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JSUCamel
08-03-2008, 10:29 PM
I'm serious. If you're in a good mood, don't read this.


http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=2920239 (http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=2920239)

Something to consider: is being borderline mentally retarded a good enough excuse for this situation? The mother's IQ iis only 77, which is pretty low... so I'm hesitant to start bellowing "OFF WITH HER HEAD!" but at the same time.. what... the... hell?!

Terez
08-03-2008, 11:52 PM
What confuses me is how this was investigated when the child was 3, but the investigators left the child with the mother even though, according to the report, the environment was at least nearly as bad then.

tworiverswoman
08-04-2008, 12:02 AM
Words fail me.

I read the article but couldn't bring myself to watch the video.

Words really do fail me -- I have too MANY things to say...

Davian93
08-04-2008, 09:37 AM
Tragic.:mad: :(

Cary Sedai
08-04-2008, 11:28 AM
:( :mad: :(

Unfortunately I'm not shocked that the system didn't do anything about the first two calls. I've had my own experience with child protective services, at least they finally DID do something.

Ultimately, though, the mother is responsible and probation is not a just punishment for this. Not that it matters what you do to her, she will never accept responsiblity for her actions, never feel she has done anything wrong.

I'm glad Dani has a family. I'm glad they moved out of state. Who knows how far she can go with thier love? This story is gonna stick with me for a while.

JSUCamel
08-04-2008, 11:46 AM
Ultimately, though, the mother is responsible and probation is not a just punishment for this. Not that it matters what you do to her, she will never accept responsiblity for her actions, never feel she has done anything wrong.

The psychiatrist that evaluated the mother seemed to think that this was due to her low IQ. Is that a good enough excuse? Should she have been allowed to care for her children at all?

How do you prevent this type of thing from happening again, without going to overboard with respect to personal rights? I wouldn't like the gov't coming in and telling me I can't raise my child because my IQ is below a certain threshold, but this psychiatrist seems to think that her IQ is largely the root of the problem. Is that a valid answer?

Mort
08-04-2008, 12:02 PM
An IQ of 77 is pretty low IIRC. Enough so that you can get classified as one with intellectual disorder/disability I think, but those things are often not only done by looking at IQ alone. At least in Sweden the type or level of intellectual disorders or other types of diminished capabilities that has to do with intelligens etc are often done based on individual estimations.

It's always like opening up a can of worms with limiting people with certain disabilities or low IQ (no matter the reason for the low IQ) to have children. In some cases though I think the idea has merit.

Uncle Fisty
08-04-2008, 01:11 PM
1 - I cannot believe how well this girl is recovering. Truly amazing. The fact that her new parents have done so much for her almost restores my faith in humanity. :D

2 - Even with an IQ that low, the "mother" should know that living in feces is wrong. As should her two sons. The fact that she was able to avoid jail time by giving up her parental rights is sickening. Her rights should have been stripped away when they took her daughter. It is truly aggravating to see how the Department of Children and Families treats its cases. It seems that if they have a grudge against a parent, they will do anything they can to make that parents life difficult, but then let that woman get away with gross abuse.

True story: My friend's infant daughter hit her head on their tile floor after climbing out of her bouncer chair. He (Matt) took her to the doctor when a bruise developed on her face. Doctor said it was just a bruise, but to take her to the ER just in case. ER doctor called DCF. No one blames him for it, it is his job. So the DCF sends an inspector to Matt's house to do an investigation. The inspector took an immediate disliking to Matt. Matt works as a cook, has long hair with a mustache and beard, had video game systems in his living room, wears jeans and tank tops. A normal twenty two year old working dude. The inspector didn't like it, and made it known. Now, for the last three months, there have been weekly inspections at Matt's house. Required doctor visits. Progress reports. Talks with his employer. Basically trying to find a reason to fine him or take his daughter away. When you compare that to a case like Dani's anyone can see there is something broken in the DCF.

3 - Holy crap, these people live literally 10 minutes away from me! The good ones, I mean.

Davian93
08-04-2008, 01:14 PM
The F#*#ed up thing is that if your friend Matt was a female they wouldn't say a damn thing...but a guy is automatically looked down on as a parent.

Cary Sedai
08-04-2008, 01:37 PM
Grrr... I just made a great post, hit submit and the ~deletes rather horible explitives~ had logged me out, and I accidently entered the wrong password and now it's all gone!

To sum up:

I, too, think the DCF (or whatever you call it where you are), sucks nuts! I know that from personal experience. (Not that they don't do a good job now and then, it must not be an easy job...I'm trying to be understanding.)

Also, I'm not sure how much a high or low IQ determines a persons abilities to understand right from wrong. We've all heard stories of a young woman, who is mentally handicapped, gets pregnant, turns out to be a wonderful mother. Or the opposite, a genious who's a serial killer. Maybe the cause is just soemthing we haven't put our collective finger on just yet.

The article says something about 85% of your brain being developed by the time you are ~mummbles~ (forgot, but we all just read it :p). Maybe at a crucial part of development, something is missed. That is not said to be an excuse of any kind. I firmly believe that if you have the courage to really look at yourself, and can accept when something is not right, then you can change it. I don't think everyone has that courage, though.

I try to be understanding of that, however... it's just not an excuse. I dont' know what more could be done to the mother, since she'd never understand anyhow, but part of me really wants to punish her. While the other part knows it won't actually help her to be a better person, or take responsibility for her actions.

Mort
08-04-2008, 02:19 PM
2 - Even with an IQ that low, the "mother" should know that living in feces is wrong.

The problem with IQ is that it's often not telling the whole story, intelligence is something that is still argued over what it is and how to measure it. Traditionally it's a measure of your cognitive abilities, usually a strictly logical test and a few other tests. People are arguing wether or not those tests are good enough for all kinds of cases.

