The Power of Neurodiversity Book Summary - The Power of Neurodiversity Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

The Power of Neurodiversity summary

Thomas Armstrong

Unleashing the Advantages of Your Differently Wired Brain

4.4 (52 ratings)
20 mins

Brief summary

Summary in English:The Power of Neurodiversity by Thomas Armstrong is a book that celebrates the unique strengths and perspectives of individuals with neurological differences, offering a new perspective on how society can benefit from embracing neurodiversity.

Table of Contents

    The Power of Neurodiversity
    Summary of 7 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 7

    A spectrum of competencies

    Amanda Baggs posted the video In My Language in 2007, amidst a growing autism activism movement. For the first half, there’s no spoken language – Amanda taps on objects, flaps her hand, and hums. The camera flashes between shots of her interacting with objects that move and clatter. She’s focused and engaged in this visual, kinesthetic language.

    Amanda has autism and is considered to be nonverbal and low-functioning. But the video seems at odds with this evaluation.

    Through her synthesizer, she explains, “The thinking of people like me is only taken seriously if we learn your language, no matter how we previously thought or interacted … It is only when I type something in your language that you refer to me as having communication.”

    The neurodiversity paradigm offers a more empowering perspective on neurological differences than the medical paradigm tends to allow. It challenges the idea that different ways of interacting with the world are incorrect.

    Many people who have been diagnosed with dyslexia rank highly when tested for spatial intelligence. It’s believed that the same brain differences that are responsible for their reading difficulties are also responsible for this exceptional gift of translating visual images mentally.

    You can imagine that in a world where students were tested on their special reasoning instead of their ability to read, our “smartest” students would suddenly become the ones with a deficit. People exist on a spectrum of competencies. How those competencies are valued by society dictates which are considered deficits and which are gifts.

    Amanda can’t communicate with people verbally, but she’s in constant dialogue with her environment. This is an example of what’s called “systems thinking,” a type of intelligence focused on interaction and the relationship between objects in a system. There’s a high correlation between people diagnosed with autism and exceptional ability in this form of intelligence.  

    And yet, when people see Amanda interact with things “wrongly,” they often doubt that she’s a thinking person. Amanda says “… since their definition of thought defines their definition of personhood so ridiculously much, they doubt that I am a real person as well.”

    Embracing neurodiversity means recognizing and valuing the vast spectrum of human experiences, just as we celebrate the vibrant richness of human culture or ability. By moving away from a deficit-focused medical model to an empowerment model, neurodiversity transforms difference into variety, deficit into advantage, and disability into possibility.

    Want to see all full key ideas from The Power of Neurodiversity?

    Key ideas in The Power of Neurodiversity

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is The Power of Neurodiversity about?

    The Power of Neurodiversity (2011) explores how reframing neurological differences as diversity rather than disorder can empower those with atypical minds. It covers the strengths of neurodivergent thinking, finding one's niche, positive adaptations, and envisioning a more inclusive world. It invites us to celebrate the brilliance found in all human brains.

    The Power of Neurodiversity Review

    The Power of Neurodiversity (2010) by Thomas Armstrong is a book that explores the benefits of embracing and understanding the diverse range of neurological differences. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Provides a fascinating exploration of how neurodiversity can be seen as a valuable asset rather than a disorder.
    • Offers compelling evidence and real-life examples that challenge traditional notions of intelligence and normality.
    • By celebrating the unique strengths and perspectives of neurodiverse individuals, the book promotes inclusivity and encourages a more accepting society.

    Who should read The Power of Neurodiversity?

    • Teachers of all levels
    • Parents of children with learning or cognitive differences
    • Anyone whose brain is wired a little differently

    About the Author

    Thomas Armstrong is an educator and psychologist who advocates embracing neurodiversity and cognitive variability. He’s the author of multiple books including Neurodiversity in the Classroom, The Myth of the ADHD Child, and The Human Odyssey. Armstrong's research and writing promote understanding learning differences to create positive change in families, schools, and society.

    Categories with The Power of Neurodiversity

    Book summaries like The Power of Neurodiversity

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    The Power of Neurodiversity FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Power of Neurodiversity?

    Embrace the unique strengths of neurodiverse individuals for a more inclusive and compassionate society.

    How long does it take to read The Power of Neurodiversity?

    The reading time for The Power of Neurodiversity varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Power of Neurodiversity a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Power of Neurodiversity is a thought-provoking and enlightening book that sheds light on the value of neurodiversity. It's definitely worth reading.

    Who is the author of The Power of Neurodiversity?

    The author of The Power of Neurodiversity is Thomas Armstrong.

    What to read after The Power of Neurodiversity?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Power of Neurodiversity, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Relativity by Albert Einstein
    • Divergent Mind by Jenara Nerenberg
    • Becoming FDR by Jonathan Darman
    • Gravity by Nicholas Mee
    • Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli
    • Read People Like a Book by Patrick King
    • Neurodiversity at Work by Theo Smith and Amanda Kirby
    • Scattered Minds by Gabor Maté
    • How to Know a Person by David Brooks
    • Effective Decision-Making by Edoardo Binda Zane