To the Editor.
—Drs Ferry,1 Russman,2 and Hachinski3 are completely correct in their negative answer to the question: Is there incontrovertible scientific evidence that early stimulation programs for brain damaged children improve their intelligence or motor function? Scientific skepticism about any treatment modality is appropriate. However, they are asking only one of the questions that should be asked about the effect of intervention on the future functioning of handicapped children and their families. The other questions are: Do these programs enable the child to use more effectively whatever motor or intellectual abilities he or she has? Is total therapeutic nihilism for a permanent handicap an ethically tenable position?It is a physician's task to cure, if possible, manage illnesses which are not curable, and give comfort and support to the patient and family. Most chronic diseases are managed, rather than cured. The fields of rehabilitation medicine and developmental
Kaminer RK. Infant Stimulation Programs. Arch Neurol. 1986;43(11):1101. doi:10.1001/archneur.1986.00520110005002