“Neurodiversity.” It’s a relatively new term, revolutionary even, and award-winning author Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D.’s two recent books The Power of Neurodiversity and Neurodiversity in the Classroom propose change the way the majority of people think about neurological disorders: categorizing individuals with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other brain differences in terms of their limitations and searching endlessly for ways to fix them. What if, however, these differences were perceived like any of the other diversities f that are part of being human? What if neurological differences were seen to have their own set of benefits as well as challenges? ? Dr. Armstrong provides a compelling look at the strengths associated with ADHD, autism, learning disabilities, intellectual disorders, and emotional and behavioral disorders. The Power of Neurodiversity provides rich examples of extraordinary individuals who have these unique brain differences, individuals who have tailored their learning and interactions to better suit their differences, yielding inspirational tales of success and triumph. In Neurodiversity in the Classroom, Dr. Armstrong extends the neurodiversity concept into education by providing practical strength-based tools and strategies for teachers to use with neurodiverse students to help them succeed in school and life.. According to Publishers Weekly, Dr. Armstrong “[emphasizes] that a broader understanding of neurodiversity will generate more respect and better results for people with the conditions he discusses.” Neurodiversity is “extraordinary!” according to blogtalkradio.com. It has the potential “to create significant social transformation.”
Prior to these two books on neurodiversity, Dr. Armstrong wrote The Human Odyssey, which details the twelve life stages and explains their tasks and challenges. He describes the life stages in both biological and spiritual terms. Dr. Armstrong gives contemporary anecdotes and statistics, even weaving in examples and ideas from history, literature, philosophy, myth, and cultural rituals from around the world. His book also contains a filmography of great movies that deal with each of the twelve stages of life.
A contributor to publications from Ladies Home Journal and Parenting to The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, and a guest on several national news programs such as The Today Show and CNN, he has written fifteen books with world-wide circulation in twenty six languages and his works have been the subject of pieces in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Good Housekeeping and many other publications. Dr. Armstrong has also spoken to hundreds of audiences across the United States and in twenty-two countries. His previous work focused on multiple intelligences and he has also written books on awakening the intrinsic genius of children.
Dr. Armstrong’s books have won myriad awards and The Human Odyssey has been praised by numerous researchers and writers in the field. Joseph Chilton Pearce, the author of The Crack in the Cosmic Egg and Magical Child, calls The Human Odyssey “superb, magnificent, astonishing, unique, engrossing, eminently readable, informative, enjoyable, entertaining, profound.” Ralph Metzner, Ph.D, author of Maps of Consciousness, says that “Armstrong shows the way to a truly integrated understanding of the complexities of the human life cycle.”
Dr. Armstrong is the executive director of the American Institute for Learning and Human Development. He lives in Northern California and maintains a blog to talk about the ideas and questions raised by his books.
—Caroline Patton & Lauren Kuhl
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