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More than two decades ago, in her unforgettable international bestseller "One Child," author Torey Hayden chronicled her poignant struggle to help a severely troubled little girl. Over the ensuing years, this dedicated special education teacher has faced many other heartbreaking challenges -- and has never abandoned a child in need. Beautiful ChildSeven-year-old Venus Fox's unresponsiveness was so complete that Torey Hayden initially believed the child was deaf. Venus never spoke, never listened, never even acknowledged the presence of another human being in the room with her. Yet an accidental playground "bump would release a rage frightening to behold, turning the little girl into a whirling dynamo of dangerous malice. Of the five children in Torey's classroom that September, Venus posed the greatest challenge -- though the other four had serious problems of their own that could not be overlooked. The six-year-old twins Shane and Zane suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome and its accompanying mix of high agitation and low concentration. At nine, cocky, aggressive Billy had already been expelled from school twice. Eight-year-old Jesse suffered from Tourette's syndrome. And then there was Venus. Though all of the children had different needs and afflictions, they had two things in common: a profound, sometimes violent dislike of one another, and the desire to be almost anywhere other than Torey's class. The school year that followed would prove to be one of the m
Special-education teacher Torey Hayden's first book, One Child, was an international bestseller, thrilling readers on every continent. Their hearts were captured by Sheila, a silent, troubled girl who had been abandoned on a highway by her mother and abused by her alcoholic father, and who refused to speak. As Hayden writes in the prologue to this book, "This little girl had a profound effect on me. Her courage, her resilience, and her inadvertent ability to express that great, gaping need to be loved that we all feel -- in short, her humanness -- brought me into contact with my own. "Since then Hayden has gone on to write books about many of her students, but her fans continue to ask her, "What happened to Sheila?" The Tiger's Child is her response. Here Hayden tells how Sheila, now a young woman, finally came to terms with her nightmare childhood. When Hayden was working on One Child, she showed the manuscript to Sheila, then a teenager, and was astonished to find that Sheila remembered almost nothing of her troubled younger years. She had no recollection of her many clashes with her teacher as Hayden tried to break through her emotional pain. And although Hayden had managed to get Sheila to communicate and become an active and lively child, Sheila's home life was still very troubled. Her father had been sent to prison when she was eight and Sheila had run away from a series of foster homes until finally she was placed in a children's home. But as Hayden continued to renew her relationship with the teenage Sheila, the memories slowly came back, bringing with them feelings of abandonment and hostility. Overwhelmed by the intensity of her awakening emotions, Sheila was driven to suicidal despair. The Tiger's Child is the touching, inspiring story of how a maturing Sheila came to perceive her mother not as a monster who willfully cast off her eldest child, but as a weak, forlorn, ordinary human being. Able to appreciate her own strength and resilience, Sheila at last is free to overcome the haunting legacy of child abuse.
From the author of the phenomenal Sunday Times bestsellers 'One Child' and 'Ghost Girl', comes a startling and poignant memoir of three people's victimisation and abuse - and their heartbreaking but ultimately successful steps to recovery, with the help of Torey Hayden, an extraordinary teacher. Two children trapped in a prison of silence and a woman suffering in the twilight of her years - these are the cases that would test the extraordinary courage, compassion and skill of Torey Hayden and ultimately reaffirm her faith in the indomitable strength of the human spirit. While working in the children's psychiatric ward of a large hospital, Torey was introduced to seven-year-old Cassandra, a child who had been kidnapped by her father and was found dirty, starving and picking though rubbish bins to survive. She refused to speak, so Torey could only imagine what she'd been through. Drake, by contrast, was a charismatic four-year-old who managed to participate fully in his pre-school class without uttering a single word. Then, there was Gerda, eighty-two, who had suffered a massive stroke and was unwilling to engage in conversation with anyone. Although Torey had never worked with adults, she agreed to help when all other efforts had failed.
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