Health and Development Overview
Child development experts believe that pregnancy, birth and the first year of life are very important for a child. The first five years can establish a solid foundation of social, emotional and physical growth that sets the stage for future maturation and independence.
Children who have been institutionalized are wonderfully resilient and can thrive under the right circumstances. But as adoptive parents, it’s important to keep in mind what your child may have experienced prior to joining your family. This can include: lack of good prenatal care, inadequate nutrition, absence of adult attention, difficult birth circumstances and the lack of information about genetic history. Bear in mind, this is possible even for adopted children who come through the “normal” (i.e the non-special needs) category.
Adopted children can face health and developmental challenges due to these factors. The information in this section is organized in two categories – Medically Diagnosed Health Conditions and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Gut, Diet and Health Interventions have also been shown to impact a broad range of conditions. These articles are meant to be used as a guide to help prospective and new parents and are NOT a substitute for a medical consultation or diagnosis.
As adoptive parents, it’s important to trust your instincts and advocate for your child. It’s common to have to try multiple practitioners, therapies and approaches to help your child. Don’t be discouraged if your pediatrician isn’t able to help you and be open to alternative therapies, as some families have had success with them.
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