Yune's Reviews > The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook

The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog by Bruce D. Perry
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's review
Aug 17, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: nonfiction, psychology

Perry refutes the adage that children are resilient, and walks us through the cases of traumatized children -- the consequences on their psyches and behavior, and how to heal them.

A few minutes of stress for baby rats can affect their brain into adulthood. Yet these children are expected to handle abuse, witnessing the murder of a parent, systematic neglect... What seems to affect them the most is the lack of love, even while medical diagnoses are offered. A disruptive girl has ADD, of course. But Perry is more concerned about the two years of abuse she suffered.

One mother, who moved foster homes every six months, fails to provide physical affection to her child, and the girl is hailed as the first case of infantile anorexia when her growth halts. Perry helps the mother learn to become more demonstrative; the child begins to thrive again. But:

"Like those who learn a foreign language late in life, Virginia and Laura will never speak the language of love without an accent."
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