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When Considering Adoption Think Out of the Box
Children who are adopted typically develop with emotional ages that are significantly younger than their chronological counterparts. The reason for this comes as a direct result from being in hospitals and/or orphanages where the caregiver to child ratio is usually very low. The children did not receive a great amount of individualized attention where they were able to experience reciprocal interactions, affection, or emotional support. Therefore, children who are adopted are usually emotionally stunted because they never properly learned how to do such things as communicate and socialize with others. In this situation, it is important to meet the child’s needs at the emotional level.
For example, a five year old whose emotional development is delayed, may need to engage in those activities normally done by a two year old such as testing boundaries (e.g. throwing temper tantrums), thumb sucking and attaching to a favorite toy or object.
All areas of development are interrelated. The emotional domain will affect the cognitive, adaptive, communicative and social domains.
Written by: Lilya Popovetsky, MA Special Education in Early Childhood, CAS SDA
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