Thursday, September 01, 2011

Not raising children

At least, not they way they're supposed to be raised.
SAN ANTONIO - There are myths and legends about feral children -- supposedly raised by animals. Here in San Antonio, an attorney believes five children have been raised this way.

Carla Morrison says the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has removed five children from their home because of severe neglect. According to Morrison, the children might have what is known as Feral Child Syndrome -- a condition where the child has been isolated from human contact starting at an early age-with little or no human care.

The siblings range from ages three to 11 years old and they do not speak. The oldest child is the only one who has been potty trained.
(from WOAI-TV)

The descriptions in the story get worse after that, though there are, understandably, few other details. I don't know much about the realities of feral children, but one thing I do remember is that many of them never learn to speak a human language, even after rejoining society. Some linguists posit that there is a brief window very early in a person's development where learning languages is easy, and if a child misses that window, they can never fully grasp the concept of language. They are forever cut off from adequate communications with their fellow humans.

If that's true, it may be too late for these children.

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