Letters: Flexibility is needed to help vulnerable pupils

Chris Heggie and his son Dylan. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Chris Heggie and his son Dylan. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Have your say

I WAS dismayed to read about the upset experienced by Dylan Heggie (Anxious pupil faces Prozac treatment over class stress, News, August 22).

My granddaughter with Asperger’s and hypermobility attended mainstream primary.

Cyclist on Lothian Road. Picture: Jayne Emsley

Cyclist on Lothian Road. Picture: Jayne Emsley

Access to a computer, a realistic written workload for the child, alternatives explored and flexibility within the classroom can all take pressure from such a pupil.

Anxiety is an unavoidable part of the condition, and trying to conform to classroom routine is a great strain for these children.

A time-out card meant our grandchild could leave class for a short time when things became too much for her. As an avid reader she spent ten or 15 minutes in the library.

It can be necessary for a child to attend school part-time when stress and anxiety are causing major problems to avoid the need for that child to be put on medication.

I hope a solution can be found for Dylan very soon.

Mrs O’Neill, Edinburgh

Why we should hail the benefits of shale

Alison Johnstone (Letters, August 27) seems unable to identify any benefit in developing shale gas. What’s so mysterious about reducing our reliance on foreign gas supplies?

She protests that shale gas presents a risk to “our” climate. Surely she can’t mean a British climate, in which case she must explain why we should deny ourselves a minor benefit from among the global output welcomed by America, for instance.

Her claimed risk of contaminating our water supply has already been scotched: no aquiferous pollution has occurred after millions of drilling operations in the US.

Her “killer” sign-off – “fossil fuels have had their day” – is nonsense. After years of renewables priority, global carbon emissions levels are still rising, so she’s aiming at the wrong people.

She needs to turn her fire on Germany, India, Poland and Brazil. They are unlikely to listen.

Robert Dow, Ormiston Road, Tranent

Bridge plan could be a new white elephant

Although the plans to convert the Forth Bridge into some sort of tourist attraction with a visitor centre and guided walks might not be pie in the sky, they could if they go ahead prove to be another expensive white elephant (News, August 27).

Certainly the venture may prove to be popular with those who have a head for heights but taking the astronomical costs into consideration would such an undertaking really be worth it?

Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh

Cyclists ought to put brakes on their speed

I FAIL to see why motorists should be blamed for accidents involving cyclists unless proved otherwise.

Having watched cyclists over the last 50 years, I am not surprised they are involved, because they are travelling too fast for the conditions and not reading the road. Whether they like it or not, they have to share the roads with other road users, and to remember that A&E departments are already stretched, so slow down and apply a bit of discipline.

CJR Fentiman, Polwarth Gardens, Edinburgh

LEAP of faith has turned life around

I WISH to convey my thanks and best wishes to Lothian and Edinburgh Abstinence Project (LEAP).

I graduated from LEAP five years ago and have remained drug and alcohol free.

The education and opportunity given me by them has enabled me to live life on life’s terms, even to make mistakes and learn from them.

I have more than three years of employment, I have completed further education courses, I’m part of my family again. I cannot thank enough the staff and crew at LEAP for pointing me in the right direction.

Andrew, Royston Mains

Spend a penny or two on public toilets

IN the last month, throughout Britain there has been attention on the lack of public lavatories. The government has left the responsibility to local councils.

Let’s see how Edinburgh City Council has performed, as it has spent so little on a new toy called the tram system. Perhaps councillors should seek out all the many public lavatories there are in Edinburgh. Care to try finding any?

R Pratt, Craigour Avenue, Edinburgh

Street mess is going from bad to verse

WITH the usual “Monday mess”, the city really is a ‘Waste Land’ after the weekend. I have a mental vision of the taped commentary from tour buses as they leave the commercial glamour of Ocean Terminal and the Britannia to travel to the cultured cleanliness of central Edinburgh.

“And now we are coming to the Waste Land of North Leith Mill where the seagull-ripped multi-coloured shopping bags exude their smelly contents from infrequently emptied, over-stuffed, too few, council open-lidded refuse bins on to Prince Regent Street and the green park of Persevere Court.

“You will see how the ugly litter forms into a carpet spectrum of a kind of town beauty, ready for the over-night rats, since the bins may be emptied, but the carpet remains until it is dispersed by the wind.”

With apologies to TS Eliot!

Keith Dyson, secretary, WPC Residents’ Association