Somebody Else's Kids is an excellent novel written by Torey Hayden. The books takes place during a school year in the late 1970's, In goes into a class that Torey Hayden taught for a school year. This class was by no means ordinary. Throughout the entire book the children constantly have Torey on her heels and at her wits end. Torey's class is close knit with only four students. First there is Boo a seven year old boy with autism, then there is Lori a seven year old who was beaten so severely she has brain damage. Then there was twelve year old Claudia who was gifted, however she was also pregnant. Finally there is twelve year old Tomaso, who is very violent, aggressive and is constantly acting out. Every student was different and required different teaching methods, guidance, and supervision.
First there was Boothe Birney Franklin, also known as "Boo". Boo was a 7 year old boy with autism. Boo was unpredictable, from constantly twitching fidgeting with his hands, to stripping completely naked and streaking through the school. Boo rarely spoke and when he did it was either repeated the weather report or he rattled off the credits from a popular television show. In chapter 16 after Lori passes out Valentine's Day cards and Boo reads his card he starts talking about Chuck Barris and "The Gong Show". Boo also had a disregard for his own personal well being, in chapter one when he throws his first fit, he starts yelling and throwing things around the room, then he beats his face off of the linoleum floor. Later on in the novel during one of Boo's outburst he begins to scratch and claw himself so hard he begins to bleed. Boo had a many accommodations and interventions, the two that Torey used the most were gentleness and just letting Boo do what he wanted to do in a least restricted environment. In chapter two Torey lets Boo sit under a carpet for the entire time he is in her classroom. The second intervention Torey used on Boo was just plain gentleness and kindness.