I WAS much interested in the news item Miracle Boy Hamish Lives Life to the Full (the Bolton News, January 22).

I am a friend of his mother, Kay, and got to know Hamish through her.

I tutored Kay when she was studying for her degree at what is now Bolton University and kept in touch with her after I had retired.

Quite a number of years later, she asked me if I would tutor her informally at her home on the history of civilisation.

We met there weekly and Kay's mother, Mary, always made me a first-class meal. It was then that I made the acquaintance of little Hamish.

Kay was worried about him as he couldn't speak long after he should have mastered the basics of English.

I was much interested on the ground breaking work of Prof Noam Chomsky, who claimed that at a certain point in human history we were endowed with the capacity to communicate with each other in language through genetic mutation and it occurred to me that Hamish's inability to speak was due to a genetic deficiency.

Kay let me read his medical reports and his doctors, though not I think acquainted with Chomsky's theories, had come to the conclusion that Hamish's irregular genetic make up might be the cause of his inability to acquire language.

I emailed Prof Chomsky outlining Hamish's situation. He was interested and gave me the name of a leading US specialist in the field of language acquisition in children and was sure she, too, would be interested.

Accordingly, Hamish's medical records were dispatched to her with a covering letter outlining Hamish's situation and mentioning Professor Chomsky.

But, we didn't hear anything from her.

Since those days, Hamish has acquired the ability to communicate in language but not in regular syntax.

I fully support Kay in her determination that Hamish should be educated in a normal school and not in some kind of special school.

What is so heartening about Hamish is that though he has all kinds of problems, he has a sunny outgoing personality.

He is stimulated by ordinary people and as your article brings out he is stimulated by challenges. At present, at 10, he is of primary school age, but it won't be long before he will be going to secondary school.

It is clear to me that Kay is worried that because of the transition the pressure on her will be renewed.

Malcolm Pittock