Vision therapy cured son's reading problemI've been...

LETTERS

January 06, 1998

Vision therapy cured son's reading problem

I've been following your "Reading by 9" series. "The quiet literacy crisis" article in the Dec. 22 edition of The Sun has been the most relevant article for me. My son, like Alana, had a lot of difficulty learning to read. Since he was well-behaved and able to come up with coping mechanisms, his problem was not detected during his first few years of school.

We feel fortunate that he was referred to an optometrist for vision therapy. Vision therapy helps our son to store visual images in his brain which help with reading and spelling. The exercise that he does twice a week at vision therapy has helped him tremendously.

I was skeptical at first because I had never heard of vision therapy. After some research, I discovered that this method is very effective. Our son's doctor is successful with 80 percent of his patients and the average time he works with patients is six months. I'm very thankful that we discovered vision therapy before it was too late. I now feel a mission to inform other parents facing similar problems about vision therapy.

Monica Fortner

Columbia

HMOs for the elderly are no bargain

I hope every senior citizen who has even remotely considered joining a Medicare HMO took note of the Dec. 22 article in The Sun, ''HMOs cutting benefits for elderly on Medicare."

This move comes as no surprise to those of us who practice medicine. The offers of free prescription drugs and no-charge doctor visits were carrots being dangled before the unsuspecting, cost-conscious elderly looking for a bargain. HMOs are no bargain. The patient may pay less. But he gets less in terms of health care. Patients must learn that there is no free ride. The insurer in the HMO scenario must earn a profit. The insurer slices a hefty profit off the top of the premium and pockets this money for himself.

Do the math: If the insurer receives a payment from Medicare, it will use only a portion of that money for the provision of health care. We know that the Medicare payment is fixed, so if the HMO takes its part of the payment, only what's left goes to actual

health care.

Stan Brull

Owings Mills

Public funds opposed for skyscraper hotel

Not one penny of taxpayer money should go toward the ill-conceived Inner Harbor East hotel plan.

Any elected officials who vote for using any taxpayer money for this hotel should be voted out of office, because they are clearly not representing taxpayer interests.

The fact that the Department of Public Works is already spending taxpayer money in preparation for the hotel construction without the authorization of the Board of Estimates is outrageous and should be fully investigated.

Katie Riback

Baltimore

Different identities of a young fruit picker

Thank you for the interesting Jan. 2 article on the National Archives exhibit, "American Originals."

The article erroneously pictures a person identified as Jennie Camillo, a cranberry picker in New Jersey.

This is a Lewis W. Hine photograph taken in July 1909, on the Bottomley truck farm near Rock Creek in Anne Arundel County, just a few miles south of Baltimore City.

Mr. Hine was commissioned by the National Child Labor Committee to document the working conditions of children in America.

He identifies the young picker as Laura Petty, a six-year-old berry picker.

I find it incredible that the National Archives in Washington would have the wrong information on one of the photos used in its exhibit.

This same photo is used in "Maryland, A History of Its People," published by the Johns Hopkins University Press in 1986. Laura's photo is found on page 200 as a berry picker in Montgomery County, Md.

On the Bottomley farm, Laura is picking raspberries and is one of about 10,000 pickers (mostly Polish) living in Baltimore who migrated to the Anne Arundel truck farms during the summer to pick produce.

Laura received two cents a box for her efforts, but was probably paid in pickers' checks, tokens used by the farmers to pay their pickers.

The Lewis Hine collection is found in the Library of Congress collection.

Willard R. Mumford

Annapolis

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