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Paper Topic:

Feral Children


Feral Children are children who have grown up with minimal human contact , or at all . These children are also called wild children or wolf children (Ward , 2007 . There are three main types of feral children (1 ) children raised by animals (2 ) confined children and (3 Isolated children . The physical and mental development of feral children is greatly affected by their isolation and most of these children will never reach the point of normal development . For example children who are not exposed to language during the early years of their

life will lose much of their ability to learn language and its grammatical system . This is called the critical period hypothesis (Ward , 2007 . Based on the type of isolation , the length of isolation and the location of the isolation , the physical and mental development of the child varies both while in isolation and when introduced to society

Children who have been raised by animals will tend to take on animal like characteristics . These children will bark like dogs , walk on all fours , bite , and can be aggressive . This type of behavior indicates that the child may have spent their formative years in the care of an animal . The most common type of feral children raised by animals are children living in India , called Wolf Children . The theory is that women in India would leave their babies and small children at the edge of the fields and the wolves would come and steal them . This theory has not been proven however

The most recent discovery of a child raised by animals was reported in August 2004 by the New Zealand Herald . Andrei Tolstyk was discovered at the age of seven in the Siberian region of Altai (Osborn , 2004 . The report in the New Zealand Herald stated that the boy was abandoned by his mother and father at the age of three months old and was raised by the family dog . Due to his deprivation of human contact , Tolstyk exhibited characteristic feral behavior such as walking on all fours barking at people , biting people , sniffing his food prior to consuming it , and an inability to speak . Tolstyk lived in a sparsely populated area and his abandonment went unnoticed by the few locals . Once discovered Tolstyk was taken to a shelter for orphans in a nearby town Although he was unable to speak , the doctors and social workers were able to communicate with him through sign language (Osborn , 2004

Confined children are children who have been kept in confinement in cellars , dog kennels , pigsties , and hen houses (Ward , 2004 . Many confined children suffer from a developmental dis called psychosocial dwarfism . David Skuse from the Insititute of Child Health in London defines psychosocial dwarfism as a very slow rate of linear growth with height for age among the lowest 1 percent of the population with remarkable features of behavior , including a disrupted sleep pattern , an insatiable appetite , an insatiable thirst , an insensibility to physical discomfort , and cognitive impairment (Skuse , 1995

Anja W...

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