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Licensed Psychologist Says Elian Traumatized Beyond Belief and Should Remain with Florida FamilyAired April 6, 2000 - 8:59 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ARMANDO GUTIERREZ, U.S. GONZALEZ FAMILY SPOKESMAN: For the last few days, the lawyers have been negotiating with the government and no one has listened. They have brought the issue to the table many, many times, and the government does not listen.
I'm going to introduce to you -- last night, when everyone here was wondering where Elian was, there was a very brave man, you know, taking a lot of time from his family pro bono, working with Elian, because he's concern about Elian. I am going to introduce to you Dr. Mitch Spiro, which who will be addressing you and telling you why the government should listen to the Elian Gonzalez family.
DR. MITCH SPIRO, PSYCHOLOGIST: Thank you.
My Name is Dr. Mitch Spiro. I am a licensed psychologist. I am the director of child and family psychologists in Plantation and child and family psychologists of Weston. I was the 1993 past president of the Broward County Psychological Association, and I am the current president of the Child, Adolescent and Family Division of the Florida psychological association.
I am the pro bono evaluating psychologist of Elian Gonzalez. I am here to give a statement of the evaluation thus far.
This is a 6-year-old child who's been traumatized beyond belief. He's lost his mother, his stepfather. He's witnessed the deaths of many adults, and then floated at sea for over 50 hours, strapped to an innertube alone. This would traumatize any child.
Although he's only 6 years old, he has an extremely high IQ, and a mature intellectual capacity beyond that of most in his age group. He understands his current situation.
As a result of the traumatic events which he's experienced, he meets many of the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder and is at high risk for a major depressive episode.
The most important thing is not to yank him away from the stability and security that is keeping his fragile world intact. He's securely bonded to his loving cousin. If he's taken from the care of his great uncle, his great aunt and his cousin, he would most likely suffer irreversible emotional damage. The psychological evaluation that is still in process and the evidence thus far reinforced by training psychologists is that this child is in fear of being reunited with his father. I hope the community understands that this is only a 6-year-old child that suffered severe loss and trauma, and that that that's considered .
JIM MORET, CNN ANCHOR: That was a statement from a man identified as Mitch Spiro, a licensed psychologist who is the pro bono evaluating psychologist of 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez. He says the 6- year-old has been traumatized beyond belief, losing his mother and stepfather, and is in fear of being reunited with his father, and it is important not to yank him from the stability of his great aunt, his uncle and his cousin.
We now rejoin "LARRY KING" in progress.
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