Runaway Train: Youth with Emotional Disturbance

Overview

Sheila leapt to her feet and tore her sheets from her bed. "Why can't anyone leave me alone?" she screamed. Her lamp crashed to the ground, shards of brown pottery smashing in every direction. She kicked the broken pieces, sending them spinning, then grabbed the nightstand and heaved it onto the remains of the lamp. Her screams continued as she grabbed three jars of paint from her dresser. "I HATE YOU!" The jars exploded against the door like punctuation marks for her words. Black, red, and blue paint oozed down ...

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Overview

Sheila leapt to her feet and tore her sheets from her bed. "Why can't anyone leave me alone?" she screamed. Her lamp crashed to the ground, shards of brown pottery smashing in every direction. She kicked the broken pieces, sending them spinning, then grabbed the nightstand and heaved it onto the remains of the lamp. Her screams continued as she grabbed three jars of paint from her dresser. "I HATE YOU!" The jars exploded against the door like punctuation marks for her words. Black, red, and blue paint oozed down the wood, a grand finale to Sheila's performance. Panting, Sheila stared at the broken glass and pottery littering her bedroom floor. As the tears finally bubbled up, Sheila felt a strange sense of awe descending upon her.

"What is wrong with me?" she whispered as she sank down on her bed.

The tumultuous emotions of youth can be challenging to anyone, but for young people with emotional disturbance, the trials of growing up can be devastating. Young people with emotional disturbance can face many roadblocks in the quest to understand themselves and to gain understanding from others.

In Runaway Train: Youth with Emotional Disturbance, you will learn about different causes of emotional disturbance, the special needs of youth who have them, and what can be done to help young people overcome emotional difficulties. Through the story of Sheila, you will learn what it is like to have an emotional disturbance, the dangers these conditions can pose, and the successes as well as the failures of systems currently available to assist youth with emotional disturbance.

Tells the story of Sheila, a high school student suffering from severe emotional disturbance, and her attempts to cope by venting her rage, cutting herself, and starving herself before getting the help she needs to begin to recover.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
"Mental health is the ability to play the game of social living...mental illness is the refusal to play or the inability to play well." This is a quote from Runaway Train, a well-researched book in the series on youth with special needs. It begins by telling the story of Sheila and Trent, two teens with emotional disturbances. Their frenetic tale of highs and lows gives a personal glimpse into the daily lives of people who see the world differently from others. Their story is interspersed with discussions on the definition of kinds of emotional disturbance, their causes and diagnoses and treatments. While laws protect persons with special needs and ensure that they receive specialized education, if needed, it does not protect them from the ridicule and harassment. Photographs and the story of Trent and Sheila make the nightmare of emotional disturbance a reality. Adolescence and its emotional and physical changes is a challenge for all, but particularly stressful for youth with emotional illness. Teen suicide rates are a clue that adjustment to life is not always easy. This book does a fine job of presenting issues of emotional disturbance in a comprehensive manner for the non-professional. An extensive resource list, an index, glossary and biographies of the collaborators are included. 2004, Mason Crest Publishing, Ages 10 up.
—Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-This book combines a fictional account of a teenager's struggle with emotional disturbance with factual sections that examine and explain her behavior. Sheila's uncontrollable emotions lead her down a dark and dangerous path to destruction. Her angry outbursts, dark poetry, self-mutilation, and social withdrawal are all visible signs that she is in trouble. Her friendship with Trent, an even more disturbed individual, is indicative of her inability to find healthy peer relationships. Her downward spiral ends in crisis, following Trent's suicide. Intervention by her father, a new friend, and school personnel results in a multisystemic approach to recovery. Chapters of Sheila's story begin with a quotation and are followed by several pages of theoretical background about the causes of emotional disturbance. Factors such as family functioning, personality, peer relationships, and experiences at school are covered. Various manifestations of this condition are discussed, illuminating the wide range of symptoms. Full-color photographs enhance the content. Adolescents can use the information contained herein to understand the difference between normal teenage angst and problems requiring professional help.-Sharon A. Neal, Immaculata University, PA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781422204290
  • Publisher: Mason Crest
  • Publication date: 1/28/2008
  • Series: Youth with Special Needs Series
  • Pages: 127
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: 1150L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.45 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.27 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction     7
Sheila's Rage     11
Trent's Subterranean World     27
The Truth as He Sees It     39
Bloodletting     63
Detected     71
A Cut Too Deep     83
Runaway Train     95
Weathering the Storm     109
Further Reading     121
For More Information     122
Glossary     124
Index     126

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