Books


 

Scattered Minds. The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder.

Gabor Maté is a revered physician who specializes in neurology, psychiatry and psychology – and himself has ADD. With wisdom gained through years of medical practice and research, Scattered Minds is a must-read for parents – and for anyone interested how experiences in infancy shape the biology and psychology of the human brain.

Dr. Gabor Maté

 


 

The Power of Neurodiversity. Unleashing the Advantages of Your Differently Wired Brain.

ADHD. dyslexia. autism. the number of illness categories listed by the American Psychiatric Association has tripled in the last fifty years. With so many people affected, it is time to revisit our perceptions on this “culture of disabilities.” Bestselling author, psychologist, and educator Thomas Armstrong illuminates a new understanding of neuropsychological disorders. He argues that if they are a part of the natural diversity of the human brain, they cannot simply be defined as illnesses. Armstrong explores the evolutionary advantages, special skills, and other positive dimensions of these conditions.

A manifesto as well as a keenly intelligent look at “disability,” The Power of Neurodiversity is a must for parents, teachers, and anyone who is “differently brained.”

Thomas Armstrong


 

NeuroTribes: THE LEGACY OF AUTISM AND THE FUTURE OF NEURODIVERSITY.

A groundbreaking book that upends conventional thinking about autism and suggests a broader model for acceptance, understanding, and full participation in society for people who think differently.

What is autism? A lifelong disability or a naturally occurring form of cognitive difference akin to certain forms of genius? In truth, it is all of these things and more—and the future of our society depends on our understanding it. WIRED reporter Steve Silberman unearths the secret history of autism, long suppressed by the same clinicians who became famous for discovering it, and finds surprising answers to the crucial question of why the number of diagnoses has soared in recent years.

Steve Silberman


 

ADHD: A Hunter in a Farmer’s World.

Thom Hartmann explains that people with ADHD are not abnormal, disordered, or dysfunctional, but simply “hunters in a farmer’s world.” Often highly creative and single-minded in pursuit of a self-chosen goal, those with ADHD symptoms possess a unique mental skill set that would have allowed them to thrive in a hunter-gatherer society. As hunters, they would have been constantly scanning their environment, looking for food or threats (distractibility); they’d have to act without hesitation (impulsivity); and they’d have to love the high-stimulation and risk-filled environment of the hunting field. With our structured public schools, office workplaces, and factories those who inherit a surplus of “hunter skills” are often left frustrated in a world that doesn’t understand or support them.

Thom Hartmann


 

ADHD 2.0

Ned Hallowell and John Ratey, both of whom have ADHD, or what they prefer to term “variable attention stimulus trait,” draw on the latest science to provide both children and adults a plan for minimizing the downside and maximizing the benefits of ADHD at any age. As inspiring as it is practical, ADHD 2.0 will help you tap into the power of this mercurial condition and find the key that unlocks potential.

While most people have heard of ADHD and know someone who may have it, the potential upsides have been lost in the discussion. Many hugely successful entrepreneurs and highly creative people attribute their achievements to their ADHD, and recent research developments give a clearer understanding of the ADHD brain in action.

Dr. Edward Hallowell

 


 

Divergent Mind. Thriving in a World That Wasn’t Designed for You.

A paradigm-shifting study of neurodivergent women—those with ADHD, autism, synesthesia, high sensitivity, and sensory processing disorder—exploring why these traits are overlooked in women and how society benefits from allowing their unique strengths to flourish.

As a successful Harvard and Berkeley-educated writer, entrepreneur, and devoted mother, Jenara Nerenberg was shocked to discover that her “symptoms”–only ever labeled as anxiety– were considered autistic and ADHD. Being a journalist, she dove into the research and uncovered neurodiversity—a framework that moves away from pathologizing “abnormal” versus “normal” brains and instead recognizes the vast diversity of our mental makeups.

When it comes to women, sensory processing differences are often overlooked, masked, or mistaken for something else entirely. Between a flawed system that focuses on diagnosing younger, male populations, and the fact that girls are conditioned from a young age to blend in and conform to gender expectations, women often don’t learn about their neurological differences until they are adults, if at all. As a result, potentially millions live with undiagnosed or misdiagnosed neurodivergences, and the misidentification leads to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and shame. Meanwhile, we all miss out on the gifts their neurodivergent minds have to offer.

Jenara Nerenberg


 

The Bigger Picture Book of Amazing Dyslexics and The Jobs They Do.

