In the Hold

Plus: Rebuttal Witness, Doctoring the Ratings, Breeding Greed?

In the Hold

Pro-cuddle: So holding therapy is bad ["Holding On," by Wendy Grossman, September 19]? It's bad to cuddle a child? To want the child to be able to accept safe touches? To want the child to attach? A child that doesn't want comfort when he's hurt or distressed -- surely that's an indicator there's something badly wrong.

Cuddles, lots of love, constant nurturing. They are all stages a child has to pass through as an infant in order to learn to trust, to attach to his/her parents and caregivers. So if a child misses these stages because of abuse, is it therefore, as your article implies, okay to just miss those stages totally? These stages have to be passed through for development.

Yes, I agree that cuddle therapy doesn't work for all RAD kids. Some do better with play therapy, for example. But these children do have extreme needs, and any form of normal parenting techniques does not work. Speaking as a stepparent to two RAD kids, I know what I'm talking about. We are parenting under more stress than you could ever imagine. The last thing we need is accusations that giving our children cuddles is abusive.

Rachel Sisson
Nottingham, England

Nonbeliever: As a woman and an attorney with a psychology degree, I can only respond to Wendy Grossman's article that if "holding therapy" can teach a child to trust, then rape can teach a person to enjoy sex. I would rather trust my child to a horse whisperer.

Christine Cooper

Breeding Greed?

Call Houston like it is: I was doing my regular reading of all my old favorite weeklies and monthlies of the places I have lived. I read first online almost all the articles in the recent Texas Monthly ["Hello My Name Is Texas Monthly, September 19], mostly because I couldn't believe my eyes.

Having grown up in Houston and lived there off and on over the years, I found this to be the worst tome of self-aggrandizement and crap ad nauseam I've read to date. Texas Monthly would have us believe that greed, corruption and the obscene consumption of a select few are adversities that Houston stoically overcomes time after time. There are many things I treasure about Houston, but let's own up and call a greedy spade a greedy spade.

George Owen
Belleville, Illinois

Trim the Bushes: My concept of Texas Monthly is that it is little more than a spin machine for Texas Shrubs.

John Edward Robinson

Rebuttal Witness

Defending Dempster: From reading their quotes, Sami Kabbani's expert, Kristine Uhlman, and his attorney, Ms. Wilson-Glah, must have been in a different trial than I was ["Trial of Faith," by Jennifer Mathieu, September 12].

I never heard Judge Dempster state the "anti-religious" quotes that were attributed to her. Ms. Uhlman, Mr. Kabbani's expert on Middle Eastern abductions, did testify under cross-examination that Mr. Kabbani fit the profile of an abductor. Ms. Wilson-Glah did interject religion by accusing my client, Teresa Lauderdale, of being a "cafeteria Catholic."

Further, while the ACLU states that 9/11 has trickled down to the family courts, none of their representatives was in court to hear Mr. Kabbani state on tape, "I have my ducks in a row. I carry a Syrian passport. You will never see Diana again." Before they get too interested in his case, the ACLU might want to review the transcript. Their time might be better spent on citizens whose civil rights really are violated.

While some are wringing their hands over Mr. Kabbani's civil rights, what about the civil rights of two little girls that, if abducted to the Middle East, will never see their mother again, will lose all identity with their culture and American family, will be treated as second-class citizens because they are female, can make no decisions without the permission of the male head of household -- you get the picture. Any citizen would be proud that Judge Dempster would put the rights and needs of these children first.

Thomas R. Conner

Ethics awry? Why not focus on the fund-raiser at the lawyer's house -- that's the no-no that screwed this guy. Is he looking for a lawyer on appeal? He should file a Rule 145 affidavit for the free transcript to appeal, as well as take the matter to the grievance committee and the commission on judicial conduct.

That fund-raiser is what makes this story so bad, not the Muslim connection. He should appeal, and slam both the court and opposing counsel.

Michael Easton

Doctoring the Ratings

Privacy, please: Jennifer Mathieu's article ["Reality TV Bites," September 5] illustrates brilliantly the point that even in the world of reality TV, there are privacy boundaries that must not be crossed, regardless of the particular network's thirst for the highest possible ratings.

My heart goes out to the Walters for the loss they have suffered, and I hope they can get past the outrageous disregard for their feelings by both Memorial Hermann and ABC and eventually find some inner peace.

David Hinterberger

Faulty focus: The gross insensitivity concerning the treatment of the Walter family by New Screen Concepts Inc. is appalling and outrageous. The producers seemingly extorted a signed consent form by insinuating to a distraught mother that the focus was on her children's attending doctor (creating the assumption the babies would receive more attentive treatment). But to be oblivious to the anguish of the Walter family by their callous exploitation (it's all about ratings, right?), along with the company's refusal to honor what was clearly promised to the family (entire film footage) is a deed worthy of a fate worse than hell.

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