The Power of Neurodiversity: Unleashing the Advantages of by Thomas Armstrong

By Thomas Armstrong

ADHD. dyslexia. autism. the variety of ailment different types indexed via the yankee Psychiatric organization has tripled within the final fifty years. With such a lot of humans affected, it's time to revisit our perceptions in this “culture of disabilities.” Bestselling writer, psychologist, and educator Thomas Armstrong illuminates a brand new figuring out of neuropsychological problems. He argues that in the event that they are part of the normal range of the human mind, they can not easily be outlined as health problems. Armstrong explores the evolutionary benefits, precise talents, and different optimistic dimensions of those conditions.

A manifesto in addition to a keenly clever examine “disability,” the facility of Neurodiversity is a needs to for folks, lecturers, and someone who's “differently brained.”

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He alternated between letting his mind travel to distant places and putting his body in perpetual motion in his seat. The Reverend Eagle, finding him inattentive and unruly, swished his cane. Alva, afraid and out of place, held up a few weeks, then ran away from the school. —ROBERT CONOT, Thomas A. Edison: A Streak of Luck s an educator in my twenties, I worked for an organization that was attempting to integrate the arts into the public schools around the country. Our administrative center was in a large warehouse in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

By focusing on the “hidden strengths” of mental disorders, I am not attempting to sidestep the damage that these conditions do. I am not saying that these really aren’t disorders or that somehow calling them “differences” will make all the pain go away. It won’t. But there is merit in focusing on the positives. The term “neurodiversity” is not a sentimental ploy to help people with mental illness and their caregivers “feel good” about their disorders. Rather, it is a powerful concept, backed by substantial research from brain science, evolutionary psychology, anthropology, and other fields, that can help revolutionize the way we look at mental illness.

Similarly, for a person with dyslexia who possesses spatial strengths (we’ll look at the connection between dyslexia and spatial abilities in chapter 4), working with words at a computer all day long in a legal firm would likely be much more stressful and incongruent than spending time engaged with a computer graphics software program in an architect’s office. This raises another set of strategies important in building a good niche for the neurodiverse brain: assistive technologies. 0738215242-Armstrong_Layout 1 7/18/11 9:26 AM Page 20 20 The Power of Neurodiversity These refer to a wide range of high-tech tools, including computer hardware, software, and peripherals, that enable individuals with disabilities to perform tasks that they were previously unable to accomplish.

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