Neurodiversity & Optimal Learning
Neurodiversity is the idea that neurological differences among people should be recognized and respected just the same as any other form of human variation. For too long the medical model of mental health has viewed differences like autism, ADHD, and dyslexia solely as “dysfunctional,” “disorders,” and “disabilities.” In the rush to provide treatments focused on “curing” these conditions too little attention has been given to enabling people with neurologically different brains to be accepted for themselves, to articulate what they want, and to help them discover and grow their strengths.
Every individual has a unique profile of cognitive, social, and emotional strengths and weaknesses, and it is by understanding one’s abilities and learning how to work with and around them that we find the potential for growth. We must also consider the goodness of fit between the individual and the environment. A disability in one environment may well be an ability in another. In this talk, I will describe the strength and challenge profiles associated with the different brain “wiring” and how to help individuals optimize their learning and success.
- Neurodiversity, Unleashing the power of your differently wired brain – Thomas Armstrong
- Neurotribes – Steve Silberman
- The Dyslexic Advantage – Brock and Fernette Eide
- The Way I see It – Temple Grandin
- Talented Teenagers: The Roots of Success & Failure -Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
What these books share is a positive psychology focus on the strengths side of the neurodiversity equation and the importance of developing one’s interests and talents.
- Tilt Parenting podcast with Debbie Reber
- The Neurodiversity Podcast with Emily Kircher-Morris
Blogs & Websites:
- The Bright and Quirky blog by Debbie Steinberg-Kuntz
- Dr. Devon’s blog
- Thomas Armstrong brief article on neurodiversity
About the Speaker:
Dr Devon MacEachron
Dr. Devon MacEachron is a licensed psychologist in New York City with a private practice informed by the positive psychology and neurodiversity movements. She conducts neuropsychological assessments designed to uncover each individual’s profile of strengths and weaknesses as a learner in order to provide an action plan that simultaneously develops strengths and interests while remediating and accommodating weaker skills. She is especially knowledgeable about neurodiverse, twice-exceptional, and gifted learners, whose strengths can camouflage their weaknesses, resulting in unexpectedly weaker performance than ability and considerable frustration, anxiety, and often depression. She has a social media presence where she talks about neurodiversity, the advantages of being wired differently, challenging neuromyths, parenting, achievement, and success.