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cultural diversity
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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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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The December 14th shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, have opened up a Pandora’s box of issues related to mental health.  One controversy in particular relates to the shooter Adam Lanza’s alleged identification as a person with a mild form of autism spectrum disorder called Asperger’s syndrome.  This hearsay diagnosis in turn has ignited a strong rebuttal from the...
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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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