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 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 “fix” her own brain. The Woman Who Changed Her Brain interweaves her personal tale with riveting case histories from her more than thirty years of working with both children and adults.
Recent discoveries in neuroscience have conclusively demonstrated that, by engaging in certain mental tasks or activities, we actually change the structure of our brains-from the cells themselves to the connections between cells. the capability of nerve cells to change is known as neuroplasticity, 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.
About the Author
Barbara Arrowsmith-Young is the director of Arrowsmith School and Arrowsmith Program. She holds both a B.A.Sc. in Child Studies from the University of Guelph and an M.A. in School Psychology from the University of Toronto (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education).
Check out Barbara Arrowsmith-Young’s amazing Ted Talk below!
And here’s a clip of Barbara Arrowsmith-Young at Mind and Its Potential 2013.