How Much Language Skills Should A 2 Year Old Have Children Found Raised By Dogs

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Children Found Raised By Dogs

The subject of feral children has fascinated me for several years. Now to know that two children were found in Ukraine, living among wild dogs; further provided researchers with questions regarding language development and human psychology.

Victor: the first documented feral child

Victor was an 11-year-old boy found in January 1800 near Saint Sernin sur Rance, in the south of France. Victor survived 11 years living in the forest; he crawled on all fours and weaved his way through people’s gardens.

It is thought that, since he had no human contact for the first 11 years of his life, he probably learned the social skills he had from animals. He wore no clothes, and his body had several old and new scars from living in the wild.

When found, Victor could not speak human language. Researchers at the time attempted to resocialize Victor to more appropriate social norms of the time and tried to teach him the language. They have made minimal progress.

Victor lived to be 40, which was probably the average lifespan of that time. He could never be socialized to live the type of life that most of us would consider normal and healthy. Since Victor’s case, psychologists and sociologists have taken a great interest in the development of language in cases of social neglect.

Feral children in modern society

In 1991, an 8-year-old girl was found in Novaya Blagoveschenka, Ukraine. Her name was Oxanna Malaya. At the time, she was discovered living in the backyard of her family home in a kennel.

She had befriended the dogs in the yard and basically adopted their behaviors and actions. She was crawling, growling and barking. She defended the territory in an aggressive display similar to that of an angry dog. She had minimal human language abilities, but communicated like her canine companions through animal-like actions.

Also, in Mirny, Ukraine, in 1999, a young boy was discovered named Edik. Edik was 4 years old when he was discovered. Edik lived alone in a dilapidated apartment in a very poor region of Ukraine.

He had wild dogs living in the apartment with him, some say that at one time he had at least three dogs with him.

Researchers believe it was the symbiotic relationship between humans and animals that strengthened the bond and created the “pack” mentality between the boy and the dogs. The dogs discovered that the boy would provide a food source, no matter how often; which meant that the dogs did not have to hunt. In return, the dogs provided the boy with affection and companionship.

What have Oxanna and Edik achieved today?

Today, Oxanna and Edik are not classified as true wild children due to their previous human socialization and the fact that they had basic language skills from an early age.

But to this day, their language skills still lag behind their chronological development to date. Researchers believe that Oxanna’s language skills will always lag behind other people her age, as she was discovered after the age when the brain can regain these skills at full functional capacity.

Edik, on the other hand, has made good progress. His language skills are still lower than those of other children his age. But research thinks he will be able to regain enough language to function well in society. They believe this is based solely on the fact that it was discovered young enough that the brain could still learn the basics necessary for language development.

Today, Oxanna and Edik live in nursing homes where they interact with other people and staff. Both Oxanna and Edik have dogs in the homes they live in so they can always enjoy them as pets. They no longer depend on these animals for their survival, so their relationship with the animals has changed a lot.

Oxanna and Edik now walk on 2 legs, like all of us, and wear clothes in a socially appropriate way. It took them months and years to learn these basic social norms. A 2010 update states that Oxana is now trying to locate her biological mother and father to find out more about herself.

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