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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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In my book The Power of Neurodiversity:  Unleashing the Advantages of Your Differently Wired Brain, I explore the idea of niche construction as a way of thinking about neurodiversity.  When I suggest that neurodiverse individuals, such as those with autism or ADHD, might have been labeled gifted in other times and in other cultures, the quick...
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I was a special education teacher for several years, and during my time teaching, I became aware that not enough emphasis was being placed on the strengths of children who had been sent to my special classes.  This made me resolve to do some research, and I had the opportunity to do this when I did...
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As one participant in a 2010 cyberconference put it:   ” Nobody experiences disability 100% of the time, in every situation; nor is someone ALWAYS “gifted and talented”.   Consequently, from a lived perspective, from a contextually rich perspective, labels don’t really have a place.  There are just unique students with their unique strengths and weaknesses, which change...
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  Over the past sixty years, we’ve witnessed a phenomenal growth in the number of new psychiatric illnesses.  The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, first published in 1952, originally listed about 100 categories of illness.  By the year 2000, that number had tripled.  We’ve become accustomed to hearing in the news about “learning disabilities,”...
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A recent interview on the blog Technoccult with neurodiversity advocate Kassiane (she didn’t wish to give her last name), highlighted some key points about neurodiversity.  In defining neurodiversity, she made an important distinction between the word and the movement, explaining:  “Neurodiversity, the word, simply means the whole variety of different brain wirings people have…from the different kinds of normal...
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