About the Author

  • Thomas_armstrong_photo_cropped
    Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. is the author of fourteen books including the forthcoming Neurodiversity: Discovering the Extraordinary Gifts of Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and Other Brain Differences. His other books include: In Their Own Way, 7 Kinds of Smart, Awakening Your Child's Natural Genius, Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, The Myth of the A.D.D. Child, and The Radiant Child. His books have been translated into 25 languages including Spanish, Hebrew, Chinese, Danish, and Russian. He has taught at several San Francisco Bay Area graduate schools including the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, and the California Institute of Integral Studies. He has written for Ladies Home Journal, Family Circle, Parenting (where he was a regularly featured columnist), The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, and many other journals and periodicals. He has appeared on The Today Show, CBS This Morning, CNN, the BBC, and The Voice of America. Articles featuring his work have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Investor's Business Daily, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, and hundreds of other magazines and newspapers. He has given over 800 keynotes, workshops, and lectures in 42 states and 16 countries. His clients have included Sesame Street, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Republic of Singapore, Hasbro Toys, and the European Council of International Schools. He is currently working on a novel about the disappearance of childhood. For more information about his work, go to www.thomasarmstrong.com.
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The concept of neurodiversity fits my constantly evolving construct of how to provide educational services to students with IEPs and other diverse learners. Just as the concept of autism spectrum helped to lay the foundation for the existence of a wide-range of abilities and challenges, neurodiversity helps to lay the foundation for a broad range of abilities and challenges for all. With that foundation educators can build a broad spectrum of strategies to facilitate learning for all learners. For me, this is where UDL comes in as a framework to help all educators address all learners by using the strengths and embracing the differences. Basic thoughts I know, but important for me to define as I continue my work.

Lynda Martin

To some extent I believe we are all gifted, learning disabled, and saddled or blessed with various abilities or disabilities. It is so sad when children see themselves as inferior because of our failure to help them reach their potentials. The concept of neurodiversity may be a means of helping them change their self-perception.

Janet Purcell

This paradigm shift stands in stark contrast to the special education experience my friend describes like this. "They thought I was bad at something, so they tested me to find exactly how bad I was at it, and then spent the next years of my life making me do what I was bad at as much as possible." It certainly seems an ideal time to capitalize on the cultural revolution taking place in disability culture and reframe the concept of "learning disabilities".

Lorraine Arbore

Having spent the last thirty years immersed in the continuous evolution of special education, it seems only natural that the concept of "neurodiversity" would only be fitting. We do indeed live in a world full of diversities and as educators, we are constantly challenged with finding ways to accentuate the positives and to bring out the best in our students. At times, it appears that our traditional ways of delivery, may need to be redefined, in order to meet the needs of our diverse population.

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