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The Power of Neurodiversity: Unleashing the Advantages of Your Differently Wired Brain (published in hardcover as Neurodiversity)
     

The Power of Neurodiversity: Unleashing the Advantages of Your Differently Wired Brain (published in hardcover as Neurodiversity)

by Thomas Armstrong
 

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ADHD. dyslexia. autism. the number of illness categories listed by the American Psychiatric Association has tripled in the last fifty years. With so many people affected, it is time to revisit our perceptions on this “culture of disabilities.” Bestselling author, psychologist, and educator Thomas Armstrong illuminates a new understanding of

Overview


ADHD. dyslexia. autism. the number of illness categories listed by the American Psychiatric Association has tripled in the last fifty years. With so many people affected, it is time to revisit our perceptions on this “culture of disabilities.” Bestselling author, psychologist, and educator Thomas Armstrong illuminates a new understanding of neuropsychological disorders. He argues that if they are a part of the natural diversity of the human brain, they cannot simply be defined as illnesses. Armstrong explores the evolutionary advantages, special skills, and other positive dimensions of these conditions.

A manifesto as well as a keenly intelligent look at “disability,” The Power of Neurodiversity is a must for parents, teachers, and anyone who is “differently brained.”

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

New York Journal of Books, 10/11/11
“Parents of children who have been diagnosed as belonging to one of these groups and adults who have been living with any of these labels will find positive affirmation and encouraging advice on how to see their brain’s wiring as an asset rather than a liability.”

Publishers Weekly
Armstrong (7 Kinds of Smart), an educational consultant turned author, argues that there is no “normal” brain or “normal” mental capability and that we are making a serious mistake in assuming that the kinds of differences we see in people with conditions like autism or dyslexia involve only deficits. People with these conditions also have strengths, he emphasizes, and by focusing on these, rather than on the “labels,” we can find the modes of learning and living that can help them thrive. Focusing primarily on seven “labels” (autism, ADHD, dyslexia, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, intellectual disabilities, and schizophrenia), He offers some good teaching tips. Yet while claiming not to romanticize, say, depression, his conclusions fall too close, as when he writes, “in some mood disorders, there may be a silver lining,” citing how Jung and Beethoven found creativity in the depths of their depression. In equating anecdote with pattern, he strains credibility. Armstrong is strongest in emphasizing that a broader understanding of neurodiversity will generate more respect and better results for people with the conditions he discusses. (June)
Library Journal
Armstrong uses the term neurodiversity to encompass a new way of thinking about a variety of disabilities (e.g., autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia) by focusing on their potential benefits rather than problems. For each of these conditions, he provides an overview, examples of complementary careers, and stories of people who exceed expectations. In the section on autism, Armstrong looks at math savants and those with amazing memory to showcase what people can accomplish. While this is useful and uplifting for individuals staring at these lifelong conditions, it might be disingenuous, much like citing basketball great Michael Jordan's being cut from his high school team as an example of overcoming adversity. Just as it is not realistic that everyone cut from a team will be Michael Jordan, not everyone with autism or dyslexia can succeed in his or her chosen field. Examples used are from highly accomplished and highly functioning people with these conditions, so they do not represent realistic paths for many facing more debilitating conditions. VERDICT Despite problems, this is recommended for readers interested in all the facets of these disabilities.—Corey Seeman, Univ. of Michigan Lib., Ann Arbor

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738215242
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
10/04/2011
Edition description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
251,141
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author


Thomas Armstrong, PhD, is an award-winning author and speaker and a leading expert on learning and human development. He lives in Northern California. Visit: ThomasArmstrong.com

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