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The Woman Who Changed Her Brain

The Woman Who Changed Her Brain

How I Left My Learning Disability Behind and Other Stories of Cognitive Transformation

Foreword by: Norman Doidge
Barbara Arrowsmith-Young was born with severe learning disabilities. As a child, she read and wrote everything backward, struggled to comprehend language, and was continually getting lost. But by relying on her formidable memory, she made her way to graduate school, where she chanced upon research that inspired her to invent cognitive exercises to “fix” her own brain. The Woman Who Changed Her Brain interweaves her personal tale with riveting case histories from more than thirty years of her work with both children and adults.

People with learning disorders have long been told that such difficulties are a lifelong condition. In clear and lucid writing, The Woman Who Changed Her Brain refutes that message, demonstrating with fascinating anecdotes that anyone with a learning disability can be radically trans­formed: Arrowsmith-Young is a living example. She founded the Arrowsmith School in Toronto in 1980 and then the Arrowsmith Program to train teachers to implement this effective methodology in schools all over North America.

This remarkable book by a brilliant pioneer deepens our understanding of how the brain works. Our brain shapes us, and this book offers clear and hopeful evidence of the corollary: that we can shape our brains.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451607949 | 
  • September 2013
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The Woman Who Changed Her Brain

Barbara Arrowsmith-Young was born with severe learning disabilities that caused teachers to label her slow, stubborn—or worse. As a child, she read and wrote everything backward, struggled to process concepts in language, continually got lost, and...

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About the Author

Barbara Arrowsmith-Young
Photograph by Pierre Gautreau

Barbara Arrowsmith-Young

Barbara Arrowsmith-Young is the director of the Arrowsmith School and Arrowsmith Program. She holds a BA Sc. in child studies from the University of Guelph and a master’s degree in school psychology from the University of Toronto (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education).

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