He had been locked in a rubbish-strewn house in Canada for two years and forced to survive on fast food.
But when the malnourished 10-year-old was rescued, he told the police that what he wanted was normal food and to go to school.
The boy, who the police said had been locked in a squalid bedroom for at least 18 months and was wearing urine-soaked pyjamas when they found him last Friday, is now in foster care. The house was in the city of London, in the Canadian province of Ontario.
Ms Jane Fitzgerald, executive director of Ontario's Children's Aid Society of London and Middlesex, told Canadian news website CBC News: "The fact that the first thing he wanted was to go to school, I think, is a very positive sign that this is a child with resilience."
The boy is now with caregivers who specialise in looking after children who have been traumatised.
"He's sleeping well, eating well (and) he's interacting with some of the other children in the foster home."
"There was a window in the room, so I think that's how he was, at least, somewhat connected to the world," Ms Fitzgerald said.
"In the bedroom, there were faeces, urine. The bed was soaked in urine, as was the child's pyjamas when he was found," said the police.