Dr. Armstrong’s Neurodiverse Universe Blog

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  Imagine that all of the people in the world have been magically transformed into flowers. Some of us are petunias.  Others are begonias.  Still others are tulips.  Now, let’s say for the sake of argument that the psychiatrists in this culture are the roses. I want you to imagine the rose psychiatrist beginning his work...
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This week’s edition of New Dimensions Radio features an interview with Michael Toms on my book The Human Odyssey, which was released in 2008.  In the book I take the reader on an experiential journey through the human life span from pre-birth to death and beyond.  Using material from fields as disparate as brain research, mysticism,...
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This next week I travel to Brazil to present at two conferences, one in Sao Paulo (May 19), and one in Sao Luis (May 26).  I’ll be speaking about ADHD and neurodiversity.  For my ADHD presentation, I’ll be lecturing on the growing medicalization of our schools, where children are routinely medicated for not fitting into the “worksheet...
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I’ve noticed a new buzz word hovering around educational circles these days.  It’s called 21st century learning.  My first reaction to this is:  aren’t we living in the 21st century?  And doesn’t that mean that any kind of learning we engage in is 21st century learning?  Well, I suppose that’s unfair.  What the people behind this...
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Teachers have been taking it on the chin a lot lately with calls for the abolishment of tenure, and its replacement with what have been called “value-added models” of teaching evaluation.  Basically, what this means is that teachers are going to be increasingly assessed in terms of their ability to raise the standardized test scores of their students. ...
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There’s a whole new climate of opinion that’s been sweeping over the educational scene in America these days.  It’s all about accepting as perfectly normal the creation of a monstrous monolithic “learning” enterprise from preschool to post-college that consists of uniform standards, standardized testing, the collection of “data”, and the evaluation of teachers based on test scores (a practice incongruously called “value-added”).  I find this...
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I’m leaving on Monday to present a lecture on neurodiversity at the Title I Conference in Tampa, Florida.  My presentation will be February 1, 2011 at 12:45 in Ballroom C of the Tampa Convention Center.  In the presentation, I’ll be emphasizing how neurodiversity represents an opportunity to reframe our understanding of children with disability labels like “autism”...
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I was happy to see recently a post on the Encyclopedia Brittanica blog that featured an interview with Cambridge University researcher Simon Baron-Cohen on the topic of neurodiversity.  When asked about the movement, Baron-Cohen replied:  “The neurodiversity movement has been a very positive influence in reminding us that there is no single pathway in neurological...
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Thirty-five years ago, when I was at the beginning of my teaching career, Piaget was all the rage.  We read his books, and puzzled over how observation of children interacting with real life situations could enable us to understand the development of their minds.  We also were able to catch the tail end of interest...
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