I had to do a case study on a street child. Talking to the kid put a lot of things in perspective. After talking to him I realized that I am more fortunate than I ever imagined. Here are the questions that I asked and the answers he gave along with my observations regarding him and the answers he gave to my questions.
Part –A: Physical Development
- Do you feel any pain or any discomfort in your body? If yes, do you seek for Doctor’s help?
Yes. Sometimes he feels weak and he is unable to run for long periods. He gets tired easily. He doesn’t see a doctor too often because of shortage of money. His parents give him a medicine if he gets sick.
- For how many hours do you sleep in the night? Do you wake up in between at night? What might be the reason for this according to you?
6-7 hours. Sometimes it happens that he wakes up in the middle of night because of discomfort. In summers, it gets too hot so he doesn’t get a proper sleep. Often, his parents fight and due to so much yelling he finds it hard to get a proper sleep.
- Do you get tired easily? If yes, then why do you get tired so easily? What do you do to remove this fatigue?
He gets tired easily. Lack of availability of proper food and no fixed schedule to have meals are main causes of fatigue. He usually sleeps if he gets too tired or just lie down and try to rest.
- What is your daily routine? Do you participate in all the activities with your own choice or are you forced to do so?
He wakes up at about 7-8am. He wanders here and there till noon on holidays and go to a government school on weekdays although he is irregular. During the evenings, he and his mates would do drugs like marijuana. He rarely studies. He does drugs because his mates tell him to do so.
Physique Observation of Respondent:
The respondent seems malnourished. There is no proper diet for him so it is obvious that the kid looks weak. His bone structure indicates he is not very strong. He is very skinny and seems under weight. He lacks stamina and can’t do physical work for long periods. The use of drugs seems to suggest he doesn’t involve himself in sports or outdoor play activities.
Part –B: Cognitive Development
- Do you go to school? Why do you think you or any other child should go to school? What according to you does school provide you?
Yes. He says his parents want him to go to school and learn. School provides learning and fun. They also encourage them to play sports.
- Do you regularly attend school or do you miss school frequently? How have been your grades till now?
He is irregular in school. He has failed 2nd grade once and due to that he is 1 year behind.
- Now I will give you a small game.
If I give you 2 chocolates, 1 kurkure, 2chips, and how many items in total do you have?
After thinking for a while, he says 5.
- Identify these 5 colors provided to you:
Blue, White, Red, Green and Yellow.
- What is the capital city of India?
- Which is the heavier metal of these two? Gold or Silver?
- What color does the sky appear to be when it rains?
- I will speak like 1,2,3,4,5 ,6…You have to repeat this series in reverse order
He does that successfully.
- What do you want to be in the future? Why do you want to be this?
Never thought about it.
- Now a situation will be provided to you. Tell me how you will solve it. If you are walking in a jungle and you are completely alone and you suddenly fall into a pit. How will you come out of it?
By climbing up using my feet and hands.
Interviewer’sObservations regarding Language and Other Cognitive Aspects:
He seems to be a slow learner as it is indicated that he has failed 2nd grade once. He seems to lack general knowledge as he didn’t know about the capital of India. He was unable to construct proper sentences and gave very vague answers. He is unclear about his future goals. For proper cognitive development, a child must be well-nourished but only nutrition cannot solve all the problems. The caregivers must make sure to instill good thinking and behavior pattern in a child.
Part –C: Socio-Emotional Development
- Do you have friends? How many friends do you have? Why are they your friends? Do you meet them frequently?
Yes. Plenty. They do drugs together and wander the streets together. They do marijuana every evening.
- What is your birth order?
- Do you have any brother or sister? Do you like them? Do you play with them? Are you ever jealous of them?
Younger sister. Yes. Yes. No.
- Do you love your parents? Who loves you more, your mother or father? Do you like spending time with them?
Yes. Mother. Yes.
- How many people do you meet every day? Do you ever express your feelings with them? Do you tell them about your problems?
Plenty. No. No.
- Do you want to live independently, i.e., without your parents, or do you want to live with them? If yes/no then why?
Live with them because they send me to school, gives me food and money.
As most kids, he seems to be innocent but due to his environment, he is indulging in bad habits. He wants to stay with his parents because they take care of his basic needs. He has a younger sister and he holds no grudges. Despite giving vague answers he remained calm. He is the first born in his family. He seems to be compassionate like most kids.
Part –D: Understanding Respondent’s Context/Culture
- Do your mother and father live together? Do they fight? Have you ever seen any sort of domestic violence in your house?
Yes. Yes. Yes, sometimes his father hits his mother especially when drunk.
- Does anyone in your family drink? Do you drink?
Yes. Just once.
- Does your father or mother scold you? Have you ever got beaten by them?
Yes. Yes, his father hits him if he makes him angry or does something bad.
- Are you from Delhi itself or have you shifted here from somewhere else? If shifted, then from where and why?
He’s shifted from village in Uttar Pradesh. He doesn’t know the reason.
- Is the place you are living in now clean enough?
No. There is not a lot of space as well.
- How are your neighbors? How do they treat you?
Bad. They yell at him.
- Is there any hospital or Doctor’s clinic nearby your house? How do they treat you?
Yes, there’s homeopathic clinic. They give him medicine if he is sick and they talk nicely to him.
- What are the conditions of the place you work in? Is it clean enough? Is there any medical facility present there? How are you treated there?
He doesn’t work. His father is a rickshaw puller. He is in school. There is a medical room in school.
- Is there anything else you would want to share?
The respondent has seen domestic violence. He has already tried alcohol once at just 9 years old. His father earns and although he sends him to school, he seems to be careless and doesn’t involve himself very much in his kid’s life. That can cause self esteem issues and feelings of being unloved and decreased self worth. Other psychological disorders like PTSD and depression can also take place due to domestic violence. PTSD occurs when an individual suffers from a traumatic event. Constant exposure to traumatic events can lead to anxiety and feelings of hopelessness.