally.
My 10yr just went to the Dentist.... His teeth are at age 7. He's been in school since Pre-K but is only in 3rd (2yrs behind). He is emo delayed. He's seen alot, but really understand less than expected. He's a good bluffer. Just how delayed would that be? How could I help him? Does it come from FAS?
My 3yr is also emo delayed. I've been told about 1.5 yrs. Don't know of other delays. Is there a way of finding out? Who do I ask? How can I help her? Does it come from FAS? She is the younger sib to the 10yr.:coffee:
We are considering submitting our homestudy for a 1 year old that they says has gross motor skills and speech delayed. She is not crawling yet and babbles. I'm most concerned because she was remove from here mother because she has "extremely low cognitive functions" and was place in adult foster care. Is this hereditary or can it be overcome? Any advice and knowledge would be helpful
I would submit, and if choosen you will find out a lot more at the disclosure.
Delays are pretty "normal" around here...esp. if you are adopting a child who may have suffered neglect, due to mom's mental ability, during the first year of life. While some things are genetic....many many children overcome or catch up too an acceptable percentage.
I would not be surprised that this little one has delays that she could one day overcome, and you'll know more at the disclosure meeting about the current prognosis.
A word of caution: if you are adopting a child from foster care or internationally over the age of say...6 should probably expect to see some level of delay. Gross motor & speech wouldnot be enough to worry me. I'd go for it!
I had many of the same worries and concerns that are listed here. We adopted our 3.5 dd knowing that she had many delays. Our IA doctor said probably MR and the orphanage director said, no way, just delayed. We used the Denvers tests and then some other cobbled together tests to determine where her holes were. It would be easier if the child really does have "global delays" and you can assume is behind everywhere. However, from what I have read you can assume that they really have peaks and valleys. So they may be at different age levels for different skills based on what they were exposed to over the years. Our 3.5 yo tested at about an 18mo level for most skills. A few 24 month, and a few close to age appropriate (for self-care). Parents were most likely lower IQ and alcohol impact was a possibility.
8 months later...... Using the tests we identified the holes and through art, music, games, etc we worked on each skill. She made so much improvement during the first 3 months that she almost didn't qualify for services through the county:) She is getting special ed support in her part-time preschool, speech 2 a week, and physical therapy. And probably more important, play-time with her brother, fun activities with parents, love, etc. She is now 4 and probably testing at a 3yo level for most things, with a few skills at age level. (For exampke, she could hold a crayon and pencil correctly, but had no clue what to do with it.)
This wasn't easy and stretched the skills of the support services, teachers, and my mom (special educator-that constantly worked on new ways to approach different topics.) In some cases, like learning the colors we had to go back and recreate the learning of an infant with colors, then 1 year old, then 2, etc. We had to keep remembering that you absorb so much information those first formative years and when you miss them it creates a huge hole. Therefore, you can't teach "concepts" assuming that the background knowledge is there like you can with other kids. I've learned so, so much about learning and the brain in the past 8 mos.
With all this progress, we may need to hire a full-time aide for her in her preschool next year (not county provided and county won't agree with preschool assessment.) But, we thought it was important to stay with an outdoor, creative play, type preschool. Will she ever get up to age level? We don't know, she seems to have the ability, but we think will have a learning disability and will need extra help learning new concepts. She has a Nov b-day so she has the potential to start school on-time, but we will consider waiting if we think it will give her another year to fill those gaps.
Either way, we are going to help her be as succesful as she can be as she grows up. Her level of success just might be different. We just don't know and we are fine with that.
Good luck with your decisions and with the child.
It depends, one child who has the delays may catch up with the others in say a 1 or 2 years, others may do so in a longer time while some may not at all. You will have to get to the root cause that may have caused the delay in the child and get rid off the fears or disorders resulting from it.
