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Monday's Letters to the Editor

Early intervention

EDITOR: I have been reading the media accounts of the need for gun control and better mental health programs. I've even seen interviews depicting Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook school shooter, as being "different" in high school.

What is missing are accounts of this young man in his earliest years. Where is the interview with the preschool teacher, neighbor or friend who knew him then? I suspect such accounts would show that Lanza had special needs from the beginning of his life. I have focused a 40-year career in early intervention working with scores of children on the autism spectrum, including those, like Lanza, diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. These children are not inherently violent, but their unusual behaviors are misunderstood. Their families are misunderstood. Years of not being accepted by the community has a negative effect on a child's self-esteem that can result in a tragic outburst such as we just had.

Early intervention/behavioral mental health programs are much more available than previously. Yet parents still shy away from enrolling their children because of the stigma it places on them and their child. I believe that reducing the stigma attached to behavioral disorders is integral to reducing the number of incidents of this type.

SUE POWELL

Santa Rosa

Finding greed

EDITOR: Greed — an excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth.

Greed is all around us.

If I make more because there is opportunity in this country and there is an infrastructure that lets me thrive, is it greed that makes me not want to pay a fair share of what I make to maintain the country?


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