My name is Michelle Olson and I have two elementary children who fall under the autism spectrum umbrella.

My high-functioning son is academically "smart" but has a hard time with things such as simple transitions, reading people's expressions, taking a joke and turning class work in on time. He forgets what he is supposed to do when distracted, is often thought of as "snappy" or even sarcastic.

My other son requires a "real" picture schedule and has a hard time communicating, which brings on frustration and can lead to destructive behavior and hitting others. This kind of behavior makes it hard for him to make friends with peers.

I support the SOESD because of their expertise in autism and their style of translating the child's need from the families' point of view. They have been able to teach my children's needs to their school and show me techniques to better my children at home.

I now make my own picture schedules and hold our own social groups. This has made us a better family unit.

I beg you, as a very involved parent, please give SOESD staff what they deserve! Without them, my family will regress! Another concerned parent. — Michelle Olson, Grants Pass

In a Jan. 16 letter, Bill Clinton was given credit for an economic revival that he tried twice to kill with vetoes.

Clinton began his presidency with efforts that actually would have created economic disaster — higher taxes and greater spending. When frightened voters responded by electing a Republican Congress, the resulting tug-of-war ended only when Slick realized that passage of the Republican package would help his chances of re-election. He did it for himself!

As for Kosovo, just be glad that you're not a Serb. After we rendered them defenseless against terrorists, the results have been shameful.

The only thing that I agree with in that Jan. 16 letter is the way it ended ... "the facts are there." — Ron Smith, Medford

I read the letter/article regarding the local production of "Othello." Yes, Sir Lawrence Olivier and Orson Wells have performed Othello beautifully. But keep in mind the original character was a "Moor" or "Blackamoor." The Moor Othello and Desdemona the fair. What better than a black man to portray Othello? James Earl Jones, Laurence Fishburne or the late Roscoe L. Browne put the authentic into Othello. I always try to see a production of this ancient love story/soap opera. I always enjoy it most with authenticity. I will wear my heart on my sleeve. — Linda S. Tedder, Cave Junction

Did you know that the notion of one nation pre-emptively attacking another nation has been illegal since 1648?

In 1516 the Ottoman Turks took Iraq and put the Sunni in charge from the Persian Safavid Empire. The Bush administration has now recreated this Iranian empire. Iranians have more influence with the Iraqi government than the U.S. does.

In 1979 the Russians invaded Afghanistan to protect the Afghan Communist government. The Russians helped create a secret police who tried to stop any opposition to the Afghan government.

The U.S. supported the mujahedeen. Million of Afghans were killed. In 1989, Soviets left the country, leaving the Afghan communists to fight the mujahedeen. Afghan communists renamed themselves the Northern Alliance.

In 2001 the U.S. overthrew the Taliban, putting the Northern Alliance back into power. Just think, the U.S. is supporting the communists that we helped to defeat in the 1980s.

The administration loves to turn back the clock. It is said that nations have no permanent friends, they only have permanent interests. — Art Gerds Jr., Yreka, Calif.

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