On November 4, 1970 on The CBS Evening News, Walter Cronkite reported on a true, horrific story that was about to rock the country. A 13-year-old girl was discovered in the small Los ... See full summary »
In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
On November 4, 1970 on The CBS Evening News, Walter Cronkite reported on a true, horrific story that was about to rock the country. A 13-year-old girl was discovered in the small Los Angeles suburb of Arcadia who was still in diapers, barely able to walk and unable to speak. Kept in severe isolation by her parents with virtually no human contact for more than 10 years, she was confined to her bedroom, tied to her potty-chair and left to fend for herself. As Cronkite noted, it was one of the most horrendous cases of child abuse ever to surface. Much like an animal, the girl spat, sniffed and clawed. She had none of the traits or characteristics of conventional human behavior, nor could she comprehend such modern societal conveniences as silverware or bathroom etiquette. Her emotional development was practically non-existent, and she could not speak. With this heartbreaking story, the world was being introduced to a fragile, beautiful teenager who seemed and behaved like an infant, or ... Written by
The character of Katie is based on a girl called "Genie" by a few scientists and the character of Sandra is based on the linguist Susan Curtiss. See more »
Katie has supposedly been locked away since she was a baby,but her ears are pierced and she has ear studs, as can clearly be seen in several scenes. See more »
The way you hound at that child..."Don't say it like this, Katie, say it like that," and giving her all those tests. That's why she couldn't get along with the Mannings. You pushed her to a point where she didn't know what general was up anymore.
Louise, that's not true. Katie loved the work that we did. I mean... there were days when... when I didn't want to work and she'd make me do it.
Well, that's the way you trained her. She was never person to you. She was just... some little scientific ...
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The Forbidden Experiment is the main point of the story, describing how does a person being isolated learn the basic needs without being taught. The Critical Period Hypothesis has been proved as a theory. They say your brain as a kid, is like a sponge. As you develop and hit puberty this is when your brain cannot absorb much from when you were a younger child. It is easier to learn a language when you are a child, you memorize the words, not focusing on what they mean much. With sign language it is a totally different meaning. Some people are better learning with their hands than speaking, some say it is easier to learn. Because Katie had been isolated from the world, it would have been better if she just focused on using her hands to communicate with people. It seemed that she could learn sign language faster than she could ever learn to speak words. With sign language she seemed much easier to understand than speaking, this would keep her and anybody with her not as frustrated. Was Katie mentally challenged from her being isolated and having limited to no socialization, or from birth? The doctors had said she was mentally challenged from when she was an infant, but having no contact with people could have caused retardation.