Da Capo Press, $16.00, 288 pages
According to author Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D., his book The Power of Neurodiversity: Unleashing the Advantages of Your Differently Wired Brain “…offers the richest concentration of research and information in print on the strengths, talents, aptitudes, and abilities of individuals with neurologically based mental disorders.” As the identification of mental disorders grows with scientific study, the disadvantages and negatives of these conditions are focused on, while the special talents that often come with these disorders are overlooked. While acknowledging the problems, Armstrong makes a good case for society at large to be more inclusive and understanding of those who are differently wired, or “neurodiverse.” Particular conditions addressed are attention deficit disorder (with or without hyperactivity); the autism spectrum; dyslexia and other learning disabilities; mood and anxiety disorders; and even schizophrenia.
The reader may wonder how Armstrong’s plans to change society’s views on these issues could actually be implemented. His ideas on what could be done seem a little unlikely. Nonetheless, Neurodiversity: Unleashing the Advantages of Your Differently Wired Brain is an eye opener. It makes a good case that neurodiversity is more normal than abnormal in the human population. It exists, and reasons for it have been found in human evolution. The book is well written, very readable, and this reviewer recommends it.