The latest issue of Wired magazine contains an article on neurodiversity which references my book Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Special Needs Succeed in School and Life. It’s their 20th anniversary edition, where, according to the editors: ”we’ve gathered stories for, by, and about the people who have shaped the planet’s past 20 years—and will continue driving the next.’
The article is entitled ‘Neurodiversity Rewires Conventional Thinking About Brains” (in the online edition) and ”Neurodiversity” (in the print edition) by Wired contributing editor Steve Silberman, who has a terrific blog and is working on a book on neurodiversity to come out in 2014 titled Neurotribes: Thinking Smarter About People Who Think Differently (Avery/Penguin).
In the article, Silberman provides a history of the neurodiversity movement and writes about its impact in helping to understand people who learn and grow differently from the norm. He uses a computer metaphor to explain the importance of seeing people with autism and other brain differences as part of the natural diversity of life rather than as simply disabled: ”just because a PC is not running Windows doesn’t mean that it’s broken.”
In reflecting on the impact of neurodiversity in education, Silberman quotes me as saying: ”’We don’t pathologize a calla lily by saying it has a ‘petal deficit disorder,’ writes Thomas Armstrong, author of a new book called Neurodiversity in the Classroom. ‘Similarly, we ought not to pathologize children who have different kinds of brains and different ways of thinking and learning.’”