To the Editor:We are the parents of a young man with severe behavior problems. He is currently being served at the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, Mass.

Thanks to this program and the Graduated Electronic Decelerator device, he is now doing very well. ("Center's treatment saves lives of youth," Oct. 9 issue) He was to have surgery for his severe scoliosis, which was starting to affect his heart and lungs. He is now three inches taller. Without this program this would not have been possible.

His alternatives to this program and the G.E.D have been as follows:

He would have been forced to wear a helmet that would be locked into his head seven days a week and 24 hours a day.

In one program he was kept in his room most of the time, as most of the staff was afraid of him.

Most of the programs do use aversives, although they may have another name for it.

In some programs, the students are just warehoused.

In one program, he always seemed to have many large black and blue marks.

Our son has been in seven different programs in Massachusetts. This is the only one that has been really successful. For Michael's sake and the sake of others like him, we hope you take this into consideration.

-James and Phyllis Shields,