Academic Progress

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academic progress

When used in references to adopted children, this term generally refers to school achievements of children under age 18.

Children who were adopted as infants can expect to achieve at a normal rate commensurate with their intelligence.

Children who are adopted as older children, especially children who have already begun school and were foster children, will often struggle with academic achievement, primarily because much energy is spent adjusting to the new family and learning the daily ways of this family as well as what is acceptable and what is unacceptable behavior.

It is also possible that a newly adopted child's grades may rapidly improve if he or she feels very positive about the adoption; however, this should not be expected, and poor grades should not be considered by the family as an indication they have failed.

If the older child enters the adoptive family after the school year has already begun and must change schools, this adds to the adjustments the child must make.

Adoptive parents need to understand that teachers, like other members of society, may have negative and outdated views about adoption; consequently, a behavioral problem could be magnified in the teacher's eyes because it is blamed on adoption. In turn, the child perceives the teacher has a negative attitude, although she or he probably doesn't know the reason why, and may misbehave even more, resulting in a continuing cycle of problems. Parents must be very active and work hard to identify the details, not always assuming the teacher is right and the child is wrong or vice versa. (See also ADJUSTMENT; SPECIAL NEEDS ADOPTIONS; TEACHERS AND ADOPTED CHILDREN.)

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