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The Woman Who Changed Her Brain : And Other Inspiring Stories of Pioneering Brain Transformation - Barbara Arrowsmith Young

The Woman Who Changed Her Brain

And Other Inspiring Stories of Pioneering Brain Transformation

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Published: 1st May 2012
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Published: 1st May 2012
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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.

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 neuroplasticity’s extensive and practical application. The idea that self-improvement can happen in the brain has now caught fire.

The Woman Who Changed Her Brain 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 brain’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.

About the Author

Barbara Arrowsmith Young holds a Master's degree in School Psychology. She worked as the Head Teacher in the lab preschool at the University of Guelph. In 1980, she established the Arrowsmith Program. She has over 30 years of experience working with children and adults with learning disabilities.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
The Woman Who Changed Her Brain
 
4.3

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Informative (8)
  • Deserves multiple readings (7)
  • Easy to understand (6)
  • Inspirational (6)
  • Relevant (6)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Special needs (7)
  • Reference (5)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Bookworm (4), Everyday reader (3)

Reviewed by 9 customers

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4.0

Fascinating and Interesting

By 

from Shepparton

About Me Bookworm

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Understand
  • Informative
  • Inspirational
  • Relevant
  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Reference
    • Special Needs

    Comments about The Woman Who Changed Her Brain:

    I use this book for reference and research into better understanding how our brain works and how i can use this information to enhance my relationship with those with learning disabilities.

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    4.0

    Fascinating insight into the brain's capacity to change.

    By 

    from Cairns

    About Me Bookworm

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Deserves Multiple Readings
    • Informative
    • Relevant

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about The Woman Who Changed Her Brain:

        If you want to be more informed about your options as a human and know the capacity you may be capable of, then reading and understanding about the plasticity of the brain will enlighten you about how to go about that, especially if there are areas of the brain you know don't function as well as they might and you want to improve.

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        5.0

        Fantastic read for parents

        By 

        from Brisbane

        About Me Bookworm

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Deserves Multiple Readings
        • Informative
        • Relevant
        • Well Written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Reference
          • Special Needs

          Comments about The Woman Who Changed Her Brain:

          I bought this book after seeing a TV program about kids who had learning difficulties. This is a brilliant book that explains to parents why kids think the way they do and how science (neuroplasticity) through cognitive exercises can address these deficiencies and rewire the brain. It does use a little technical jargon but this doesn't detract from the overall message. The only negative about this book is that it doesn't detail the cognitive exercises.

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          4.0

          The women wh changed her brain

          By 

          from Langwarrin

          About Me Casual Reader

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Understand
          • Informative

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Special Needs

            Comments about The Woman Who Changed Her Brain:

            Read this out of interest went to her presentation recently . An eye opener to what we could achieve to help people with difficulties. Appears to be a great process.Love to know more.

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            5.0

            How to help students

            By 

            from Charters Towers

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            Pros

            • Deserves Multiple Readings
            • Easy To Understand
            • Informative
            • Inspirational
            • Well Written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Reference

              Comments about The Woman Who Changed Her Brain:

              A great reference book that is informative and helpful

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              4.0

              Understanding learning disabilities

              By 

              from Bathurst NSW

              About Me Bookworm

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              Pros

              • Deserves Multiple Readings
              • Inspirational
              • Relevant
              • Well Written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Educators
                • Special Needs
                • Sport Coaches

                Comments about The Woman Who Changed Her Brain:

                Provides important, inspiring insight into brain plasticity, learning disabilities & brain ijury.

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                5.0

                Inspiring!

                By 

                from Kununurra, Western Australia

                About Me Casual Reader

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                Pros

                • Deserves Multiple Readings
                • Easy To Understand
                • Informative
                • Inspirational
                • Well Written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Special Needs

                  Comments about The Woman Who Changed Her Brain:

                  I used this book as a guide for my personal development with a child with Autism.

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                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  Interesting read

                  By 

                  from NSW, AU

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                  Pros

                  • Deserves Multiple Readings
                  • Easy To Understand
                  • Informative
                  • Inspirational
                  • Relevant

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Doctors
                    • Psychologists
                    • Reference
                    • Special Needs
                    • Teachers

                    Comments about The Woman Who Changed Her Brain:

                    If you enjoyed "The Brain That Changes itself" then this is about the person discussed in chapter two. It was a fascinating read but not an excellent work of literature as it became a bit of an advertisement for their program, which is not easily accessed outside Toronto.

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                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    4.0

                    'Must Read' for educators and parents

                    By 

                    from Bendigo

                    About Me Everyday Reader

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Deserves Multiple Readings
                    • Easy To Understand
                    • Informative
                    • Inspirational
                    • Relevant
                    • Well Written

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Older Readers
                      • Reference
                      • Special Needs

                      Comments about The Woman Who Changed Her Brain:

                      A book that provides the reader with the necessary information to gain some understanding of the workings of the brain. It offers reassurance and hope to parents of children with learning difficulties. The message? Any person's brain can be strenghtened, cognitive functions improved and blockages removed.

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                      ISBN: 9780732292393
                      ISBN-10: 0732292395
                      Audience: General
                      Format: Paperback
                      Language: English
                      Number Of Pages: 288
                      Published: 1st May 2012
                      Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
                      Country of Publication: AU
                      Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.5  x 2.2
                      Weight (kg): 0.4