The Girl in the Window

The St. Petersburg Times reports on a feral child found living in an urban apartment under horrific conditions. Danielle was almost seven years old, yet she had never been to school, didn't speak, and did not react to human contact. The story is heartbreaking.
Dr. Kathleen Armstrong, director of pediatric psychology at the University of South Florida medical school, was the first psychologist to examine Danielle. She said medical tests, brain scans, and vision, hearing and genetics checks found nothing wrong with the child. She wasn't deaf, wasn't autistic, had no physical ailments such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy.

The doctors and social workers had no way of knowing all that had happened to Danielle. But the scene at the house, along with Danielle's almost comatose condition, led them to believe she had never been cared for beyond basic sustenance. Hard as it was to imagine, they doubted she had ever been taken out in the sun, sung to sleep, even hugged or held. She was fragile and beautiful, but whatever makes a person human seemed somehow missing.

Armstrong called the girl's condition "environmental autism." Danielle had been deprived of interaction for so long, the doctor believed, that she had withdrawn into herself.

The most extraordinary thing about Danielle, Armstrong said, was her lack of engagement with people, with anything. "There was no light in her eye, no response or recognition. . . . We saw a little girl who didn't even respond to hugs or affection. Even a child with the most severe autism responds to those."

Danielle's was "the most outrageous case of neglect I've ever seen."

The special report includes the story, videos, and a photo gallery, and well as links to child abuse, adoption, and historical information. Link -via trendalicious

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It's amazing how quickly a real child's suffering and even salvation can be turned into a political football and/or philosophical bludgeon. She's not a policy, she's not a choice, she's a nine-year-old girl, every bit as unique as the rest of us, and maybe that's the real source of the pain. We all drive down the road past dozens, even hundreds of houses that could potentially hold such horror. Forget mandating a solution, go hug a kid, right now.
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"It just seems like people are waiting for every little opportunity to bring up certain topics."

Not the case at all. Any story that deals with child abuse & neglect has a natural connection with the abortion issue. It's odd and disturbing to me that people get all upset when they see a neglected kid like Dani but don't give a thought to the fact that people do much worse to kids every day in the name of "choice". Birth is not some magical moment where a child suddenly becomes a human being, so the child in the womb deserves the same protection as a kid of seven years or seven months or seven minutes. That "clump of cells" is uniquely human and as genetically different from its mother as any of us, and has been since conception. Denying that is being more than intellectually dishonest.

I don't mean to trivialize what has been done to Dani and so many other kids who suffer abuse at the hands of their parents, but what was done to Dani does seem somewhat trivial in comparison to other kids who aren't given the chance to see the light of day.

"How do you know that the people getting upset about neglected children are pro abortion?"

Sorry; I didn't explain myself well on that point. The people I know who get most upset and up in arms — not just upset but needing to see something done (preferably by the government) to prevent this sort of thing — are the ones who are most adamant about keeping the status quo with abortion "rights". Seems more than just a little incongruous.

Polx: I'm sorry you find my viewpoint so offensive; truth can be offensive. I was once on your side of this fence and can sympathize with you. I can only hope you find peace about it one day.

your_mum: Yes, it's true; women use abortions as birth control all the time. Not in the prophylactic sense, but as a backup when other methods of contraception fail, or when other methods are not used. Happens way too often.
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marishka, just because the website is called neatorama doesn't mean that every post has to be "neat". It's just a name for a website that provides intriguing bits of information from the net, be they happy, sad, or in this case, horrifying. The story is still very intriguing, so it can be posted here, whether it is neat or not.

This story makes me ashamed of being a floridian...
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@ dave
"the vast majority of abortions in the US are done as birth control by people who simply don’t want to be inconvenienced by having a kid"

Since when did birth control equate to abortion? There isn't even an embryo involved in using condoms or taking the pill. I guess by your logic I've had hundreds of these "abortions".
You aren't one of the Duggars by any chance are you?
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