We are considering submitting our homestudy for a 1 year old that they says has gross motor skills and speech delayed. She is not crawling yet and babbles. I'm most concerned because she was remove from here mother because she has "extremely low cognitive functions" and was place in adult foster care. Is this hereditary or can it be overcome? Any advice and knowledge would be helpful
Some forms of mental retardation do have a genetic component. Unfortunately, unless you know a great deal about the birthmother, you probably won't know if her specific cognitive challenges are of the kind that may show up in her children. It's just one of those things that will require you to decide whether to take the "leap of faith" that adopting a child with some unknowns in his/her background involves. The little girl may wind up having cognitive limitations -- or she may be the next Einstein -- and for a child of age one, there's no perfect way to decide where on the intelligence spectrum she will be.
And, of course, as others have pointed out, the picture is complicated because the little girl was removed from her birthmother, who presumably wasn't providing proper care because of her limitations. If there was neglect by the birthmother, and less than adequate parenting in any foster home in which the child was placed, she may well have some deficits simply because of these factors. In many cases, but not all, such deficits are reversible in a loving permanent home, with parents who are open to providing various therapies to address issues such as speech delays. You do have to remember, however, that the first two years of life are a critical period in terms of brain development, and some delays resulting from inadequate care could be permanent.
It almost doesn't matter. You will have to look into your heart and see what it is that you really want in a child. Some people simply cannot deal with the possibility that their child may not go to college, may not wind up becoming a doctor or lawyer,and so on. Their whole identity is linked with the idea of having a high achieving child. Other people can accept a child who may be average or below average in intellect, may "get by" or struggle in school, may wind up working at the dollar store or on a farm, or may even have to live in a sheltered home and work in a special program for the mentally challenged.
A now-retired adoption professional who helped families deal with dissolved adoptions always said that, when seeking a home for the children of disruption, and especially those who turned out to have emotional and behavioral challenges, she never looked for "the best" parents. She looked for "good enough" parents, who aren't worried about what the neighbors will think if their child isn't "college material", has poor quantitative reasoning skills, has some odd behaviors, and forgets to use toilet paper appropriately sometimes. She looked for parents who could accept a child, with all of his/her strengths and limitations, and try to help him/her live a happy and productive life.
The question you must ask yourself is whether you are the kind of people who can say, "I want to raise a child who will make the best use of his/her abilities, deal with his/her challenges as well as possible, and feel loved and appreciated. I hope that I can help the child become a contributing member of society, even if his/her contribution is simply teaching others, by example, about compassion and unconditional love."
That's a really hard question to ask, and an even harder one to answer. Parenting a child with "unknowns" is a scary proposition. What if you find out, in several years, that your child has an IQ of less than 70, and is considered "retarded"? What if you find out that the birthmother, aside from being cognitively challenged, also had autism or schizophrenia, both of which "may" be genetically transmitted? What if you find that your child is a year or more behind in school and gets easily frustrated by his/her inabilities and the way others look at him, to the point that he/she begins to display negative behaviors? And what if your child surprises you by turning out to be a genius, and you have to come up with the funds to send him/her to private schools and academically excellent colleges?
But in a sense, we all parent children with unknowns. There's a wonderful adopted child I know, born a girl, who has turned out to be transgender. Thank goodness, he is in a perfect family, accepting him for who he is. My daughter's birthparents were unknown, because she was abandoned in China. She's amazing in every way, but she does have a tendency to depression, which could have been genetically transmitted; luckily, I've known lots of people with depression; it doesn't scare me too much. There are adoptive parents with kids from Guatemala, who were told that Guatemalan women don't drink alcohol -- but who have kids with FASD. Interestingly, there are also people who, while pregnant, did all the right and healthy things, and expected to have a healthy baby -- but wound up with a tiny premature baby whose early arrival left him with CP and respiratory issues.
So don't let yourself get pushed into a situation if it's not the right one for you. But on the other hand, don't automatically assume that this child will have such low intelligence that she cannot have a happy and productive life. You may find that she is a child with a beautiful smile, who loves everyone and charms them, even if, someday, she finds learning algebra something that is simply impossible.