Difficulties of the DisabledEditor: In the Sun Magazine of...


April 07, 1991

Difficulties of the Disabled

Editor: In the Sun Magazine of Jan. 20, Nora Frenkiel describes graphically the difficulties experienced by Louisa DiSeta in obtaining what she considered appropriate treatment and education for her daughter Nicole. . . .

Perhaps some of Mrs. DiSeta's anxiety could have been relieved had she been aware of . . . Intervention with PACT (Parents and Children Together). PACT provides speech, vocational and physical therapies for infants and toddlers up to age 3 who carry the burden of cerebral palsy, Downs Syndrome and other handicaps. . . .

PACT is located in Baltimore city. The phone number is 539-7228.

Abner Kaplan

Member, PACT

Board of Directors

Editor: I had to write to say how much I appreciated Nora Frenkiel's article, "A Place for Nicole." Louisa DiSeta is doing what every parent of a handicapped child needs to do. Trying the best she can to make a place in the world for her child. . . .

Patricia M. Williams


Editor: After reading "A Place for Nicole" I am confused about why Mrs. DiSeta is pushing to mainstream Nicole. Is the placement correct for Nicole? I, the parent of twins in special education, tend to think not. Mrs. DiSeta admitted Nicole can't even hold a pencil right or write a sentence.

The idea of education is to challenge a child through their abilities, and from this comes self-esteem and a level of independence. Is this happening for Nicole in this classroom?

Kathleen Jean O'Brien


Editor: The article ["A Place for Nicole"] could have far-reaching and long-lasting detrimental effects, not only for Nicole, but for countless other deserving children with special needs. . . .

Being a loving mother of a cerebral palsied son, I can identify with the mother's anguish, perplexities, determination, wishes and aspirations. I cannot, however, concur with her misunderstanding and misinformation of the programs and services of the special school. As a retired professional educator, I view this situation as fostering possible short-term gains and probable long-term losses, for both the child and family, as well as society.

No one will dispute the highly desirable educational goal, "placing the child in the least restrictive environment." At the same time, we must maintain a high regard for one of the basic laws of learning, that of readiness. For a child with limitations, readiness includes physical, emotional, psychological, as well as intellectual, capabilities. . . .

. . . Let us not permit a poorly informed . . . adult to exert a negative influence which might result in depriving deserving handicapped children of programs to meet their unique and special needs. Special education is truly "special." When the services and protected environment are no longer needed, it is then time to "mainstream" the pupils into the regular school program.

Mary L. Lupien


Editor: The Sun Magazine's article ["A Place for Nicole"] portrays a mother's devotion and love for her daughter while blatantly ignoring [William S.] Baer's staff members' devotion, love and dedication for their students.

Perhaps a more objective picture is needed of Baer. Otherwise folks might as well think that children are sent to our school just to sit and get worse. I resent this because it is not true.

Karen B. Rocourt


A Positive Piece

Editor: You are to be commended for the excellent article "Wordsmiths Behind Bars," in the Sunday Sun Magazine on Jan. 27. The men were vividly photographed as their message emanated from the pages.

No doubt your in-depth and conscious-raising reporting reflects the commitment of The Sun to the community as well as the general public. . . .

We need more articles that rekindle our responsibility to ourselves and each other; and more on the positive forces in our lives.

4 A job well done by another wordsmith. Thank you.

hirley Pollard


Black United Fund Editor: I would like to correct the statement by Carleton Jones in his interesting Back Tracks article, "Mystery of the Carroll Class," which appeared . . . Feb. 3.

He states that Abraham C. Myers, one-time resident of the Lake Roland area, became commissary general of the Confederacy. Actually, Colonel Myers was appointed quartermaster general, this according to the Historical Register & Dictionary of the United States Army, published at the direction of the U.S. Congress in 1903.

The same register notes that General Lucius Bellinger Northrop was commissary general of the Confederate States Army from 1861 to 1865. . . . General Northrop died in Baltimore in 1894 and is buried in New Cathedral Cemetery. A biography of the general is in the works.

Geoffrey W. Fielding


'We Know Who We Are'

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