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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
 
4.4

(based on 7 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Deserves multiple readings (6)
  • Informative (6)
  • Easy to understand (5)
  • Inspirational (5)
  • Well written (5)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Special needs (6)
    • Reference (4)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Everyday reader (3)

    Reviewed by 7 customers

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    5.0

    Fantastic read for parents

    By Purplepups

    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.

      Comment on this review

       
      4.0

      The women wh changed her brain

      By Kerrie

      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.

        Comment on this review

         
        5.0

        How to help students

        By Demonnige

        from Charters Towers

        About Me Everyday Reader

        Verified Buyer

        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

          Comment on this review

           
          4.0

          Understanding learning disabilities

          By BobM

          from Bathurst NSW

          About Me Bookworm

          Verified Buyer

          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.

            Comment on this review

             
            5.0

            Inspiring!

            By DoWell

            from Kununurra, Western Australia

            About Me Casual Reader

            Verified Buyer

            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.

              Comment on this review

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Interesting read

              By Al

              from NSW, AU

              About Me Everyday Reader

              Verified Buyer

              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.

                Comment on this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                'Must Read' for educators and parents

                By Nette

                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.

                  Comment on this review

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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
                  Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.5  x 2.2
                  Weight (kg): 0.4