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tv   Nightline  ABC  December 16, 2011 11:35pm-12:00am EST

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tonight on "nightline" -- facing their fears. young kids with an extreme phobia and one doctor who says he knows how to fix it. we follow an incredible week in the lives of two children confronting their worst nightmare. night stall stalkers. hyenas, crocodiles. we now how fierce they can be. but a new camera reveals how their behavior changes in the dead of night. and christmas pudding blues. did you get another dreaded holiday fruit cake this year? well, look on the bright side. at least you're not in english. our own intrepid brit looks to uncover the mystery of his country's most loved and loathed christmas treat. >> announcer: from the global resourtss of abc news, with
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terry moran, cynthia mcfadden and bill weir in new york city, this is "nightline," december 16th, 2011. >> good friday evening, i'm bill weir. shyness is hardly uncommon. just about every kid experiences a paralyzing moment during show and tell or meeting someone new. but imagine a child so stricken with fear, she goes without speaking for an entire school year. you're about to meet two such children, their parents, desperate for help and one man who says he can cure them with a technique that just might work for anyone with a severe phobia. here's abc's juju chang. >> reporter: jake has trapped himself inside a world of silence. so, what's your favorite tv show? he won't talk. his parents were baffled. >> i heard himself at camp this
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summer and he didn't tell anybody. i said, did you cry? he said no. i said, did you tell the counselors? he was like, no. >> reporter: maya is the same way. watch. she doesn't move a muscle during her school pageant. maya's extreme social phobia made it impossible for her to blow out her own birthday candles. >> not talking to your peers, not talking to your teachers. just being -- even for recess, being next to the teacher like this. >> reporter: she never plays? no. >> reporter: her mom and step-dad said maya didn't speak a word for the entire school year. they made this video just so the kids in her class could hear her voice. >> you talk a lot at home? >> i talk a lot at home. >> wave good-bye to your class. >> bye-bye, class. merry christmas. >> reporter: maya is an extreme example. but nearly all kids have fears of one kind or another. that's because parents rescue
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kids too soon from what they're afraid of. dr. steven kurtz believes he has an answer. jake and maya suffer from selective mutism. he says, not only can he cure it, he can do it in just one week. his they ary is called brave buddies, which exposes them to the very thing they're afraid of. speaking in public. what's the key to the week here? >> repeated exposure to the same situations that they've been avoiding like the plague. but providing, kind of training wheels, until they can do it confidently on their own. >> reporter: the grownups are taught to stop overprotefkting them and simply wait five seconds before jumping in. >> maya, what job would you like today? >> reporter: so, on day one, rule number one. maya is allowed to feel the painfully long silence, long enough for her to answer. >> i'm not sure. >> not sure? >> reporter: questions are designed to force answers. they are offered a choice,
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instead of nodding. >> jake, what job would you like? caboose? >> caboose. >> great joyce. >> reporter: jake's every mumble is praised. soon, they are set out in the real world to interact with strangers. >> hi. >> reporter: you're about to watch 6-year-old jake face his biggest fear. >> what's up, buddy? >> where's the zoo? >> reporter: our microphones can't even pick it up. but for jake, it's a small miracle. the kids wrap up day one by cashing in stickers they earned. but first, the kids need to engage another stranger. me. welcome to the prize store. jake is up first. are you liking the bubbles or something different? >> something different. >> reporter: again, barely audible, but his whisper might as well be a roar.