Let's say what they have measured is a strictly logical IQ test, which I think is still the norm in most places. What they have concluded then is that this woman's ability in logical thinking is dimnished from that of a normal human being. It doesn't say anything about her ability to learning new things or comprehending social occurences.

So maybe she had never learned that lying in feces isn't a good thing, maybe her mother had the same thing that she has? Or maybe she couldn't learn that lying in feces is a bad thing. That or a few other thinks that might be wrong with her.

Davian93
08-04-2008, 03:07 PM
I've taken several IQ tests in my life and I've various scores in around a 20 point range...not exactly pinpoint.

JSUCamel
08-04-2008, 03:44 PM
Well, the woman was examined by a psychiatrist, so the IQ is just a number from one particular test. The psychiatrist did make the point that the woman was borderline mentally challenged.

I'm willing to bet that the woman avoided jail time from the psychiatrists recommendation more than anything else. If he felt that she was mentally incompetent and didn't know what she was doing was necessarily wrong, then a judge might let that slide, pending a loss of parental rights.

As far as intelligence is concerned, if I remember my survey of special ed classes correctly, autism appears around the IQ of 60 or 70. Autistics and idiot savants often are incapable of learning certain things, but excel at others.

Just because she has an IQ of 77 does NOT mean that she knows that sleeping in feces is wrong. After all, the entire house was covered in feces (iirc), with roaches everywhere and rotting food and maggots, and this woman slept there as well as the kid.

Personally, I'm surprised the mother is still alive.

Birgitte
08-04-2008, 03:48 PM
Wow. The first seven years of that little girl's life are horrific. Absolutely disgusting. I'm with Cary. I feel that something more should be done to punish her, but I have no idea what.

Still, I have to second Uncle Fisty's first point.
1 - I cannot believe how well this girl is recovering. Truly amazing. The fact that her new parents have done so much for her almost restores my faith in humanity.

Terez
08-04-2008, 05:05 PM
The F#*#ed up thing is that if your friend Matt was a female they wouldn't say a damn thing...but a guy is automatically looked down on as a parent.
That's not true - I know several females that have been through the same thing. The truly fucked up thing is that DHS or whatever has enough time to harass parents that aren't doing anything wrong but they don't have time to deal with real problems like this.

tworiverswoman
08-04-2008, 08:06 PM
It's hard to make an accurate assessment of what really happened based on just this article.

Bear in mind that the woman's CURRENT home is clean and neat. And she was visited twice before and the home couldn't have looked like it did in this article or I'm SURE DCF would have reacted the same way they did this time. So it appears that the condition of the family residence took a severe downward plunge during this period.

And I REALLY want to know how a woman with an IQ of 77 was a "student at the University of Tampa." I know public university standards are LOW, but...

Frankly, I know little of IQ tests, but I find myself doubting that number and the way it acts as almost a blanket "get out of jail free" card. The quotes from the woman cited in the interview sound much too articulate. I don't doubt she has mental issues, She “is more concerned with herself than most other adults, and this could lead her to neglect paying adequate attention to people around her.”as it says in the article.

Self involvement to the degree displayed here is ... not sane. Not INSANE, but not sane.

As an aside, I'm not sure how to react to the new step-brother's situation, either. How much of his new situation in the house is voluntary? He doesn't seem to mind, quite, other than the comment about how scary the basement is. The things the article says about the "big brotherly" things he's done to help her make me smile -- but ... Her strongest reactions happen when he tickles her. Sigh.

Sei'taer
08-04-2008, 10:29 PM
I've taken several IQ tests in my life and I've various scores in around a 20 point range...not exactly pinpoint.


So, your IQ is an average of a 20? Pretty good for government work...I'd say.

As for the DHS/DCS/child services I've had my problems with and my fill of them. I was told by one DCS employee that I was a man so I was a piece of shit because I left my wife...even though she was cheating on me. She said I must have caused it by being abusive to my ex, because all men are abusive and she was going to take me down one way or another...luckily, that was a nice little soundbite for the court proceedings.

irerancincpkc
08-05-2008, 06:53 AM
Well, to look at the bright side of things, she has come a long way and hopefully will get much better.

But it really is sad. :(

Anaiya Sedai
08-05-2008, 07:10 AM
I read the article yesterday, and I was lost for words.

what keeps jumping out at me, though, is the fact that at least in th UK, an IQ of 77 is only 3 points below the "normal" range of 80-100. yeah, compared to most people here, that's probably still really low, but it's not actually THAT low. and if she managed to go to university, she should have a grasp of what is right for your children and what isn't.
the fact that she said to her sons that they couldn't take dani to a doctor because the autorities would take her away proves to me that she was aware that something wasn't right.
It always angers me that governments always put so much money into all sorts of useless things, but when it comes to child protection, they seem to be failing on an epic scale.
I could go on, rambling, but most things have been said.

I would like to see how dani develops, you never know. Kids have amazing abilities, even when they are certified as mentally challenged.

Davian93
08-05-2008, 07:13 AM
So, your IQ is an average of a 20? Pretty good for government work...I'd say.


Exactly. ;)

Ishara
08-05-2008, 07:22 AM
I've watched a couple shows on feral children and the feral child Genie proved a LOT of theories wrong. It's The basic fact of the mater is that unless a child is stimulated and exposed to language and affection, they completely miss the boat on ever being able to develop it. They did a load of brainscans that showed that her brain was effectively dark in all the wrong places. Dani's should be an interesting case for the next couple of years while doctors find out if she's too old or if they caught her at the cusp.

With Genie, she could learn a few basic words, and was quite good with word pictures, but once she had reached her limit of vocabulary (say, 20 words), then anything new would eradicate something old.

What an awful story.