My thoughts on Genie

What went wrong with Genie… Hm, well I would say that once she was found and helped by the treatment team of experts, what went wrong was her not being in one household, with one parent figure (or 2) for at least the rest of her childhood.  Even if she was found at age 6, the fact that she moved around so much is traumatizing by itself.  From an article about multiple placement in children with foster families, found in the American Psychological Association article database, it said “Multiple placements were related to child behavioral and emotional problems” (pardeck, 1984).  This article was not even related to the Genie case, however it is clear that in all cases with children, it is best if they do not move around and stay with only one family that can care for them.  With Genie, she was at the disadvantage of being abused and neglected for 10 years and then on top of that, was moved around from caregiver to caregiver when people were making efforts to revive her.

By no means do I think that the team of experts were not thoughtful nor effort full in trying to help genie recover from her problems.  However many individuals were consumed with taking care of her, not realizing or thinking that they would probably give her to someone else or just not be able to continuously be her primary care giver after so much time.  This lack of thinking and understanding on their part was where they mainly went wrong.  The phenomena of a primary care giver is that a child will ultimately feel closest or most connected to that one (or more) person.  In many homes around the world, caretakers have the responsibility of helping their troubled kids and teens, by doing this, they take their kid to a professional person who is only their to help their child, not be a caretaker.  By helping the child with their expertise, then releasing them back to their primary care taker, the child is able to be a lot more stable and concrete of their own views of themselves and what their doing.  By Genie not having that, or at least consistently over the rest of her childhood after being found, she was unable to develop many aspects of her emotional and psychological well being that is related to this phenomenon.  However, despite this problem, she still had many people trying to help her, it is a precarious thing to help someone like Genie and I think that the experts did have a positive impact to her and it is just unfortunate that she moved from house to house and especially when she got older, how she has still not stayed in one place as an adult.

Reuben Cousin

~ by reubencousin on November 3, 2009.

3 Responses to “My thoughts on Genie”

  1. Reuben –

    I completely agree with your thoughts on Genie. I think the biggest feeling she lacked was security. Because of her abuse as a child and lack of a permanent home, she was unable to feel that sense of stability and security. She had many experts working with her, but I believe she needed someone there that wasn’t part of that team; she needed someone who was less likely to care about the fame and fortune this case was thought to bring. I’m sure the team of experts and all the best intentions, but in their situation, I find it hard to believe none of them thought about themselves (ocassionally) instead of Genie’s well-being.

    Marissa Hayes

  2. You brought up some very good points about Genie and how her continuous moving to a different household affected her. I like that you also found an unrelated article to support this theory. I agree that moving around would have affected her and made her situation harder for her to cope with. I do believe that if the researchers on Genie’s case would have considered that moving her around could have negative effects and would have found her a stable and permanent living enviornment from the start she may have done better. Good job on your post, I greatly enjoyed reading it!

    Ashley Crawford

  3. After spending a life in one room with little human interaction, being brought into the world and being surrounded by so many researchers would be scary. I don’t believe that having a stable environment would have necessarily helped Genie’s language skills. I do believe it would have helped her adjustment.

    Katie Hasiak

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