Commentary

Letters to the Editor

Page 3 of 4

You view yourself as a "moderate": You did not agree with "some of Jensen's positions and conclusions," and found Rivers and Rush Limbaugh to be "infuriating." "Moderate" is an adjective. What kind of a "moderate" are you? A moderate conservative? A moderate liberal? A moderate chopped liver? You admitted that had you felt strongly about the opinions you disagree with, you could have written a letter to Jensen, or called Reggie or Rush to argue. You have done nothing of the sort. You just don't give a damn. This is your prerogative, but if you believe that you are a citizen concerned with the marketplace of ideas, you are sadly mistaken or very full of your anonymous self.

You refer to Jensen as a "reporter." Wrong. He wrote an opinion column, often hiding behind other columnists. Even you admitted that "he was sometimes totally wrong and way too harsh on Israel." Unfortunately, the Rocky Mountain News chose to run Jensen's opinions, pretending they were objective reporting. Only recently, under pressure from citizens truly concerned about the marketplace of ideas, did the paper begin to call a spade a spade. Had you been concerned, you would have been complaining to News publisher John Temple about the proper designation of Jensen's writings. Instead, you claimed that Temple "did not have the guts and integrity" and "forced or enticed" Jensen into "resigning." These charges, coming from a gutless wonder such as yourself, give the word chutzpah a tinge of moderation.

Jensen hoisted himself on his own petard. In his anti-Israel zeal, bordering on and sometimes crossing into the realm of anti-Semitism, he committed an egregious violation of journalistic ethics: He attributed words to Ariel Sharon that, given his position as the prime minister, pictured Israel on a par with Nazi Germany. Unfortunately for Jensen, these words belonged to another person. Jensen exposed the News not only to monumental embarrassment, but to a potentially very damaging and costly libel suit. Jensen should have resigned on the spot; I believe he eventually acted as a person of some integrity.

Rather than being honest about the situation, you perpetuated the old cabal that "the Jews own the media." May I now call you an anti-Semite? Mr. Anonymous, have the courage of your convictions, and write your own damned letter to Westword under your own proud name!

Michael Merson
Denver


Taking the L.E.A.D.

Sense abilities:We recently read Julie Jargon's article about L.E.A.D. ("Speak and Be Heard," May 9), and were charged to hear that such an initiative is under way. We are occupational therapists working for a private practice called Unique Prints Pediatric Therapy Services. We service children and adolescents with special needs, specifically those with sensory integration dysfunction. Sensory integration dysfunction (SI) and ADHD look very similar. However, often children are misdiagnosed because of the lack of education about what sensory integration dysfunction is. Parents feel that medication is the only choice, and that is far from the truth.

Sensory integration dysfunction, like ADHD, is a neurological problem. Often children who have been diagnosed with ADHD or learning disabilities have SI dysfunction as either the root of the problem or a contributing factor. Unfortunately, symptoms of SI dysfunction are often misinterpreted as psychological or behavioral problems. For example, a child who is hyperactive, inattentive, impulsive and often fidgets or squirms describes a typical child with SI dysfunction. This child is unable to process sensory information in his or her environment. The child either over- or under-registers sensory information coming into the brain. Therefore, a light touch on the arm may feel like a large pin prick and result in the child hitting the person who brushed up against him. There are many treatment approaches to remediate and treat the processing of the central nervous system that are highly effective.

With therapy, many children are able to significantly reduce the amount of medication they are on or go off medication altogether. It is important to note that ADHD is a diagnosis made by a psychologist or psychiatrist, and SI dysfunction is a diagnosis made by an occupational therapist. Many professionals are unaware of SI dysfunction, resulting in misdiagnosis of children. We would invite interested parents to read The Out of Sync Child, by Carol Kranowitz, to find out more information about SI dysfunction.

Kristy Phelps and Stephanie Trabant
via the Internet


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