Genie The Wild Child Essay

Developmental Issues

Genie is socially, cognitively and physically developmentally delayed.  Due to her severe isolation she has never learned to vocalize. Although she can visualize it is as if she has no sight due to the severe confinement she experienced. She displays physical oddities including walking like a bunny and spitting, due to her incapability to chew. For these ten years of solitary internment, Genie lived a severely malnourished lifestyle. Improper meals were forced into her body prohibiting Genie from cognitive and physical growth. Abused and unloved, this tragic and strange case illustrates the extreme importance of critical and sensitive periods. The critical and sensitive periods indicate the ideal time frame for language and motor development, after which further development becomes more difficult and effortful to acquire.  Genie was isolated for the first ten years of her life; these are the most crucial years for developing ‘normally’.

Nature and Nurture

Human beings need nurture in order to develop their full potential. Nature happens organically but nurture is how humans develop their personality, behaviour and intelligence. Humans are hardwired by nature and have the capability to develop fully but are restricted if proper nurture is not given.  The time and attention that is essential for proper development was absent for most of Genies childhood. All humans are biologically given the capability to acquire new language, but Genie, at 13 years of age, can barely utter or understand a word. This indicates that although certain cognitive and behavioural skills are hardwired (nature), they must be enriched through the practice of loving and caring nurture.

Can anything be done to Help Genie?

Genie requires human contact and schooling. She needs to have psychological counselling and occupational rehabilitation to learn how to do simple tasks, such as eating, walking and speaking. Genie missed her most sensitive periods for functional development. Fortunately, for Genie language and motor acquisition can still be learned but at a slower pace than most 13 year olds. There is hope that Genie will be able to function as a normal individual, but that day is somewhere down the road. The critical and sensitive periods indicate the ideal time frame for language and motor development, after which further development becomes more difficult and effortful to acquire. There is hope that Genie will be able to function as a normal individual, but that day is somewhere down the road.

Kyle Eirich
10/10/11
PSY 101 the Secret Life of a Wild Child/Mockingbird Don’t Sing
This is a story about a girl named Genie, named that was use to protect her identity, who was abuse due to the thought of being born retarded. She was punished for speaking and making noise; and was forced and locked to a putty chair in isolation. She lost the ability to communicate. Once people noticed that she was abused she was taken away and her parents were arrested, her father committed suicide. Doctors and scientists study, test, and help Genie. Susan Curtiss is her language teacher and was with Genie most of the study. James Kent was her therapist and had to quit the team because he fell in love with her. David Rigler was her psychologist and head of the team. They tried their best to help Genie and it was starting to work until the government stopped funding them due to repetitive testing and unorganized data. Genie was moved to many foster homes which one punished her for vomiting and being different, they expected her to live the way they did. Putting her back in the state which she started the team was able to get her out of that home. The mother of Genie sued the team and banned them to go see her. Genie is in and unknown care facility and is in the same state which she was when she was found.
I think Genie could have been “saved” if they did prober testing. They should of stick to a plan. The teacher Jean Butler shouldn’t use her to get famous. I didn’t like how she lied and tricked people to get genie. I felt the team really cared for her and really helped her. If the mother was ok with their methods then it could have still been going out till she was normal. But the mother didn’t like how they taught her. I thought the way they thought her was fine and they were making progress fast.   They even taught her sign language. I’m currently learning sign language and she better than I am. It was wrong what happen to Genie, if anything she should have ended up with...

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