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do you like painting projects or something different? now it's maya's turn. >> something different. >> reporter: she suffers a setback when the anxiety overwhelms her and she has an accident. >> yep, that's fine. >> reporter: it's called brave buddies for a reason. after a quick change, she musters the courage to try again. you want jewelry or something different? >> something different. >> reporter: okay, let's keep looking. the next day, jake is still struggling with talking and eye contact is still difficult. but then, he shocks everyone with a full sentence. >> but i have two that light up. >> wow! >> reporter: and for the girl who has never blown out birthday candles before, this is a celebration seven years in the making. we show maya's parents video of
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a daughter they barely recognize. >> you can see it down here. >> i'm so proud of her. it takes a lot of courage to -- if you would see where she was two years ago, definitely not the same child. >> reporter: for jake and maya, the boot camp is over, but can they keep it going into the school year? >> we're done and i want to make another one. >> reporter: the old silent jake still comes out at times. >> are you making this easy or hard? >> reporter: but the new jake perseveres. >> easy or hard pattern, jake? >> hard. >> hard. >> reporter: maya still has trouble joining the crowd at recess, but in class, her voice is finally being heard. >> at whose party? >> reporter: facing up to their fears allows them to unlock their voices and rescues their childhood. for "nightline," i'm juju chang in new york. >> keep it up, jake and maya.
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we're rooting for you. our thanks to juju. still ahead, we'll meet a man who uses the latest in camera technology to show us what really happens on the savannah after sundown. [ knock on door ] cool. you found it. wow. nice place. yeah. [ chuckles ] the family thinks i'm out shipping these. smooth move. you used priority mail flat rate boxes. if it fits, it ships for a low, flat rate. paid for postage online and arranged a free pickup. and i'm gonna track them online, too. nice. between those boxes and this place, i'm totally staying sane this year. do i smell snickerdoodles? maybe. [ timer dings ] got to go. priority mail flat rate shipping at a simpler way to ship. nurse...! [ female announcer ] dawn power clean can give you the power of an overnight soak in just 5 minutes.
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>> announcer: "nightline" continues from new york city with bill weir. >> if you only studied human becomes during the day, boy, you would sure miss out on vital research. happy hour, for example, which may give you a skewed picture of our species. but the same goes for animals in the african wild. for years, science had little idea about what kind of hunting, fighting and mating went on after dark. but i got a chance to go to east africa for our series "into the wild" and see how new cameras are changing the picture. at the top of the food chain, if we need a drink, we find a tap. but for the african spotted deer, thirst is a lot more complicated. for a wildebeest, a simple cross-river commute is not so simple.
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behold reality tv in its most primal form. without the invention of the moving picture, without the patient skills of the natural photographer, our understanding of predator and prey would be severely limited. but for most of the history of wild life photography, we had no idea how these animals behaved when the sun went down. but now, with the advent of cameras that can sense body heat, scientists and animal lovers can witness a kind of drama never before seen by human eyes. a leopard stalking a msomething high in the tree, only to miss dinner and get stuck like a house cat. crocodiles actually fishing, using team work to separate the tasty fish from the small fries. and most jaw-dropping, the way
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the power struggle between lion and hyena changes after dark. to better understand this nocturnal art form, we met up with filmmaker martin dorhn, in the dusky wilds of mozambique. >> thermal camera, basically, there, if you can see that, you can see the way they -- they stand out. >> reporter: they're ghostly. >> very ghostly. really lovely. >> reporter: yeah. >> just the kind of image. >> reporter: look at that. that's fantastic. >> beautiful thing, be but ultimately just means you can see them, they're five miles away, i could still see them and that makes this an incredibly powerful tool for working at night. >> reporter: after years of shooting in places like the masi mara in kenya, martin thought he knew exactly how apex predators behaved. but when he started shooting them in pitch blackness, he discovered a valuable nugget. now, for any reason you happen to find yourself alone in the
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middle of the night in the middle of the african wilderness, if there are lions around, you should stand absolutely still, because these thermal cameras have taught us that lions can't see very well unless there's a full moon. >> we filmed it, there's an animal that the lion is clearly looking for and it is just walking in the wrong direction. >> reporter: it is fumbling in the dark, is it listening, how is it acting when it is night blind? >> well, if it is an experienced female, they know exactly what is going on and they walk, they stop, they listen. they just sit and listen. >> reporter: the night cameras changed martin's bias towards hyenas, normally dismissed. these shots prove they can be surprisingly intelligent hunters. when they smell a wounded wildebeest, they create panic in the herd to identify the weakling and by using their stamina in the dark, run the animal until it collapses. and most surprisingly, after a
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torrential downpour and with their pups safe in bed, he saw a group of adult hyenas create their own water park. >> and the next thing we know, they're having a pool party. there were nine in all, just having a party and it just happened before our eyes. i've never seen anything like it. >> reporter: he's captured how come dimes are terrified of hippo. how their baby strut pasast the beasts. he's seen leopards, supposedly the most solitary of the big cats, hang out as a family, while dad has obvious issues with mom and son -- his daughter is obviously the favorite. but among all the creatures out here, the most dangerous and unpredictable is the hairless ape. >> what is he holding? >> i think it's some sort of rifle. >> okay, guys, let's start the car. let's go. come on, quick. let's go!
