A trained psychologist tells how he abandoned professional techniques to reach a nine-year old boy who had withdrawn since birth into an almost impenetrable cage of silence to protect himself from what the psychologist came to realize was the increasing inability of our society to form deep, focused interpersonal relationships.
A child specialist describes his unconventional techniques, both professional and personal, to draw out a severly introverted, speechless nine-year-old boy who had not been reached by other therapists or even his family. The boy had built an elaborate fortress against a world that had declared him incapable of learning, of communicating, of feeling. As the specialist realized that the family was so distressed in relating with their son that they were unable to continue living with him, he sought alternative arrangements. Meanwhile, the most important work with this emotionally abandoned boy was to convince him of his basic worth and capacity, and to show him that his choices could make a difference for himself even in the face of inevitable frustration, denial, and rejection. Mr. Cipolloni has written the story of his work with Sean to illustrate how our society has a fundamental disregard for people, particularly children; he maintains that it is a society that dismisses those it cannot utilize and leaves us increasingly incapable of forming deep, focused interpersonal relationships.