A new term has emerged from the disability movement in the past decade to help change the way we think about neurological disorders: Neurodiversity. The number of categories of illnesses listed by the American Psychiatric Association has tripled in the past fifty years. With so many people affected by our growing “culture of disabilities,” it no longer makes sense to hold on to the deficit-ridden idea of neuropsychological illness. With the sensibility of Oliver Sacks and Kay Redfield Jamison, psychologist Thomas Armstrong offers a revolutionary perspective that reframes many neuropsychological disorders as part of the natural diversity of the human brain rather than as definitive illnesses. The Power of Neurodiversity emphasizes their positive dimensions, showing how people with ADHD, bipolar disorder, and other conditions have inherent evolutionary advantages that, matched with the appropriate environment or ecological niche, can help them achieve dignity and wholeness in their lives.More info →
Dr. Harvey Sumner has a dirty little secret. Although he’s a world renowned child psychologist with honors galore and the scion of a long line of child healers, he’s childless and hasn’t worked professionally with a single child for over thirty years.
The tension between his fame and the reality of his life finally reaches a breaking point when he’s kidnapped by the U.S. government and held in a bunker twelve floors below the National Institutes of Health. Here he learns of a covert government project to declare childhood as a medical disorder and eliminate it from the human genome in America.
Will Harvey manage to escape from his underground prison and save the country’s children and childhood itself? Or will America become a childless nation?
Read the novel and find out!More info →
A new concept on human diversity has emerged over the past 10 years that promises to revolutionize the way educators provide service to students with special needs: neurodiversity. Just as we celebrate diversity in nature and culture, so too do we need to honor the diversity of brains among our students who learn, think, and behave differently. In this book, Thomas Armstrong argues that we should embrace the strengths of such neurodiverse students to help them and their neurotypical peers thrive in school and beyond.
For college level students and adults in the workplace, read my book The Power of Neurodiversity: Unleashing the Advantages of Your Differently Wired Brain.More info →
A fully revised and updated edition of the groundbreaking book on tackling the root causes of children’s attention and behavior problems rather than masking the symptoms with medication.
More than twenty years after Dr. Thomas Armstrong's Myth of the ADD Child first published, he presents much needed updates and insights in this substantially revised edition. When The Myth of the ADD Child was first published in 1995, Dr. Thomas Armstrong made the controversial argument that many behaviors labeled as ADD or ADHD are simply a child's active response to complex social, emotional, and educational influences. In this fully revised and updated edition, Dr. Armstrong shows readers how to address the underlying causes of a child's attention and behavior problems in order to help their children implement positive changes in their lives.
The rate of ADHD diagnosis has increased sharply, along with the prescription of medications to treat it. Now needed more than ever, this book includes fifty-one new non-drug strategies to help children overcome attention and behavior problems, as well as updates to the original fifty proven strategies.More info →
What does it mean to a kid to be labeled attention-deficit disordered (ADD)? Or to have "hyperactive" added to the label (ADHD)? What can teachers do to boost the success of students with attention and behavioral difficulties? Are we relying too much on medication for these kids and not enough on new perspectives on learning, child development, the child's socioeconomic and cultural background, biological and psychological research, and the learner's emotional and social needs?
In ADD/ADHD Alternatives in the Classroom, Dr. Thomas Armstrong urges educators and parents to look for the positive characteristics in learners who may carry the ADD/ADHD label. Are they bursting with energy? Are they intensely creative? Do they enjoy hands-on learning? Are they natural leaders? Are they unusually introspective and reflective?
We need to look beyond a "deficit" approach and embrace a more holistic view of learners that includes teaching to their multiple intelligences, learning styles, and other brain-friendly approaches. For example, here are some classroom activities for kids who "can't sit still": Learning spelling words by having kids jump up out of their seats on the vowels and sit down on the consonants. Mastering the multiplication tables by forming a conga line, moving around the classroom counting from 1 to 30 out loud, and on every multiple of 3 shaking their hips and legs. Showing patterns of molecular bonding in chemistry class through a "swing your atom" square dance.
For information on ADD/ADHD for parents, see my book The Myth of the ADHD Child: 101 Ways to Improve Your Child's Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion.More info →