Foreword by Paul Smith. A beautifully designed book, packed with photos, full of wise words and encouragement from successful dyslexics working in comedy, architecture, law, fashion and many other amazing (and achievable!) careers.

Honest about the challenges of dyslexia (like problems or embarrassment at school), while showing how its strengths can be used to your advantage (for example how visualising and big picture thinking can make you shine at work), this is a book of colourful conversations with creative, motivated and successful people who are brilliant at what they do, and who achieve incredible things because of their dyslexia.

Kathy Iwanczak Forsyth and Kate Power


 

FISH IN A TREE

“Everybody is smart in different ways. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid.”
Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.

Could you share with readers how you conducted your research or share a few interesting tidbits you learned while researching? If you don’t generally research, you could talk about your writing process, etc. Make this question work for you. (you choose or re-write to suit your work).

This book required a lot of research, actually. I had the opportunity to speak with some people who have dyslexia and were not helped until they were older. Unfortunately, even with all the screening in the early grades, kids still slip through the cracks until sixth grade or higher. Being a teacher I know that it is a very difficult job. When a child is very bright, they can often compensate very well and mask their difficulties. Ally Nickerson is such a child.

I also had to do a lot of research for Albert. He is a walking encyclopedia but that took hours of finding facts that were not only pertinent but interesting as well.

Lynda Mullaly Hunt


 

Can’t Play Won’t Play.

Learning to roller skate or ride a bike should be an enjoyable experience, but for a child with developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD, also known as dyspraxia), these activities can lead to frustration and failure. Can’t Play Won’t Play is full of practical information, tips and hints to enable children with DCD to access and enjoy activities that other children take for granted.

Whatever game you choose to try with your child, this book will offer handy hints for developing the necessary skills to make it a fun and rewarding experience. From football and rugby to swimming, skipping and skating, the advice covers all the regular childhood activities as well as games to improve physical organization and social skills. The authors provide useful equipment lists and safety tips, and include photographs and diagrams to demonstrate the activities. The delightful illustrations add to the book’s appeal, making it a friendly and accessible guide to dip into when you are in need of inspiration.

Elizabeth Atter & Sharon Drew


 

Drama Queen: One Autistic Woman and a Life of Unhelpful Labels.

‘It has taken me several years of exploration, but I am at a place now where I see autism as neither an affliction nor a superpower. It’s just the blueprint for who I am. There is no cure, but that’s absolutely fine by me. To cure me of my autism would be to cure me of myself.’

During the first thirty years of her life, comedy script writer Sara Gibbs had been labelled a lot of things – a cry baby, a scaredy cat, a spoiled brat, a weirdo, a show off – but more than anything else, she’d been called a Drama Queen. No one understood her behaviour, her meltdowns or her intense emotions. She felt like everyone else knew a social secret that she hadn’t been let in on; as if life was a party she hadn’t been invited to. Why was everything so damn hard? Little did Sara know that, at the age of thirty, she would be given one more label that would change her life’s trajectory forever. That one day, sitting next to her husband in a clinical psychologist’s office, she would learn that she had never been a drama queen, or a weirdo, or a cry baby, but she had always been autistic.

Sara Gibbs


 

Diary of a Young Naturalist

This book chronicles the turning of Dara McAnulty’s world, from spring to summer, autumn to winter, on his home patch, at school, in the wild and in his head.

Evocative, raw and beautifully written, this very special book vividly explores the natural world from the perspective of an autistic teenager juggling homework, exams and friendships alongside his life as a conservationist and environmental activist. With a sense of awe and wonder, Dara describes in meticulous detail encounters in his garden and the wild, with blackbirds, whooper swans, red kites, hen harriers, frogs, dandelions, skylarks, bats, cuckoo flowers, Irish hares and many more species.

The power and warmth of his words also draw an affectionate and moving portrait of a close-knit family making their way in the world.

Dara McAnulty


 

The Pattern Seekers: How Autism Drives Human Invention.

Why can humans alone invent? In this book, psychologist and world renowned autism expert Simon Baron-Cohen puts forward a bold new theory: because we can identify patterns, specifically if-and-then patterns. And he argues that the genes for this unique ability overlap with the genes for autism.

From the first musical instrument to the agricultural, industrial and digital revolutions, Baron-Cohen shows how this unique ability has driven human progress for 70,000 years. By linking one of our greatest human strengths with a condition that is so often misunderstood, The Pattern Seekers challenges us to think differently about those who think differently.

