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Intellectual Disabilities
One of the themes that I’ve sought to emphasize in my work in the field of neurodiversity is the idea that whether a person will be labeled as disordered or gifted may have more to do with when and where they were born rather than anything intrinsic to them as an individual.  I’ve found it...
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When children are diagnosed with special needs (e.g. dyslexia, ADHD, autism etc.), the initial efforts to support them almost always revolve around helping them to fit in with the environment around them.  This of course is very important, but it leaves out a much-needed corollary to these efforts and that is:  changing the environment to...
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Nothing has been more disconcerting to me in my forty-five years as an educator than to ask a parent or teacher:  ”What is your child’s (or teen’s) strengths?” and have them answer:  ”He hasn’t got any.”  I’ve actually heard this several times in my career.  It was such responses that motivated me to come up...
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Any time you mandate that kids must do something, ANYTHING, you’ve automatically created a special category for those kiddos who don’t or won’t – and that’s how labels are born.  Before reading was mandatory for kids, there weren’t any reading disabilities.  Before we descended into this ”short attention span culture” of ours, we didn’t have...
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The concept of neurodiversity emerged in the 1990’s as a way for autism advocates to affirm their identity as people with neurological differences rather than as disabled individuals.  The idea has spread as other advocates (including myself) have sought to articulate the ”diversity rather than disability” message to a broader segment of the population than...
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