Letters to the editor

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Author: Readers

Editor’s note: The letters that appeared in the autumn 2010 print issue are marked with double asterisks (**).

Targeting ADHD

**I was dismayed by your short piece “ADHD Misdiagnosed?” My personal experience as a parent of an ADHD child is that, if anything, parents are extremely reluctant to medicate their children and often err on the side of not treating this very real physical disability. The diagnostic tools for assessing ADHD are very accurate and, as the article states, take into account the persistent and pervasive nature of the child’s symptoms. In addition, ADHD medications generally do not produce a change (i.e. improvement) in children who do not have ADHD, therefore reducing the likelihood that medication would be continued in those cases.

I agree that caution and careful diagnosis of a child’s symptoms are essential. However, I fear that reports like this one make hesitant parents even less likely to seek treatment for children who really need help.

Amy Jenista ’91
Chandler, Arizona

**As a child psychiatrist, I was interested in the ADHD article. When I was in training in the 1960s, very little was known about it, and I don’t recall seeing ADHD diagnosed at that time, so any increase would be reflected as a major change. Now I think ADHD is more frequently underdiagnosed than overdiagnosed. In my experience, the consequences of missing the diagnosis and not treating ADHD, which has become so successfully treatable, is an issue of great importance.

Certainly diagnostic accuracy is of utmost importance. The difficulties diagnosing ADHD in younger children are well known and referred to in diagnostic manuals. The younger the child the more difficult the diagnosis becomes, and symptoms are somewhat different at each developmental stage.

However, what concerns me most about the article is the attitude of alarm and the use of inflammatory language in regard to the increase in ADHD diagnoses. Parents are concerned enough about their children’s problems without adding to their anxiety caused by words such as “epidemic.” They are well aware of the daily consequences of a missed diagnosis as they live with it day to day.

Frank Crumley, M.D., ’58
Dallas, Texas

Dealing with Down syndrome

**On July 4, at age 55, my uncle Louis Bonan passed away peacefully at his home in Schenectady, New York. Elizabeth Redden’s article (“Forward Motion”) was timely and personally relevant, as Louis had Down syndrome. I was encouraged to learn about advances in research and remain hopeful that progress continues.

Until then, I offer my uncle’s life for encouragement today. We do hear of parents choosing to bring a child diagnosed with Down syndrome into the world, and sadly about those who choose to terminate instead. The argument commonly centers on quality of life, stated in terms of the child but often thought of in terms of the inconvenient impact on the parents. No one denies that impact, but who can fully know the reach of that very life?

In the Mass of the Resurrection, those who spoke of Louis were quick to recount a life marked by unconditional love. His smile was contagious. When in conversation with Louis, he treated you as if you were the only person in the room. If he was lacking anything, it was a competitive and selfish nature common in our day. But the greatest example of his love and selflessness came in 1997, when he personally fought to become a living kidney donor to my mother. And succeeded. No one fully knows the impact, and the reach, one life can have.

In recent years, Louis indeed suffered many of the aging effects Ms. Redden described, but he was surrounded by people who cared for him and comforted him in his final days — people who had experienced his unconditional love and, in some cases, people who owed him their very lives.

Chuck Papandrea ’87
Marietta, Georgia

I am 75 this year, we have six children, the youngest being David, 25, who has Down syndrome. When David was a boy, I discovered there was no research under way, and so founded a research foundation here in the United Kingdom. I began knocking on doors and talking to researchers. Many parents will protest that these children are special and will talk as if this medical diagnosis is a blessing. But that is a huge error, and it not only understates the challenges and problems faced by our children, but it also provides a neat excuse for doing nothing. It also ignores the wonderful opportunities to find a medicine that will produce a modern miracle and transform the lives of our children. I fully expect a medicine that can release the power of a brain that is on lock-down and which can become so normal you can’t tell that it ever had a mental handicap.

Peter Elliott
United Kingdom

I would like to commend and thank Elizabeth Redden for her inspiring and heartfelt article about Down syndrome in the summer issue. As I read her story, I couldn’t help but compare the Flatley family to ours.

My husband and I have five children, three boys and two girls. Our youngest, Nicholas Daniel, is 7 and has DS, and our oldest is going to be a sophomore this fall at ND.

Although we know there will never be a cure for DS, we are confident and hopeful that someday there may be a drug whihc can increase their cognitive level that may increase their chances of an independent life with a satisfying job.

Patricia Flatley writes, “What they would like is just what we would like. They would like to be working, they would like to have the option of independent living, they’d like to participate fully in the educational system, they’d like to have friends…”

I want to wish the Flatley family the best of luck with their foundation, Research Down Syndrome, and that God will bless this project and their beautiful family. And thank you for giving your special little boy the gift of life!

