Institutional Autism Children and AdoptionAutism Mom Blog

Institutional Children Autism and Adoption

Not to long ago, I read a book entitled “The Grace Effect”, written by Larry Alex Taunton, which chronicled his family’s adoption of a young girl from the Ukraine. His wife and children had met the young girl at an orphanage where they were helping on a mission trip. Despite the fact that the girl had medical problems, including HIV, and couldn’t speak a lick of English, they started on a course to give her a forever home in the U.S.

The fact is a lot of children who are available for adoption internationally are in an “institutional” setting – an orphanage or a government run facility of some sort. Many medical issues are never addressed because there aren’t enough resources to deal with them. If the conditions are known, generally that makes many of these children “less” adoptable.

Rise of Autism

With the rise of autism so prevalent in the news, we know that some of the increase in the statistics is partially because as a community we’re just getting better at recognizing and diagnosing the symptoms. Which is problematic in an institutional orphanage where a diagnoses of autism would be low on the medical to do list.

When a family decides to care for the needs of such a child, goes through the adoption process with a firm like Weinberger Law Group, and then brings them home – what then?

Some of the children might have ‘autistic’ type symptoms just because an institutional setting may not provide the love and support that a family gives to a child. Self soothing is likely a natural way for them to deal with the unknown. However, with trusting bonds being built, and the nurture and care that a forever family provides them, these symptoms may wane.

Young children tend to pick up another language quickly, so if the new member of the family is not learning English at a noticeable pace, that may signify developmental delays and a check by a therapist may be warranted.

Adding to your family, while exciting can also be a scary venture – adjustments need to be made by everyone, parents, siblings and the newly adopted child. Vigilance in watching how the adopted child is progressing with social and language skills is important so that parents can seek professional guidance to work with the issues.

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