The Life of Genie

  • Genie's birth

  • Genie is rescued

    Genie's mother rescued her by taking her from the house and bringing her to the hospital. At the hospital, the social worker noticed something wasn't right about Genie.
  • Genie shows understanding of her own name

  • Neurolinguistic tests conducted on Genie

    They focused on determining and monitoring the course and extent of her mental development.
  • Genie attacked another girl

    Genie believed that she owned the dress a girl had on at the hospital so Genie attacked her to regain her property.
  • David Rigler begins to study Genie

    David creates a team of scientists and begins to study Genie with a 3 year grant from NIMH.
  • Susan Curtiss began her work on Genie's case

    She was a graduate student in linguistics under Victoria Fromkin.
  • David Elkind studies Genie

    He had evaluated she was in the concrete operational stage of development.
  • Psychiatrist makes comment about Genie

    He says that she acts as if other children are just like the furniture and walls around the room.
  • First foster home

    Jean Butler obtained permission to become Genie's foster parent.
  • Butler loses custody

    California authorities informed Butler they had rejected her application for foster custody.
  • Second foster home

    Hansen suggested to Rigler that he take custody of Genie.
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    Scientists continued to administer dichotic listening tests to Genie

    This was under the administration of Curtiss, Victoria Fromkin, and Stephen Krashen.
  • Curtiss began thorough, active testing of Genie's language

  • Genie responds to stories

    Curtiss saw that Genie was clearly listening and responding to her.
  • Riglers discovery

    The Riglers find that Genie can describe her memories from before she was able to speak when she was with her father.
  • A magazine picture of a wolf sent Genie into a terror

    Her mother had said it was due to her husband acting like a dog to intimidate Genie.
  • Genie begins to count

    The scientists especially noted that she did not start to count until late 1972.
  • Genie begins to communicate

    Curtiss recorded the first time Genie shared something with her
  • Genie began to show some sensitivity to temperature

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    Genie receives more testing

    During this period Genie was a subject in tachistoscopic and evoked response tests.
  • Genie demonstrates learned abilities

    Genie seemed to be able to recognize where she was and was good at getting from one place to another, an ability which primarily involves the right hemisphere.
  • Genie begins to learn sign language

    The Riglers set up lessons for Genie.
  • Mooney Face Test

    Genie had the highest score on the test for medical literature for that time.
  • Genie could accurately name most objects she encountered

  • Genie changes homes

    when Genie turned 18, her mother stated that she wished to care for her, and in mid-1975 the Riglers decided to end their foster parenting and agreed to let Genie move back in with her mother at her childhood home.
  • Genie remains anti-social

  • Curtis publishes book

    Curtis called it, Genie: A Psycholinguistic Study of a Modern-Day "Wild Child"
  • Stereognosis

    Scientists measured her capacity for stereognosis at approximately the level of a typical 10-year-old, significantly higher than her estimated mental age.
  • Curtis asks for custody of Genie

  • Genie's mother interfears with custody of Genie

    Genie's mother suddenly stopped her and the rest of the research team from seeing Genie again, immediately ending all testing and observations
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    Foster Homes

    From January 1978 until the early 1990s Genie moved through a series of at least four additional foster homes and institutions, some of which subjected her to extreme physical abuse and harassment.
  • Curtiss wrote to Miner

    Curtiss wrote to Miner that Genie did not understand the reasons she was moving and believed it was her fault for not being a good enough person, and the frequency with which her living arrangements changed further traumatized her and caused continued developmental regression.
  • Genie's mother complains

    She wrote that she was very offended at the title and some of the contents of Curtiss' dissertation.
  • David Rigler speaks of the lawsuit

    David Rigler wrote, "The case never came to trial. It was dismissed by the Superior Court of the State of California 'with prejudice,' meaning that because it was without substance it can never again be refiled."
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    Genie's life today

    Genie is a ward of the state of California, and is living in an undisclosed location in Los Angeles. It is a small private facility for mentally underdeveloped adults.