From Our Readers
Drinking and Driving
It is with much joy that I can write and say that the deputy sheriff in charge of traffic here requested 100 copies of your issue on “Drinking and Driving.” (March 8, 1986) He is currently involved in a project concerning the subject and was going to address an audience of bar and restaurant owners, emphasizing their responsibility in not allowing those who were going to drive to drink too much. Thank you for always being there with what we need, when we need it.
J. P., U.S.A.
Being Just Friends
You cannot imagine my surprise when I received your issue with the article “Young People Ask . . . ‘Can’t We Just Be Friends?’” (March 22, 1986) You see, at the moment, I have this very same problem. I am 20 years old, and a young man I have been working with feels he has fallen in love with me, but not I with him. Now I have the answer in the above-mentioned article.
M. W., Federal Republic of Germany
Your article “Thirty Years of Love and Devotion” (February 8, 1986) was very nice and encouraging for parents of Down’s syndrome children, but I did not appreciate the sentence: “Outsiders often think that caring for a handicapped child must be a responsibility with little reward. How wrong they are!” As a parent of a severely handicapped daughter, I can honestly say that you may be wrong in putting all handicapped children in one category. My child cannot walk, talk, see, feed herself, or go without diapers. Her teeth have to be brushed, and she has to be bathed every day. Feeding is an all-day event. Consultation with therapists, nutritionists, pediatricians, and others, takes up many hours, and it is a constant fight to get the proper help and services required. Parents of handicapped children love their children very much, but what I am trying to say is that if you just can’t understand the situation, don’t try to comfort or excuse the situation by saying: “Well, they get a lot of joy and happiness.”
J. B., Canada
Through the years, we have published a number of first-person accounts about parents caring for a handicapped child. We have felt there was much valuable information that could benefit others in a similar situation and that publishing such articles would be encouraging to others. We surely do not want to add to the distress of families who have a very difficult problem. In her account, Anna Field acknowledges that every case is different and domestic circumstances vary. Although in their case there have also been trying times and sorrow, she sincerely feels that their handicapped daughter has brought them far more joy than sorrow. We are happy that is the case. At the same time, we realize that there can be far more difficult cases where a child is unable to respond in any way that would give its parents happiness. The parents of such a child surely deserve the sympathetic understanding of all as well as appropriate help from their close friends. Our heart truly goes out to all parents in this difficult situation.—ED.