Victoria Lynn Hayden, known as Torey L. Hayden, is a child psychologist, special education teacher, university lecturer and writer of non-fiction books based on her real-life experiences with teaching and counseling children with special needsI
Seven-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 (FAS) 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 they all had different needs and afflictions, they each shared two things in common: a profound, sometimes violent dislike of one another, and the desire to be almost anywhere other than Torey's class.