Development[ edit ] Truffaut had always felt a strong connection to children, especially outcasts and young people who reject the traditions of society, and frequently used this theme in films such as The Blows and Small Change. Truffaut was especially interested in the story of Victor of Aveyron, The Wild Boy of Aveyronand began to research the story. Truffaut also studied medical texts and deaf-mutes, as well as books by Maria Montessori  and documentaries on autistic children.
Family background[ edit ] Genie was the last, and second surviving, of four children born to parents living in Arcadia, California.
Her father worked in a factory as a flight mechanic during World War II and continued in aviation afterward, and her mother, who was around 20 years younger and from an Oklahoma farming family, had come to southern California as a teenager with family friends fleeing the Dust Bowl.
Genie's father mostly grew up in orphanages in the American Pacific Northwest. His father died as the result of a lightning strike and his mother ran a brothel while only infrequently seeing him. Additionally, his mother gave him a feminine first name, which made him the target of constant derision.
As a result, he harbored extreme resentment toward his mother during childhood, which Genie's brother and the scientists who studied Genie believed was the root cause of his subsequent anger problems.
He became almost singularly fixated on his mother, despite their relentless arguments about her attempts to convince him to adopt a less rigid lifestyle, and treated all other relationships as secondary at best.
This child, an apparently healthy daughter, caught pneumonia after her father found her cries disturbing and placed her in the garage, and died at the age of ten weeks. His father forced his wife to keep him quiet, causing significant physical and linguistic developmental delays.
When he reached the age of four, his maternal grandmother took over his care for several months, and he made good progress with her before she eventually returned him to his parents.
The following day she showed signs of Rh incompatibility and required a blood transfusionbut had no sequelae and was otherwise described as healthy. The splint caused Genie to be late to walk, and researchers believed this led her father to start speculating that she had an intellectual disability.
As a result, he made a concentrated effort not to talk to or pay attention to her, and strongly discouraged his wife and son from doing so as well. Genie's mother later recalled that Genie was not a cuddly baby, did not babble much, and resisted solid food.
Researchers never determined which was the truth. The people who later studied her believed this was a sign that she was starting to suffer some degree of malnutrition. The pediatrician said that, although her illness prevented a definitive diagnosis, there was a possibility that she had an intellectual disability and that the brain dysfunction kernicterus might be present, further amplifying her father's conclusion that she was severely intellectually disabled.
Her death affected Genie's father far beyond normal levels of grief, and, because his son had been walking with her, he held his son responsible, further heightening his anger. Scientists believed these events made him feel society had failed him and convinced him he would need to protect his family from the outside world, and that in doing so he lacked the self-awareness to recognize the destruction his actions caused.
Because he believed Genie was severely intellectually disabled, he thought she would require additional protection from him, and he, therefore, decided he needed to entirely hide her existence.
While in the harness, she wore only diapers and could only move her extremities. If he suspected her of doing something he did not like, he made these noises outside the door and beat her if he believed she had continued to do it, instilling an intense and persistent fear of cats and dogs in Genie.
No one definitively discerned the exact reason for his dog-like behavior, although at least one scientist speculated he may have viewed himself as a guard dog and was acting out the role. Genie developed a tendency to masturbate in socially inappropriate contexts, which led doctors to seriously consider the possibility that Genie's father subjected her to sexual abuse or forced her brother to do so, although they never uncovered any definite evidence.
Her father, or when coerced, her brother, spooned food into her mouth as quickly as possible, and if she choked or could not swallow fast enough, the person feeding her rubbed her face in her food.
Genie's mother claimed her husband always fed Genie three times a day but also said that Genie sometimes risked a beating by making noise when hungry, leading researchers to believe he often refused to feed her.
This pattern continued for several months after removal from captivity. He almost never allowed his wife or son to speak and viciously beat them if they did so without permission, particularly forbidding them to speak to or around Genie. Any conversation between them was therefore very quiet and out of Genie's earshot, preventing her from hearing any meaningful amount of language.
On rare occasions her father allowed her to play with plastic food containers, old spools of thread, TV Guides with many of the illustrations cut out, and the raincoats.
He did not allow anyone else in or near the house, and kept his gun nearby in case someone did come. Her husband continued to beat her and threatened to kill her if she attempted to contact her parents, close friends who lived nearby, or the police.
Her husband eventually relented, and later that day she left with Genie when he was out of the house and went to her parents in Monterey Park ; Genie's brother, by then 18, had already run away from home and was living with friends.
Genie's parents were arrested and Genie became a ward of the courtand due to her physical condition and near-total unsocialized state, a court order was immediately issued for Genie to be taken to the Children's Hospital Los Angeles. The following day they assigned physician James Kent, another early advocate for child abuse awareness, to conduct the first examinations of her.
Even after its conclusion, there were a large number of unresolved questions about Genie's childhood that subsequent research never answered. On November 20, the morning before a scheduled court appearance on child abuse charges, he committed suicide by gunshot.`Secret of the Wild Child', although not very long, seems to do a credible job in detailing the known facts and events that played a significant impact in Genie's life after her rescue.
There is a decent mix of interviews from various experts and a good portion of video footage showing Genie's therapy and rehabilitation and it makes for a Reviews: Secrets of a Wild Child” Genie was a child who was kept virtually a prisoner.
She was held by her parents in a suburb of Arcadia, Los Angeles, California. At thirteen years old, on November 4, , she was discovered and was taken into custody by officials. `Secret of the Wild Child', although not very long, seems to do a credible job in detailing the known facts and events that played a significant impact in Genie's life after her rescue.
There is a decent mix of interviews from various experts and a good portion of video footage showing Genie's therapy and rehabilitation and it makes for a /5(13).
Oct 18, · Share this Rating. Title: The Secret of the Wild Child (18 Oct ) / Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below/10(82). The offical website for NOVA. NOVA is the most-watched prime time science series on American television, reaching an average of five million viewers weekly.
Overview of Feral Child Genie Wiley The Shocking Story of the Famous Wild Child Raised in Isolation. By Kendra Cherry.
Updated October 17, Share Flip Email Print More in Psychology History and Biographies Basics The secret of the wild child.