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Case Studies on Isolated Children: Anna and Isabelle

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Emily Foley

on 9 October 2014

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Transcript of Case Studies on Isolated Children: Anna and Isabelle

Case Studies on Isolated Children: Anna and Isabelle
By: Emily Foley and Lacey Harris

Who was Isabelle?
Nine months after Anna was found, Isabelle was discovered. Just like Anna, Isabelle was hidden away because her mother was unmarried. Isabelle's mother was deaf and did not speak. She stayed in the dark room with her child. When found at the age of 6, Isabelle was physically ill from an inadequate diet and lack of sunshine. She was unable to talk except for a strange croaking sound, she only communicated with gestures. Like an animal in the wild, she reacted with fear and hostility to strangers. She was sent to an intensive program where she learned everything she needed to. By the age 14 she was a normal girl.
What can we learn from these case studies?
The implication of the cases of Anna and Isabelle is unmistakable. The personal and social development associated with being human is acquired through intensive and prolonged social contact with others.
To understand more about how socialization affects development, we will look at the case histories of two children - Anna and Isabelle - who were socially and emotionally abused. They also had traumatic childhoods.
Who was Anna?
Anna was the second child born to her unmarried mother. When Anna's grandfather found out he made them leave, but desperation drove them back. Her mother was so scared that her father would get mad at the sight of Anna that she kept her confined in a small room on the second floor of their farmhouse. For 5 years, Anna only had milk to drink. When she was found she was barely alive. During the first year of being found she lived in a country home for children. Where she learned to do the things she didn't know how to do. Things like walk, talk, and eat. Anna died at the age of 10 years old.
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