Aveyron Boy

Aveyron Boy, who is also known as “Victor of Aveyron” and “The Wild Boy of Aveyron” was a feral child who lived in the woods of France. He was reportedly first spotted in 1794. He was estimated to be aged 9 when he was caught by hunters in 1797. His behavior was observed to be like that of very wild animals. After being entrusted to a widow in a nearby town, he soon ran away and went back to the more familiar forests. However, he came out of the woods on his own when he was going through puberty at around age 12. His body showed a number of scars and he did not demonstrate any knowledgeable speech. He was then entrusted to various individuals until Jean Marc Gaspard Itard, a young physician who gave the name “Victor”, was able to care for him for five years.

Itard taught him how to communicate, specifically how to spell “lait” (milk) and “Oh, Dieu” (Oh God). A recent commentary by professor Uta Frith, a German developmental Psychologist, proposes that Victor exhibited signs of autism. Also, Dr. Serge Aroles, a French surgeon, believes that “Victor of Aveyron” is only one of the fake cases of feral children as it is impossible for a young child to survive in the wild for that long. Aroles furthered that Victor could have been a victim of physical abuse as evidenced by his scars. The boy could have had intellectual disability with parents who raised him like an animal.

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