The TLC documentary Wild Child; the Story of Feral Children is a documentary that tells the few of many stories of children that have turned to a feral lifestyle due to parental negligence. Feral, meaning undomesticated, is the used term to describe these children because of the actions they exhibit. The accounts in this documentary range from a young girl who “was raised with the wolves” per say, but instead with her dog, to a little boy who was abandoned in a Ukrainian loft and provided the town strays with food and shelter in return for protection from them and other strays.
In some of the cases detailed in this video, these children were far too old by the time they were discovered and missed an extremely crucial time frame in which learning is the most important. However, they have been taught to show affection, utilize motor skills, et cetera, and can blend into pretty simple societies. While in other cases the children found by a young enough age that the children were able to get almost completely on track with the skills that other kids of the same age group were exhibiting.
Bruno Bettelheim theorizes that some of these children can be seen as autistic children.
However, an official diagnosis can never be applied to the cases. Based on the Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School’s, a laboratory of the University of Chicago, studies and work with disturbed children, it can only be said that these feral children most likely suffered from infantile autism, because the kids that were studied by this school exhibited similar actions and were raised with some of the utmost attention from adults and were diagnosed with infantile autism; thus meaning, that these children are usually not able to blend in socially with others or with circumstances that are presented throughout life.
Bettelheim discusses the behaviors, discovery and story of Amala and Kamala, two of the most well-known feral children said to have, literally, been raised by wolves in Midnapore, also said to have suffered from infantile autism. (American Journal of Sociology pg. 455) As a child, I attended preschool before elementary school and before I reached kindergarten, I was reading very simple level chapter books. Growing up I had always been a quicker reader than most. I possessed a vocabulary more advanced than those around me, and all throughout high school I was reading college level material and even had a teacher tell me that some eople are too smart for high school and should be able to go straight to college, and that I was one of those people. I have never been more than an average test taker, but I can learn quickly and now I push my younger brother and sister to do the same. When born, my little brother had no signs of anything being wrong with him. However, about the time he should have began talking, he was not. He did not make a sound or anything. Concerned, we took him to a doctor and he was diagnosed with apraxia, a condition in which the brain does not communicate with the mouth to make movements or sounds for speech.
Being told he may never speak, my family quickly started learning sign language and tried teaching my younger brother ASL as well as speech. In time, our efforts must have paid off because he does not stop talking now and you would never know he had the condition in the first place. This video really opened my eyes about how crucial it was that we teach him quickly, and we did it without knowing if we did not, he really would never learn. While the crucial learning stage in my life may be over, I now have had the joy of having my eyes opened to so many different aspects of life that I will continue to and always question.
Cite this “TLC’s Wild Child; the Story of Feral Children”
“TLC’s Wild Child; the Story of Feral Children”. (2017, Jan 23). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/tlcs-wild-child-the-story-of-feral-children/