Dr. Armstrong’s Neurodiverse Universe Blog

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I want to thank the readers who have come from the CRSTE Cyberconference, and especially those who made comments on my posts, for participating in this i-event.  The comments have all been very positive and insightful.  One commenter, for example, suggested that while the Industrial Revolution marginalized people with disabilities, the Technological Revolution puts them...
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Back in the early 1970's, I remember reading a book by George Leonard (who just passed away last month) called Education and Ecstasy.  The book was in part a futuristic look at education.  In one section, children faced a giant screen and all they had to do was touch it and they could learn practically anything...
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An article appeared this last week in the New York Times, that attempted to answer the question:  why is depression still in the gene pool if it leads to despair and even suicide?  I was very interested in the piece because I've suffered from depression since adolescence, and believe me, it's been no picnic.  The author...
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Yesterday we looked at the impact that Universal Design for Learning tools can have for a neurodiversity classroom.  Today, we examine the role that assistive technologies can have in promoting "niche construction" for neurodiverse brains.  As we noted in our earlier post on neurodiversity and niche construction, one critical ingredient in improving the lives of...
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What does neurodiversity look like in a classroom?  First, it provides an inclusive membership, where people of all labels and those without labels are able to learn together.  In order to bring this about, we need to abandon the "one size fits all" mentality that has guided education for too many years.  Instead of a cookie...
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In my forthcoming book Neurodiversity:  Discovering the Extraordinary Gifts of Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia and Other Brain Differences, I explore the idea of niche construction as a way of thinking about neurodiversity.  When I suggest that neurodiverse individuals, such as those with autism or ADHD, might have been labeled gifted in other times and in other...
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On Friday, February 12, 2010 Temple Grandin presented at the cutting-edge TED Conference in Long Beach, California.  She shared some unique insights about being autistic, putting special emphasis on the ability to think in pictures and to home in on details, and illustrating these points with stories from her own life, including her work as an engineer/inventor...
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I was a special education teacher for several years, and during my time teaching, I became aware that not enough emphasis was being placed on the strengths of children who had been sent to my special classes.  This made me resolve to do some research, and I had the opportunity to do this when I did...
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Yesterday I talked about "blurring the boundaries" in categories (e.g. learning disabled, gifted etc.).  As one participant in our cyberconference put it:   " Nobody experiences disability 100% of the time, in every situation; nor is someone ALWAYS "gifted and talented".   Consequently, from a lived perspective, from a contextually rich perspective, labels don't really have a place.  There are...
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