Rub out stigma

17th May 1996 at 01:00
Although the story was very relevant to the issues being addressed, I am very sorry that you felt it necessary to publish the name and picture of a six-year-old (TES, May 3). Most teachers have a fair idea what a defiant infant looks like. A child who has been diagnosed as having the very real condition, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, has enough difficulty getting along with his peers without this kind of publicity.

At first I was appalled at parents who appeared to be encouraging their child's recalcitrance, but then realised the futility of a child whose support for this condition was just being sorted out signing such a contract. (Can a contract signed by a six-year-old have any validity?) It is to be hoped that, rather than carrying the stigma of exclusion at such an early age, this child's absence from school is seen as a time when education, medical and psychological professionals can work together to make sure that multidisciplinary responsibility is taken to maximise the benefit of medical intervention and obtain the best outcome for the child, who will need help if he is to curb his impulses and learn to conform to the necessary code of the classroom.

JANE LOVEY

24 Lincoln Walk

Epsom, Surrey

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