Dr. Armstrong’s Neurodiverse Universe Blog

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A new study of Scottish children published in the JAMA Pediatrics this week, suggests that the 1.0% of subjects (N= 7413) that were being medicated for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder had poorer outcomes on a wide range of measures compared with others in the study (N=766,244). The outcomes included: poor academic attainment, unauthorized absence from...
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I have a new article on the site MiddleWeb, which focuses on the importance of understanding recent brain research and how it can inform the creation of ”brain friendly” practices for young adolescents.  I was a junior high school teacher, a professor of courses in childhood and adolescent development, and a consultant to middle schools,...
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This is a blog post that appeared on ASCD’s InService blog, April 19, 2017.  It talks about an article I wrote for the April, 2017 issue of Educational Leadership entitled Neurodiversity:  The Future of Special Education? ”I was a special education teacher for several years back in the 1970s and 1980s.  Although I’d been trained at...
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I’ve been concerned about the lack of input that children and adolescents diagnosed with ADHD have relating to their diagnosis and treatment.  Now a new study in the May 2017 issue of the Community Mental Health Journal reports that children with a diagnosis of ADHD want to talk with their doctors about their diagnosis and the...
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A study in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry last month reported that”extended use of medication [for ADHD] was associated with suppression of adult height but not with reduction of symptom severity.” So basically, it stunts growth and it isn’t effective. So why isn’t there a bigger hue and cry about this? There are...
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An opinion piece in yesterday’s New York Times really made a deep impression on me as an educator. It was written by Libyan novelist Hisham Matar, and entitled:  ‘‘Books Can Take You Places Donald Trump Doesn’t Want You to Go.”  Mattar writes about how books can help us ”stumble upon ourselves in the lives and lands...
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A new video series–Dyslexiaville— has come out developed by Academy Award winning director/producer Peggy Stern (Best Animated Short, 2006 – The Moon and the Son:  An Imagined Conversation), that is created by and for kids with a diagnosis of dyslexia and other learning differences.  I watched the first video and it was hilarious – lots of...
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A study that appeared in the November, 2016 issue of Pediatrics (the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics), revealed that the rates for depression in adolescents have increased over the past several years, from 8.7% in 2004 to 11.3% in 2014, a 37% increase.  The increase has especially hit girls, where the incidence of major...
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A new study published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry revealed that certain subcortical structures in the brains of individuals diagnosed with ADHD are smaller in volume than typically developing matched controls (the median age of the 1713 participants diagnosed with ADHD was 14).  The specific structures where differences were found included the nucleus accumbens, the...
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