On a more serious note, this is a fascinating article about what more or less amounts to the extraordinary efforts that a kindly couple are making to raise, educate and socialize a feral child.
Now, feral children generally have zero chance of ever becoming remotely functional, since some incredibly important wiring happens in their brains during the time in which these children are isolated – wiring that won’t take place without social interaction, affection and encountering language in use.
This couple took the girl in, already knowing of her condition. They have valiantly soldiered on and cared for her, shown her affection and sent her to school. Given how little can usually be done with feral children, they’re making incredible, albeit small, progress. She’s already developed more ability than it was supposed that she would ever be able to. I’m sure that a part of that is that the family treats her as a human being and that they have a son that’s just a year older than her so she can be with somebody that’s at about the developmental stage that she would be at if she hadn’t been confined to a closet for most of her life.
The bit about how she’s doing in speech therapy is remarkable, to me.
There is a bit about the father that I find highly touching: “He hopes, one day, she might be able to call him ‘Daddy,’ to get married or at least live on her own. But if that doesn’t happen, he says, ‘That’s okay too. For me, it’s all about getting the kisses and the hugs.’ ”
What’s really horrifying is that this happened under the nose of authorities that were notified, repeatedly, of the horrible conditions in the girl’s original family’s home. Naturally, they weren’t aware of the full situation, but it’s still horrific. Plus, when she was offered help the mother refused it. So eventually the girl had to be taken away and institutionalized, until a family became aware of her and offered to take her despite all of the reasons that exist to dissuade adopting a child like this.
Now, the girl finally knows her own name. That’s a start.