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Critical Book Review Of "One Child" By Torey Hayden.

2072 words - 8 pages

Running head: CRITICAL BOOK REVIEW OF "ONE CHILD" BY TOREY HAYDENCritical Book Review of "One Child" by Torey HaydenJay LernerNational Louis UniversityCritical Book Review of "One Child" by Torey Hayden"Three were not toilet trained, two more had accidents. Three could not talk, one wouldn't. Two would not shut up. One could not see."(Hayden, 1980, p. 11) And then came Sheila! Torey Hayden has written a touchingly beautiful story about her experience one year as a special education teacher teaching what she referred to as the "garbage class". There had been classes for every type of disability. Emotionally disturbed, physically handicapped, behaviorally disordered, learning disabled had all been represented. Then there was Torey's class. It consisted of eight children beyond classification and one step away from being institutionalized. She said, "It was the class for young human refuse".(Hayden, p. 5) To add frosting to an already dysfunctional cake, Sheila is added to the mix. She is a six-year-old girl who was being placed with Torey on a temporary basis while waiting for space to open at the state hospital. Sheila is being sent there for committing a terrible act of violence against another child.In my experience as a substitute teacher, I have taught numerous self-contained special education classes. In all of them I was fortunate enough to have a qualified aide. I assume it is state law as was the case in Torey's situation. Not always is the aide educated in special education but he/she is a necessity in the classroom. When reading that Torey's aide is going to be an uneducated twenty nine year old migrant worker, my heart went out to her. Rounding out her staff was a fourteen-year-old junior high student who would spend her two hour study hall time helping Torey. If she wasn't prepared to meet her students now, she would never be. First in the door is Peter. An eight year old, black male, Peter has a deteriorating neurological condition that causes seizures and violent behavior. Tyler, an eight-year-old girl was next. A failure at two suicide attempts in her short life, Tyler bore the scars of the surgeries required to save her. An artificial tube in her throat was testament of her last attempt. Max and Freddie were the next two to arrive. Max was a big, blond six year old who was labeled as having infantile autism. Autism is a developmental disability characterized by impairments in communication, learning, and reciprocal social interactions, usually identified in infancy or early childhood, which adversely affects educational performance.(Friend & Bursuck, 2002, p. 155) Freddie, a ninety-four pound seven year old, was also thought to be suffering from autism or severe mental retardation. Sarah was a seven-year-old girl who had known Torey for three years. A victim of physical and sexual abuse, Sarah had chosen to be non-verbal except with her mother and sister. Next in the door was the doll-like Susannah Joy. Being diagnosed as a...

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