Interesting show on TLC

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Shari, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    called "Feral Children".

    The topic and basis is terrible - children that were neglected and raised with little to no human contact - but the insight and clues these kids have given as to the stages of brain development and ability to "catch up" are pretty amazing.
  2. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I've seen that. It's horrifying, but it is amazing what the brain is capable of.
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    There are a lot of shows on TLC that I can't watch. That's one of them. They almost seem like a well educated side show at a circus. I appreciate the results of these studies, but I wonder about the necessity of turning it into what is essentially entertainment.
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Witz, the question is - is it entertainment, or education? We may rail against the exploitation of people/circumstances by the media trying to make a buck, but we also need the media to inform and educate us or we might be far more fearful of people who are different.

    Even for those who only seem interested in entertainment - even they are getting informed and educated, despite themselves.

    If the program only showed these people as circus freaks or exhibits, then there would be no informative value whatsoever. If, instead, the program informs and educates, if it helps us understand just how vital it is to stimulate young growing brains, then the whole human race benefits from that knowledge.

    There is a program on TV tonight in Australia ("Catalyst", ABC TV) featuring a young man with Asperger's. I don't know much more about it, but the emails have been flying around, urging us to watch this because there could be new information on the program.

    Is the kid in the TV show being exploited? Possibly. Is there a positive benefit from this? Maybe.

    I won't know unless I watch it!

  5. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I agree that it borders exploitation of these kiddos, and the conditions they were raised in was horrific.

    But that said, I don't think I really watched it for entertainment (I rarely watch tv at all). I have always been intrigued by the brain and its amazing capabilities, which is why I didn't turn it off, but I guess what I got out of it, what it drove home, to me, is the importance of early intervention - for kiddos who are neglected and abused, and for kiddos like ours, with differences that make their experience in the world different from ours, because once that window of opportunity in the brain closes, as these kids showed, for the most part, its closed.
  6. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Sounds like what you are describing are classic cases for Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).....are these children able to reverse it?

    I remember the well publicized case in NY where the father and mother kept the child locked in a closet the entire time. It was a horrifying case. She was like an animal. I always wonder how that girl is doing now. She has to be in her late twenties now, possibly early 30's.
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Actually, Loth, that may have been one of the stories. The first girl was Jeanne and she was locked in a room by her parents, I may have missed the closet part.

    She was able to learn language and some aspect of attachment to her therapists and workers, but she never learned, as they called it, "grammer" - was never able to truly put sentences together to express/convey herself. She easily learned words for objects, but true communication never came. At 18, she was released back to her mother. Eventually she was placed in a home, and later, all contact with the people who had cared for her before she turned 18 was prohibited.

    The only one they showed that seemed to be making normal progress was found when he was 4 living with dogs.