Nancy Crilley
Littleton, Colorado

I was disappointed in our article by Elizabeth Redden concerning Down Syndrome children. I am enclosing an article that was available on the Internet — find it at http://www.doctoryourself.com/turkel.html . The author should have been more informed about what has been available since 1940. It was such a lost opportunity to assist other parents.

I learned early about Dr. Turkel’s work. My daughter has had a very happy life and had lived in her own apartment for 10 years until her seven siblings decided that it was too lonely for her even though she worked three days a week. She now lives with one of her sisters and brother-in-law and their two sons. She attends a day program two days a week and works two days a week. She also volunteers at a nursing home each Friday. She pays taxes and is an active member of the community.

Patricia Wentzel
Louisville, Kentucky

South Bend

**James Wensits (“New Horizons”) really captured the essence of the growing positive relationship between Notre Dame and South Bend. He rightfully credits former president Father Monk Malloy, CSC, for getting it started, and current president Father John Jenkins, CSC, for continuing the effort. Two other things they did have really elevated the area’s cultural life. The DeBartolo Performing Arts Center and its eclectic schedule as well as the collaboration between Notre Dame and the South Bend Symphony Orchestra help make living in South Bend a wonderful experience. My two years as president of the symphony orchestra were made easier by this support and the use of the DeBartolo mainstage for our Chamber Concert series.

Bob Kill ’59
South Bend, Indiana

**While Notre Dame has made strides in its relations with South Bend, I’m skeptical that neighborliness was what motivated the University to raze existing houses south of campus and replace them with McMansions two to three times their size. Forcing out residents in favor of University employees seems more like appropriation than community service, especially when the only evidence given for the neighborhood’s “crisis” is a 20 percent shift in owner-renter ratio.

James Seidler ’02
Chicago

My first grade first semester was in the old Perley school in 1926. I was a resident of the East Side for 50 years, and Eddy Street was our path north to the Notre Dame campus and beyond. We saw the continuing and disturbing deterioration of that corridor and the Corby, South Bend Ave. intersection with concern. The revitalization article was a true pleasure to read. The University and the community are to be commended for the great work they have done to bring that area back to life. And it is a great overall issue.

Clete Kruyer’71M.A.

Congratulations on a great article about Notre Dame and South Bend’s relationship change in the past 20 years. Please tell Jim Wensits that he did a great job. Well done and very informative.

Kenneth P. Herceg
South Bend, Indiana

From the Summer 2010 issue of Notre Dame Magazine, New Horizons: “…No one was happier than University officials to see the bars go. Ironically, the bars’ departures led to increased tension in some of the neighborhoods around the campus. Residents of those neighborhoods probably thought that closing the bars would mean an end to the late-night parade of drunken students urinating and vomiting in their front yards and bushes as they staggered back to campus. What residents didn’t expect was that the letting-off-steam process would simply relocate from the absent barrooms to the off-campus houses and apartments where many students lived and others visited.”

Priceless,

Sean King
New York, New York

Commanding divers

I enjoyed seeing in the Summer 2010 Notre Dame Magazine, “Deep Sea Divers,” that the ND spirit is still in the U.S. Navy’s Submarine Force. Commanders Maher, Prokopius and Clark, all from the Class of ’90, are all in command at the same time.

At the height of the Cold War, 1978-79, there were three of us, then also Navy commanders, who were captains of submarines that were homeported in Charleston, South Carolina. Tom Ryan ’61, Ed Schmidt ’63, me, Mike DeHaemer ’60 commanded USS Batfish, USS Woodrow Wilson and USS Simon Bolivar respectively.

It would be interesting to know when the greatest number of Domers were in command of subs and other ships and aircraft squadrons.

I always enjoy the magazine.

Mike DeHaemer, ND ’60
Captain, USN, retired

Places

In “Here And There,” (summer 2010 editor’s note) Kerry Temple said there’s something inside certain places that speaks to something inside of us. I couldn’t agree more. And who am I?

I am the voice of nature, the call of the mountain
to hear its echo, see its beauty, speak its truth
is to be young and free

like death and disease
mark me forever
bring me to new places

not to hear or see or speak
is to live without meaning, without purpose
bring me to no place

the call within
like the call of the mountain
brings me to new places.

I understand why, after 30 years, Temple still misses those mountains in Wyoming. I hope the call within, like the call of those mountains, brings him to new places.

Mike Fout ’64

Retirement

“My leap into tomorrow” by Lawrence S. Cunningham was a little depressing and I think the key is that he never goes to reunions. I have been retired for a few years and between family, schools and work colleagues I do at least three reunions each year. Not everyone improves with age but I sure do enjoy seeing the ones that do and that may be what it is all about,

Tom Wich ’63
Clarendon Hills, Illinois

Summer kudos

I regularly read the Notre Dame Magazine and always find it of interest. But the Summer issue requires my commendation.

The vover is dazzling in its splendor. The article by Rudolf about his father’s accomplishments was a treat for one whose admiration for mountaineers began long before John matriculated at ND. John’ success on the mountains of the world and in service to the people of rural Ecuador is inspiring indeed.

