The 'Different' Child (1 Letter)

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To the Editor:

In "Embracing Children for Who They Are" (Personal Health, Nov. 6), Jane E. Brody makes good points, but she paints children and their differences with too broad a brush.

Yes, homosexuality, Down syndrome and dwarfism are inborn characteristics that do not change over time, as far as we know. But temperament, intellectual capabilities and many other traits do. And they can often be affected by family, friends, teachers and co-workers.

So by all means we should celebrate our children and their differences. But sometimes we have to help them change, without assuming that it can't or shouldn't be done.

Steven A. McFayden-Ketchum

Nashville

The writer is a senior lecturer in psychology at Vanderbilt.

science

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.


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