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Getting students’ attention in the classroom is one of the things that teachers have to do intermittently throughout the school day:  at the start of a class, at the end of an activity where students are working in groups, and at other times besides.  Some teachers are very good at this, commanding student attention through...
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I just read a very interesting article from EdSurge, an educational technology information online resource that focuses on the benefits of coding, describing how kids who have difficulty in other subjects can sometimes find hidden strengths in their ability to work with code.  The author Kimberly Rues, writes: ”In every classroom where I’ve given kids...
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When I was in school, a long long time ago (sounds like the start of a fairy tale!), we had these Science Research Associates (SRA) reading programs that came in a box.  The box contained scores of laminated pages (like the files in a filing cabinet), each of which had a story on it with...
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Once a student has learned to decode (e.g. read the actual printed words on the page or screen), then reading teachers (and remedial teachers) launch into an enterprise called ”reading comprehension.” Taken at face value, this really just means being able to understand what you are reading.  There are rare cases of individuals who are...
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In an earlier post, I pointed out how over the course of millions of years of human evolution, reading and literacy have occupied only the last 5000 years of human existence.  Consequently, our brains did not evolve any brain regions specifically for reading, but must make use of preexisting structures of the brain to make...
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When I was a kid I used to enjoy Mad Magazine, which I loved for many reasons, the irreverence, the hilarity, the satire, and more. One feature that I remember in particular involved cartoons that spelled out nonsense words as sound effects. For example:  ”Glomp!” “Flaaack!” ”Pffft!” ”Sproing!” (above – a page from Mad with...
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Estimates are that 15-20 percent of the population have some degree of dyslexia, which sounds like an exotic disease, but really just means ”trouble with words.” Increasingly, scientists are getting closer to an understanding of why certain people have such difficulty in decoding the printed word.  There seems to be a consensus that the difficulties...
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A new study has revealed that high doses of Omega-3 oils work as well or even better in improving attention and vigilance for some children diagnosed with ADHD than psychoactive medications.  The double-blind placebo-controlled study noted that this effect occurs only in those children who started the study with lower levels of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid...
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Let me start by telling a story based on actual classroom research.  A research psychologist gave 27 students in a high school classroom wireless pagers and told them that whenever they received a ”page” they were to write down on a form he’d given them whatever was going on in their minds at that moment. ...
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