Professor Sir Simon Baron-Cohen


 

Explaining Humans

Blessed with the solid combination of ASD, ADHD, and PhD – I use the powers of neurodiversity to navigate the under-passed connections of how human psychology can meander beyond the norm. The study of humans, and analogous evolving systems are my life long passion which is fed by books, observation, and intricate sensing which I process through the lenses of science and art in my writing.

My first book baby is called ‘Explaining Humans’ – which uses the microscope of science to shed light on the bigger pictures of social norms, and advocates for neurodiversity being a hidden treasure of human evolution. Explaining Humans won the Royal Society Insight investment award 2020, making me the youngest ever winner for this prestigious prize and the first person of colour. I am absolutely thrilled!

Award winning author and autism advocate.

CAMILLA PANG


 

Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian with Practical Advice for Aspergians, Misfits, Families & Teachers

In Be Different, New York Times bestselling author of Look Me in the Eye shares a new batch of endearing stories about his childhood, adolescence, and young adult years, giving the reader a rare window into the Autistic mind.

In his bestselling memoir, Look Me in the Eye, John Elder Robison described growing up with Autism Spectrum Disorder at a time when the diagnosis didn’t exist. He was intelligent but socially isolated; his talents won him jobs with toy makers and rock bands but did little to endear him to authority figures and classmates, who were put off by his inclination to blurt out non sequiturs and avoid eye contact.

By the time he was diagnosed at age forty, John had already developed a myriad of coping strategies that helped him achieve a seemingly normal, even highly successful, life.

John Elder Robison


 

A Radical Guide for Women With ADHD Embrace Neurodiversity, Live Boldly, and Break Through Barriers

Live boldly as a woman with ADHD! This radical guide will show you how to cultivate your individual strengths, honor your neurodiversity, and learn to communicate with confidence and clarity.

If you are a woman with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you’ve probably known-all your life-that you’re different. As girls, we learn which behaviours, thinking, learning and working styles are preferred, which are accepted and tolerated and which are frowned upon. These preferences are communicated in innumerable ways-from media and books to our first-grade classroom to conversations with our classmates and parents.

Over the course of a lifetime, women with ADHD learn through various channels that the way they think, work, speak, relate, and act does not match up with the preferred way of being in the world. In short, they learn that difference is bad.
And, since these women know that they are different, they learn that they are bad.

Sari Solden  –  Michelle D Frank, PsyD.


 

We’re Not Broken: Changing the Autism Conversation.

“This book is a message from autistic people to their parents, friends, teachers, coworkers and doctors showing what life is like on the spectrum. It’s also my love letter to autistic people. For too long, we have been forced to navigate a world where all the road signs are written in another language.”

With a reporter’s eye and an insider’s perspective, Eric Garcia shows what it’s like to be autistic across America.

Garcia began writing about autism because he was frustrated by the media’s coverage of it; the myths that the disorder is caused by vaccines, the narrow portrayals of autistic people as white men working in Silicon Valley. His own life as an autistic person didn’t look anything like that. He is Latino, a graduate of the University of North Carolina, and works as a journalist covering politics in Washington D.C. Garcia realized he needed to put into writing what so many autistic people have been saying for years; autism is a part of their identity, they don’t need to be fixed.

In We’re Not Broken, Garcia uses his own life as a springboard to discuss the social and policy gaps that exist in supporting those on the spectrum. From education to healthcare, he explores how autistic people wrestle with systems that were not built with them in mind. At the same time, he shares the experiences of all types of autistic people, from those with higher support needs, to autistic people of color, to those in the LGBTQ community. In doing so, Garcia gives his community a platform to articulate their own needs, rather than having others speak for them, which has been the standard for far too long.

Eric Garcia


 

The Neurodiversity Reader

The Neurodiversity Reader collection brings together work from pioneering figures within and beyond the neurodiversity movement to critically explore its associated concepts and how they might be translated into practice. The concept of neurodiversity can be traced to the late 1990s and the work of the autistic Australian sociologist Judy Singer (1998), with its origins within the autistic rights movement that had begun in earnest some years prior to that. In the 20 years since the inception of the concept, a strong international movement championing the civil rights of those deemed ‘neurodivergent’ from idealised norms has grown, rallying behind the slogan ‘Nothing about us without us’. Alongside this political movement has been an increasing academic interest in the concept of neurodiversity and how such ideas can relate to practice and service provision.

This collection will explore the history of the movement, the concepts that have shaped it, and where the future might lead to. Through a variety of accounts, the relevance and criticisms of these concepts in understanding ourselves and one another will be examined, as well as implications for practice.

Pavilion