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The Woman Who Changed Her Brain: And Other Inspiring Stories of Pioneering Brain Transformationby Barbara Arrowsmith Young
Synopses & Reviews
andlt;Bandgt;Barbara Arrowsmith-Young andlt;/Bandgt;was born with severe learning disabilities that caused teachers to label her slow, stubbornand#8212;or worse. As a child, she read and wrote everything backward, struggled to process concepts in language, continually got lost, and was physically uncoordinated. She could make no sense of an analogue clock. But by relying on her formidable memory and iron will, she made her way to graduate school, where she chanced upon research that inspired her to invent cognitive exercises to and#8220;fixand#8221; her own brain. andlt;Iandgt;The Woman Who Changed Her Brain andlt;/Iandgt;interweaves her personal tale with riveting case histories from her more than thirty years of working with both children and adults. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Recent discoveries in neuroscience have conclusively demonstrated that, by engaging in certain mental tasks or activities, we actually change the structure of our brainsand#8212;from the cells themselves to the connections between cells. The capability of nerve cells to change is known as andlt;Iandgt;neuroplasticity, andlt;/Iandgt;and Arrowsmith-Young has been putting it into practice for decades. With great inventiveness, after combining two lines of research, Barbara developed unusual cognitive calisthenics that radically increased the functioning of her weakened brain areas to normal and, in some areas, even above-normal levels. She drew on her intellectual strengths to determine what types of drills were required to target the specific nature of her learning problems, and she managed to conquer her cognitive deficits. Starting in the late 1970s, she has continued to expand and refine these exercises, which have benefited thousands of individuals. Barbara founded Arrowsmith School in Toronto in 1980 and then the Arrowsmith Program to train teachers and to implement this highly effective methodology in schools all over North America. Her work is revealed as one of the first examples of neuroplasticityand#8217;s extensive and practical application. The idea that self-improvement can happen in the brain has now caught fire. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;Iandgt;The Woman Who Changed Her Brain andlt;/Iandgt;powerfully and poignantly illustrates how the lives of children and adults struggling with learning disorders can be dramatically transformed. This remarkable book by a brilliant pathbreaker deepens our understanding of how the brain works and of the brainand#8217;s profound impact on how we participate in the world. Our brains shape us, but this book offers clear and hopeful evidence of the corollary: we can shape our brains.
The incredible story and miraculous work of a remarkable woman. Though she began life severely learning disabled, built herself a better brain and a brain training program that has helped thousands of others do the same.
Barbara Arrowsmith Young was born with severe learning disabilities. Undaunted, she used her few strengths to develop brain exercises to conquer her neurological deficits. She has gone on to change countless lives.
In the past five years, the idea that self-improvement can happen in the brain has caught hold and inspired hope. Now, thanks to brilliant pathbreakers such as Barbara, rather than worrying about how our brains shape us, we can focus on shaping our brains. Young’s work is one of the first examples of the extensive practical application of “neuroplasticity.” As the people on these pages change their brains, readers see how the brain works and what a profound impact improved mental capacity has on how we can participate in the world. Here her personal story is interwoven with fascinating accounts of the clinical mysteries and triumphant stories Barbara has encountered during her career.
The Arrowsmith cognitive training program originated in Toronto in 1978, but is now being implemented in schools in Canada and the U.S. in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida, Georgia, California, and South Carolina.
About the Author
andlt;Bandgt;Barbara Arrowsmith-Young andlt;/Bandgt;is the director of the Arrowsmith School and Arrowsmith Program. She holdsandnbsp;a BA Sc. in child studies from the University of Guelph and a masterand#8217;s degree in school psychology from the University of Toronto (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education).
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