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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Twilight Children 

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I just love Torey Hayden. Torey Hayden is a teacher and a specialist in elective mutism. In all her other books, Torey chronicled her encounters with memorable children/students in her past classes. Most of them come from abusive homes. With Torey, they're able to open up and share their most shocking secrets. With Torey's help, they'll address the issue and hopefully move on.

In this particular book, Torey has left the teaching environment. She is now working for a hospital. While she may be a specialist, the teacher in her emerges from time to time.

This particular book centers around 3 people:

- Cassandra is a bright 9 year-old girl. 2 years before, she was abducted by her divorced father. When found and returned to her mother, she was not the same. She was abused and neglected by her father, who was already addicted to drugs.

Cassandra isn't like any other children that Torey had. While she may be abused, Cassandra is a smart little girl. However, she can never fully comprehend why things are happening to her or why she keeps getting in trouble. Torey is forced to think if something else is happening here.

- Drake is a cute little 4 year-old boy with charming smiles. The problem with Drake is that he doesn't talk, except to his mother. This is a unique case for Torey because she has never encounter something like this with elective mutism. However, Torey has something else to deal with. The grandfather expects miracles since he has money and comes from a "pedigree" family lineage.

- Gerda is something else. Gerda is an 82 year-old woman who has just suffered a stroke. As a favor from a nurse, she is asked to assess Gerda and get her to talk once again. With no experience with geriatrics, she decides to give it a try. The thing is, Gerda can talk but she kinda goes into a trance and talks about her childhood past. Torey tries to have a conversational interaction with her but Gerda just rants about her past. Is there something in her past that Gerda is trying to tell Torey?

I just love Torey because you learn when she explains theories, diagnoses, disorders, illnesses in laymen's terms. She gives examples and analogies that help you understand better.

In this book, she talks about multiple personalities. Of course, that was the vogue diagnosis of the 70's. However, it soon became overused and overrated. These days, it's called a dissociative disorder.

However, what really jumped at me was that she explained that this is tricky. The reason being is that everyone dissociate...everyday. In fact, it is normal to dissociate. Children dissociates when they role-play, like when playing "house", "doctor" or whatever. When called on by their parents or whomever, they drop the role-playing and return/respond as children. Adults dissociate as well. Most of us do so when we're driving. We're driving but not really paying attention. We're deep in thoughts. It's usually a sudden stop or a car honking that quickly brings us back to "reality" and take appropriate actions.

So, it is normal to dissociate. It's when dissociation becomes maladaptive or destructive that causes concerns.

Anyways, great book! Torey is one of those authors whose books I just cannot put down. I have to read through the book in one sitting.


Pride, last week, was alright. It's the same thing from last year with freebies. Of course, who doesn't love freebies.


Saggy Pants Ban

Mayor Carol Broussard, of Decambre, Louisiana, said that she'll sign the ordinance banning saggy pants. The ordinance will penalize anyone, with saggy pants, up to 6 months in jail and a $500 dollar fine.

Broussard said she has nothing against saggy pants but that discretion is needed when worn. "Undergarments or certain parts of the body" should not be shown.

What do you think of this?

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