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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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I have noticed that kids in Scandinavia are allowed to play in freer ways than in the United States.  For example, in one elementary school that I visited in Norway, kids were climbing trees, and they were really high up – I was very concerned for their safety.  And yet the teachers seemed perfectly at...
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I was just reading an article on the website “Disability Scoop” about inclusion of kids with intellectual disabilities in Connecticut’s public schools.  Connecticut ranks second in the country in terms of the percentage of intellectually disabled kids mainstreamed in regular classrooms.  So one might view the state’s efforts as exemplary.  However, the article indicates that many of these students sit...
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I was just reading an article in The Watertown (NY) Daily Times about a seventeen-year-old named Christopher Durgen who has ADHD and autism.  As a young child, he had trouble getting along with classmates and was frequently suspended from school.  That all changed around the end of his sophomore year in high school when he...
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I’ve been reading a number of blogs that have been critical of the neurodiversity movement.  Generally, they’ve characterized neurodiversity as saying “we don’t want a cure; we don’t want research; we just want to be left alone in our differentness.”  I suspect that only a small minority of neurodiversity activists take this position.  I certainly don’t.  In...
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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...
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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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