The photo of the stadium during commencement was appreciated. I did not attend commencement this year, the first I missed since I was seconded to the London Law Programme in 1992. I was not boycotting due to my failure to acquire a ticket to last year’s affair with it presidential address, or the possibility of rain, but rather, as they say, for family reasons. I was fascinated by the stadium set-up and particularly the source of the turf cover. Matt Cashore’s artistry with a camera may be underappreciated by folks who don’t recognize his name. His work on the Haiti story added appreciably to the power of this review of the continued force for good that resides in the heart of the Notre Dame community.

I read elsewhere about the appearance of the Notre Dame Concert Band at Carnegie Hall, but I had not seen a detailed account prior to David Wilson’s piece. I do wish I could have been there. Many in the ND community hope that a recording of the evening will become available

Professor Cunningham’s “Leap into tomorrow” was a delight for a colleague who joined the retired ranks three years ago. I welcomed with pleasure his recounting many of the concerns we all face at this point in our lives. May following his recommendations for avoiding the grim reaper — modest attempts at healthy living, blueberries and a little exercise — allow us to enjoy many future issues of the magazine.

Well Done!

Roger F. Jacobs
Director of the Library and Professor of Law Emeritus
Notre Dame Law School

This was a particularly attractive issue. It had seemed to me the magazine was getting a little heavy graphically in recent issues. This one pops and engages. You no doubt have surveys of who reads how much of the content but, that apart, the magazine can, without being read in great detail, represent the university well and reinforce pride of place. I used to send subscriptions to my Mormon friends, knowing they wouldn’t read much of it but just to connect them in another way with me. Anyway, well done.

Jerry M. Brady
Idaho Falls, Idaho

I enjoy every informative issue of the ND Magazine. As an alumna, I take great pride in all that Notre Dame stands for. I appreciate the summers I spent studying on the campus, and each issue of the ND Magazine stirs many happy memories.

Sister Katherine Mroz, RSM, ’74

Engineers at work

I am writing concerning the Notre Dame architecture students’ experiences in rebuilding the Italian town of San Gregorio, which was destroyed by an earthquake last year. It is vital that architecture students learn about various building materials and how the materials perform in different environmental conditions, as well as how the materials conform to local building traditions. However, it is actually the job of a structural engineer to take a particular material type chosen for a building (steel, concrete, masonry, timber, for example) and design the building with that material to be able to withstand a multitude of forces ranging from gravity and snow, to wind and earthquake.

In fact, professors and students from Notre Dame’s Department of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences have conducted research over the years to study how different materials and structure types perform in earthquakes similar to the one that affected San Gregorio. The department has several different facilities to conduct this research and the work that the professors and students perform is topnotch and beneficial not only to the field of structural engineering, but to society as well. Learn more about what Notre Dame’s engineers do at www.nd.edu/~cegeos.

Brian Tomcik ’99

Discrimination policy

Perhaps it is not altogether customary to write a letter commenting on another letter. But I share Mary Lynn Murphy’s anger and exasperation at the University’s discriminatory attitude toward gay and lesbian students. She accounts this policy reason for not sending her family’s children to Notre Dame. I think she is right. The policy reflects the University’s ability to shut its eyes to the genetics and psycho-genetics of sexuality — and by inference to other genetic causes in scientific inquiry. The policy also ignores central actualities of religious experience. It makes no allowance for the possibility that gay and lesbian students may provide a special kind of spiritual insight and understanding. I might add that my orientation is heterosexual.

Joseph Ryan’59

Notre Dame – Our Mother. When are we as an institution going to start acting as she did; humble, obedient, loving servants OF THE LORD!

Every time I open this magazine, I read drivel that spits in the face of our beloved faith. Summer’s edition has a letter to the editor on GLBT. Wrong. There’s an article on Darwin, questioning Creationism. Wrong. Pro-abortionists who speak at commencement. Wrong. Same sex marriage. Wrong.

Catholicism is founded on three key principles: Magisterium, sacred scripture and sacred tradition. We all need to start learning our Faith. When you LEARN your faith, you begin to LOVE your faith. Only when you LOVE your faith, do you begin to LIVE your faith.

Wake up Domers, secularism and moral relativism are running amuck. These cancers are infiltrating society and even our beloved Alma Mater. We must change our ways and begin to LEARN, LOVE AND LIVE our faith. Remember Our Lady’s words at Fatima, “…souls are falling into Hell like snowflakes.”

Mark Palaski ’86
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Type size

As a 1956 grad, i find that the print in this fine magazine is getting smaller. it may be my eyes have aged in the 50 plus years,but i have a suggestion. how about a large print edition? i would be happy to pay a modest up charge and maybe others would. keep up the good work.

Paul L. Berrettini ’56

Editors note: Readers may soon see a larger type size in portions of the magazine.


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