The Secret of the Wild Child


Episode Info

Behavioral scientists dream of discovering such a patient as "Genie," the wild child of Los Angeles. Found in 1970, the 13-year-old girl was raised in complete isolation, producing a case of severe social retardation. Genie was kept in a room, tied to a potty chair for most of her life. She never learned to talk and still wore diapers. When social workers uncovered her, they discovered a rare opportunity to explore the human capacity for language. Could she learn to communicate at such a late stage and would she be able to function normally? Genie became a favorite among social workers who were captivated by her innocence and complete lack of pretense. Nova: Secret of the Wild Child accompanies doctors and analysts as they begin the long process of teaching what it means to be human.


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