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>> reporter: those are poachers, likely after leopard skins and they are the biggest threat to wiping out those amazing creatures, just as we begin to fully understand them. can you see how martin and his team fare and what else they find when "night stalkers marathon" premieres sunday, december 18th on nat geo wild. coming up next, we'll take a bite out of a british christmas tradition that sounds absolutely disgusting. [ male announcer ] if you're intrigued by the hand-selected wood trim... the 38 1/2 inches of legroom... and the reclinable, heated napa leather seats inside the jeep grand cherokee, just wait until we tell you about the heated and ventilated front seats. ♪ ♪ ♪
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eight shopping days left until christmas. but you still have a good two weeks of fruit cake jokes. you know, there's only one that people keep passing around, or, if i wanted that, i would have invited the inlaws. but it seems like we've got nothing on our friends across the pond, where the english enjoy some sort of bizarre pudding complete with cow giblets. abc's nick watt investigates. >> and now, the pudding. >> reporter: the christmas pudding has been a fixture on british tables for centuries. >> the best you've ever made, my dear. >> reporter: christmas pudding is basically a sloppy booze-fueled fruit cake. >> a hell of a lot of booze in
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our christmas pudding. >> reporter: with some fat from a cow's kidney's thrown in. >> this is what makes it such an incredible delicacy. >> reporter: you mix it up weeks or months in advance and then it matures. >> we actually do keep our puddings for a year, even for two years and they're still wonderful pudding. arguably they are actually more interesting. >> reporter: christmas morning, the pudding sweats long and slow in what looks like old underpants. and brits can't get enough. and at fortnum and mason, they fly all the shelves at 60 bucks a pop. but strangely there's not much of an export mashlt. other nationalities don't really get this. >> yeah. >> reporter: i mean, brits have invented and exported the television, the steam engine, penicillin, soccer. the jet engine. viagra. the world wide web and, of course, english.
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but no one seems to like our christmas pudding. >> most people think of it as something which is immensely heavy and kind of a cannon ball. >> reporter: it can be traced all the way back to the early settlers. >> christmas pudding was banned because it was considered the invention of the scarlet of babylon which, how bad can that be? >> alcohol, fruit, almonds and steaming as much as possible. >> reporter: that's our "nightline" producer in london. he makes his own pudding. >> see, that is christmas. >> reporter: it is christmas. but we have been eating this since we were kids. but do you have to grow up with this to like it? can you acquire a taste? we're going to take this pudding up into central london and find some foreigners and force them to eat it.
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we had some language issues. >> christmas pudding? >> don't understand you. >> reporter: and fabricated excuses. allergic? but every foreigner who actually tried it -- >> it's really good. >> reporter: good? >> good. >> reporter: thank you very much. they all loved it. and the ultimate test? americans. >> it's much better than fruit cake. >> it's good. >> reporter: good. >> kus more ciamon. >> reporter: add cinnamon. do whatever you like to it. just try it. >> no reason you shouldn't eat it. >> but until you've eaten a steamed british pudding, you know, you haven't lived. >> around at my house, the morning after christmas, we fry the leftover pudding in a pan. with brandy butter. it doesn't get much more unhealthy. it doesn't get much better. i'm nick watt for "nightline." in london. >> still not sold. an


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