Neurodiversity I want to wish a hearty welcome to participants in the CRSTE CyberConference 2010.  What we're going to do over the next few days (with the exception of three days on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday when I travel to speak in Atlanta) is explore the concept of neurodiversity.  This is a relatively new word, coined around ten years ago.  It emerged from the autism community as a way to speak up for the rights of the "differently wired."  Up until now, the word has been used primarily on blog sites concerned with issues related to autism.  However, even those in the neurodiversity movement largely believe that neurodiversity should not be an exclusionary term restricted only to autism, but that it ought to include other brain differences including ADHD, dyslexia, intellectual disabilities and other disability labels.  I have taken this more inclusionary perspective in my forthcoming book Neurodiversity:  Discovering the Extraordinary Gifts of Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and Other Brain Differences, to be pubilshed in May by DaCapo/Perseus.  What I'd like to do in the first post of the conference is give you some homework so that you have a background on the issue of neurodiversity and how it fits in with special education.  My goal is to make neurodiversity a cutting edge term used by special educators to talk about kids with neurological differences, to either supplement or even replace the use of discrete deficit-oriented categories of disability.  So, I'm assigning two of my online articles for you to read.  The first one is "Neurodiversity:  A Concept Whose Time Has Come."  The second article is:  "Neurodiversity and the Concept of Special Education."    You can make comments under each of these articles.  Please comment on this material.  It's basically your comments that will provide grist for the mill, since I don't want to be talking at you, but rather dialoging with you.  So, read away!  And I'll look forward to talking with you this week!

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I am the author of 16 books including my latest: The Myth of the ADHD Child: 101 Ways to Improve Your Child's Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion (Tarcher-Perigee).

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