ADD Cure: Diet or Drugs?

Although it’s been about twelve years since my son was diagnosed as an MBD child (now called Attention Deficit Disorder), and he’s an adult with a family, I still consider myself to be one of the fortunate few who found that dietary changes-not medication-helped him, and I continue to be very interested in “The Ritalin Controversy” [October]. Your article gave a fairly broad perspective of the problem. My main concern, however, is that you seemed to imply that the idea that ADD is caused by “chemical toxins, food coloring, preservatives, heavy metals . . . and improper diet” is the brainchild of Dennis Clarke, national spokesman for CCHR, an offshoot of Scientology, whose ideas you earlier had stated in a somewhat questionable light, implying, perhaps, that they were prone to exaggeration and radicalism.

There are many scientists, physicians, psychologists, parents, and teachers with no radical leanings who have discovered that dietary management is a very desirable-and effective-solution to children’s ADD problems. As a teacher, I constantly see children who are smart, sweet, good kids, who do well on a one-to-one basis, but cannot handle a group situation, thus disrupting the learning environment for the entire class.

The real radicals are those who have forgotten their elementary nutrition lessons: our bodies require nutrients to function properly-not drugs.

Carolyn Allen

Fort Worth

The Ex-Coach’s Lament

How times change. In September 1980, D printed an article entitled “The Principal-A School That Works.” This article told how I had succeeded as the principal of Lida Hooe Elementary School.

Now Ruth Fitzgibbons has written an editorial, “Improving Education-One School At A Time” [September]. To my surprise, she suggested that the first step to improving education is to get rid of principals who are middle-aged ex-coaches, muscle-bound white males with a flattop. This describes me. except my muscle-bound has dropped. Even though I do not wear a Ban-Lon shirt or chew on a toothpick, and I gave up the football more than twenty years ago, I do fit your description. By the way, in the Dallas Independent School District, I am the only one who still wears a flattop. In fact, there are not very many white males left as principals. Therefore, I suppose you are suggesting that if they got rid of me, then one of your solutions would be complete.

I do not expect you to believe me, but I encourage you to find out how successful this flattopped ex-coach has been. I am very proud that our school had the highest rating in Dallas in the latest climate survey of teachers, not to mention the largest PTA in Dallas in 1987-88, plus having some of the very highest test scores in ITBS and TEAMS in Dallas for the last several years. I hope you have an open mind to understand that all flattops are not dumb and unable to understand curriculum. This letter is not meant to offend you but only to point out that stereotyping can sometimes be totally unfair.

Jim Ross

Principal, Lida Hooe School


Coming Out Swinging

I am extremely disappointed in your reporting of “The Great Dallas Swingset War” [October]. You have taken one person’s obvious attempt to get free publicity and fallen right into the trap.

We have just passed our ten-year anniversary in this business, and we do not feel there is a war, or that the product represented is something that should be sold like used cars. We feel this is a very important purchase for parents. We refuse to drop this to the level of “Big Red Furniture Barn” merchandising. I personally resent the fact that your magazine has helped contribute to an atmosphere that does not exist except in one person’s mind.

Jim Piper, President

Wooden Swing Company of Dallas


In response to “The Great Dallas Swing-set War,” I would like to clarify Yards of Fun Inc.’s position. We are not in a swingset war in Dallas; we are merely a competitor doing business in that community.

We do not hate any of our competitors’ guts, as Debbie Monaghan said in your article. Monaghan, owner of Dallas Custom Swings, states that Yards of Fun has misled customers about the quality of their swings. This is totally unfounded. Yards of Fun Inc. is an active member of the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM). which is monitored by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). We have been instrumental in assisting the writing of the current voluntary safety standards for the industry. I would like to extend an invitation to Dallas Custom Swings and others to join this organization to ensure that their products are safe.

Your article also states that “Dallas Custom Swings says no one else even comes close to its safety standards.” To use Mon-aghan’s phrase, that’s hogwash! Ironically, in the picture, Monaghan’s right hand points to a flagrant nonconformity to ASTM safety standards; namely, an exposed upright piece that could cause youngsters to catch their clothes and cause injury. The last sentence in your article says we are in the business of making kids happy. My question is, why aren’t they in the business to make it safe for kids?

Charles W. Warner, President

Yards of Fun Inc.

North Manchester, Indiana

Rail: It’s Inevitable

Re: “DART’s Dilemma,” October. Having lived in Ottawa, I think your comparison of bus-only roads versus San Diego’s two light rail lines missed some key points. Building a two-lane road for buses is hardly less costly than a double-track rail line, though the highway’s capacity is far less. One two-unit train, with one operator, carries more passengers than six buses with six drivers and six fuel tanks, all polluting the air as well as wasting oil. San Diego’s two rail lines (more under construction) as of August 1988 were carrying 31,000 riders daily and recovering about 70 percent of operating cost, versus about 31 percent for Ottawa’s buses. Finally, Ottawa is the only major Canadian city not already operating or studying light rail transit. Eventually, it’s inevitable.

Ray Hannon


Why The Ridicule?

In recent months I have read your magazine and have felt the attitude that seems to be prevalent these days regarding religion, especially Christianity. The puns, jabs, and deliberate ridicule directed toward this group are nothing less than tragic.

The October article dealing with the terminal illness of Jean Meziere, the artist, filled my heart with compassion. I apologize to this man, his family, and his friends for what they found in the places they chose to visit. Perhaps had he gone seeking the Healer and not just a visitation of healing the story would have had a different end. If more of us would start seeking Him just for the purpose of establishing a relationship with our loving Father, then the world would benefit and perhaps your stories would be ones of hope and encouragement instead of death, decay, deception, and despair.

Ann Harris



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