Two articles in last week’s issue generated more than the typical buzz around our virtual water cooler. Online at www.princetoninfo.com, readers posted comments and criticisms in response to Michele Alperin’s cover story on the Brain Balance program to combat AD/HD and similar disorders in children and to Suzanne Newman’s first-person account of her efforts to help a woman who has made her home on the sidewalk of a Route 1 strip mall.
As always, we try to share the comments made online with the readers of our print edition. But that inclination is tempered by the anonymity of our online visitors. If you want your comments to reach the widest audience, please E-mail our editor directly — email@example.com — or include your name and E-mail address with your online comment.
#b#To The Editor: Explore the Options For ADHD Treatment#/b#
Thank you for seeking information on comprehensive treatment for AD/HD. As director of the Princeton-Mercer Chapter of CHADD, it is important that I share our National Office’s Disclaimer: CHADD does not endorse, recommend, or make representations with respect to the research, services, medication, treatments, or products in our communities.
Further, CHADD’s primary objectives are: to provide a support network for parents and caregivers; to provide a forum for continuing education; to be a community resource and disseminate accurate, evidence-based information about AD/HD to parents, educators, adults, professionals, and the media; to promote ongoing research; and to be an advocate on behalf of the AD/HD community.
20 Nassau Street, Princeton
#b3Re: “Is Your Kid Balanced:”#/b# I was surprised that U.S. 1’s lengthy article on the Brain Balance Achievement Center did not explore other points of view. This center offers an unconventional, unsubstantiated, and very expensive approach to treating childhood neurological disorders.
Parents are understandably eager to find help for children with developmental problems. I encourage parents to talk with their pediatricians to understand the treatment options available in the community. We have an abundance of excellent schools, therapists, tutors, and other providers to help all kinds of children.
Carol Blum, Psy.D
20 Nassau Street, Princeton
#b#Editor’s note:#/b# U.S. 1’s coverage also included a sidebar suggesting resources for other treatment options and advising parents to begin their treatment with a thorough physical examination of their child. An online visitor raised an eyebrow at the Brain Balance approach:
“I looked at this article with some skepticism, and decided to do a little research. Dr. Harriet Hall, a respected and skeptical physician has critiqued the Brain Balance franchises at Sciencebasedmedicine.org where she deconstructs the claims for this treatment.
“Parents are free to make up their own minds, of course, but perhaps they can consider other evidence in addition to the glowing anecdotes given in this uncritical press release.”
#b#Helping the Homeless#/b#
Suzanne Newman was praised by all for her good intentions in helping “Miss H,” the homeless woman whom Newman hopes to place in motel during the coldest winter months. Among the online comments:
Donna Ripley — thanks for identifying yourself — noted that she has known Newman “for a very long time and she is a woman with a pure heart who only wants to help those in need. She is passionate and sincere in her plight to help Miss H. Suzanne is honest and I guarantee that every dollar raised will go to help this homeless woman. It takes a village and I hope that those who read this article will be part of the solution to house Miss H. indoors this winter.”
Allison Morris added that “the homeless woman in the article really needs all of our help . She is a real person and so is Suzanne Newman. I met Suzanne networking on Facebook in 2008. In 2009 my personal dog had been attacked by a foster dog I was taking care of. I had a huge vet bill I was not prepared for. Newman called my vet and paid the bill off, without my knowing at first. She has donated to so many animals that needed help with medical, or just to be saved and sponsored from a shelter.”
Added Steve Gyurcsak: “Thank you for your supportive effort in publishing this article on behalf of Sue Newman! The homeless woman in the article really needs all of our help.”
Some readers wondered why a group such as Homefront was unable to help with the woman living so plainly in a public space. The answer: “Miss H” suffers from mental health problems as well as economic distress. Homefront is dedicated to helping those who want to pull themselves out of their desperate situation.
An online visitor who identified himself as James said he had some knowledge of Miss H’s situation: “I like many others could really appreciate this story and would feel compelled to help. But your presentation does not necessarily present the whole truth. Miss H is a crafty woman who has been seen and assessed by the appropriate healthcare and welfare professionals over the years. She has refused the kind of assistance they wanted to provide — including placement in a good facility, not the kind of which you speak in your article.
“She also has family who have been willing to accept her to come live with them and that too she refuses. Her existence in such a state is of her own making. Essentially, she is in the cold during the winter because she wants to be.
“But it’s great that you have such a wonderful relationship with her. Good luck with your mission.”
Those wishing to help find a temporary winter home for Miss H should mail checks payable to Suzanne Newman at 1330 Route 206, Suite 103-110, Village Shopper, Skillman 08558. Newman promises to provide an accounting of how all money is spent.