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One of the most exciting features of the 2012 Olympics in London has been the performance of able people who are disabled.   Even before the opening ceremony, Im Dong Hyun from South Korea, won the gold medal in archery and set a world record with an almost perfect score (699 out of 700).  Im Dong Hyun is legally...
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 A recent book by developmental psychologist David Elkind is entitled The Power of Play, and I would recommend it to parents, educators, psychotherapists, and anyone else who has an interest in play and children.  David Elkind was a disciple of Jean Piaget, the great French structuralist thinker who changed people’s conceptions of how children think.  In this...
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Increasingly we’re seeing early childhood education programs veering toward formal academic learning.  This is a distressing trend, inasmuch as it makes young children do things (formal reading and math, computer instruction) that they are not developmentally ready for, and that take precious time away from letting children be children.  There are no critical periods in...
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The word “alignment” has many meanings:  there’s wheel alignment, body alignment, road alignment, and many other kinds of alignment.  But when the word is used in the field of education, that should be a red flag to educators and parents.  Beware!  Usually the word is used in reference to the curriculum at different age and grade levels. ...
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In high school I always remember feeling fuzzy-headed after my school lunches.  Well, now it turns out that school lunches do more than just create transient mental haziness.  A study in the December 2010 issue of the American Heart Journal looked at 2000 sixth-graders and concluded that there was a clear relationship between obesity and school lunch programs.  Of...
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Reuters reports that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is pouring money into the development of biometric devices that will be worn as bracelets by students to monitor their “attentiveness” and “engagement.”  The biometric bracelets will send a small current across the skin and measure subtle changes in electrical charges as the nervous system responds...
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This excerpt from my book The Power of Neurodiversity: Unleashing the Advantages of Your Differently Wired Brain, appeared in Ode Magazine. People with conditions like ADHD, dyslexia and mood disorders are routinely labeled “disabled”. But differences among brains are as enriching—and essential—as differences among plants and animals. Welcome to the new field of neurodiversity. Thomas...
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Two recent articles highlight the positive dimensions of mental health conditions such as autism, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. In the journal Nature, an article by Canadian neuroscientist Laurent Mottron, emphasizes the advantages of autism (Mottron, 2011). Mottron suggests that, in addition to the well-known savant abilities of a small sub-section of autistic individuals, there are...
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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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