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Bright Not Broken: Gifted Kids, ADHD, and Autism Hardcover – September 13, 2011
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"This book addresses an important, under discussed topic, supporting children with social and attention problems but who have good cognitive skills. With discussion of who they are and why they end up stuck and frustrated, this highly readable book fills an important need."
-- Fred R Volkmar, MD, Director, Yale Child Study Center
This book is essential for parents and professionals. It is both theoretical, practical and creatively updates thinking on autism spectrum disorders. In our experience change in the field only happens when parents campaign which these authors are doing with such enthusiasm.
Dr. Lorna Wing and Judith Gould, PhD
The National Autistic Society
"A work of tremendous scholarship and passion that deserves to be a seminal and paradigm-shifting work. It should be read by all parents of gifted children with coexistent disabilities--and the professionals who work with them."
William Sheehan, MD, Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Services, Willmar, MN
"This book is an outstanding analysis of the flaws in the educational and psychiatric approaches to children's challenges. It gave me excellent insight into my more challenging cases and has had a profound impact on my personal and professional life."
Ruth Goldberg, PhD, clinical and school psychologist, mother of three 2e children
"Bright Not Broken is a unique resource for parents and professionals who seek to understand children's behaviors. The authors are to be applauded for their clear-thinking approach to the jungle of DSM labels--a must read for the open minded!"
Lydia Furman, MD, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, Cleveland OH
"This book is truly inspiring and it shows that by simply changing our perception of these children, and then the testing and education that stems from that perception, we can help them become successful, contributing adults." (psychcentral.com, March 13th, 2012)
From the Inside Flap
The future of our society depends on our gifted children—the population in which we'll find our next Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, or Virginia Woolf. Yet the gifts and talents of some of our most brilliant kids may never be recognized because these children fall into a group known as twice exceptional, or 2e. Twice-exceptional kids are both gifted and diagnosed with a disability—often ADHD or an autism spectrum disorder—leading teachers and parents to overlook the child's talents and focus solely on his weaknesses. Too often, these children get lost in an endless cycle of chasing diagnostic labels and are never given the tools to fully realize their own potential.
Bright Not Broken sheds new light on this vibrant population by identifying who twice-exceptional children are and taking an unflinching look at why they're stuck. The first work to boldly examine the widespread misdiagnosis and controversies that arise from our current diagnostic system, it serves as a wake-up call for parents and professionals to question why our mental health and education systems are failing our brightest children.
Most important, the authors show what we can do to help 2e children, providing a whole child model for parents and educators to strengthen and develop a child's innate gifts while also intervening to support the deficits. Drawing on painstaking research and personal experience, Bright Not Broken offers groundbreaking insight and practical strategies to those seeking to help 2e kids achieve their full potential.
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Top Customer Reviews
1) As another review said, much of this book is railing against the old classification system. The DSM-5 is out. From what I can tell the classification went from a super specific way of looking at these behaviors to a very broad (aka spectrum) way of looking at them. So something like (rough guess) 80% of the book is not very useful now.
2) The implication that children that aren't above average intellectually are broken. Yeah, the book is about 2e kids but the tone about all the others on the spectrum leave sometime to be desired. To quote another reviewer..."
What's more, the title itself should have tipped me off to the problematic views within. Bright not broken implies that kids who aren't bright ARE broken. And that, of course, is not the case. Different not less applies to children ALL over the spectrum, not just those who are deemed bright."
3) I really, really didn't like tone and all of the stories about the author's children. I think that the idea was to say, "hey, our kids aren't neurotypical and with guidance and help they are all doing well. But it came off, time and time again, like that annoying Christmas/Holiday card that said Everything is Awesome (too bad your kids aren't as smart/pretty/talented/special as ours).
4) One good tidbit to be aware of (that I read elsewhere perhaps published online by the same people):
a) Children whose giftedness masks the disability
b) Children whose disability masks the giftedness
c) Children in whom the giftedness and the disability mask one another
5) Also, this is important when discussing an ASD diagnosis with non-doctors (and doctors actually) (p xxiv) "Although estimates suggest that a majority of individuals with autism may be high functioning, the focus in the autism field continues to be *on those with severe cognitive impairments.* Because of this emphasis on low-functioning autism, the highest-functioning population which includes 2e children, remains misdiagnosed and misunderstood."
So, overall, this book has done zero to further my quest in helping define what I think would be best for my child in terms of beginning his education in public schools. I already know that typical SE schools are too rigid and not academic enough and many don't take ASD children anyway, G&T programs are probably too stressful due to the ASD aspects so that leaves us still without a solution - public or private. The educational framework for 2e does not yet exist for public schools (please give us ICT G&T kindergarten classes with acceptance based on psych testing rather than standardized test!! At least in the beginning).
I suspect that when this came out a five years ago it might have been more useful - less information was available then perhaps and people were working on a different model of understanding.
What is important for people who find themselves with a young child with high cognitive/intellectual potential but with an ASD and/or ADHD diagnosis (2e) is to know that they have *the right to the most appropriate education for their child*. And they will often have to fight for it in a calm, persistent manner. Really, everyone should have this for their children.
I have two more chapters and will add to/edit the review if necessary.
I had never heard of Temple Grandin...as a result of this book, we watched her movie and her story inspired my daughter, who has been struggling with finding role models. My daughter is not Austic or on the spectrum, but has ADHD (or so they SAY...) but wanted to meet her...turns out she lives in Colorado where WE live...and we found out she'd going to be at a conference so she is going to meet her.
The Gifted Development Center which is mentioned in the book and whose director is quoted in the book, also is in Colorado and we have a consultation set up with them.
But most important, this book really sheds light on how completely flawed the DSM is. I am seeking a second opinion on the ADHD piece of my daughter journey...how do they know she's not reacting from not being challenged because she is also gifted?
This journey we parents are on who have these special jewels of children need as much information as we can, and we need to inform the administrations of our kids' schools so they can wake up...and we need each other to network with.
Loved this book and have referred it to everyone I can!
Finally a book that focuses on STRENGTHS not weaknesses.
Hearing your child's "delay's" over and over, when you know how hard they are working, can be daunting and trying to a parent.
I recommend this book to celebrate the accomplishments, and forget the comparisions!
When you tell somebody your child has autism, you get the pity look. They have no idea what to say. Then you add there is a co-morbid condition of giftedness and their reaction is to look at you as if to say,"well what are YOU complaining about?" they literally say, "Well thats good!"
No, that is not good. As parents, we just want our kids to have the same experiences as their peers. We want them to get on the school bus without incident, play baseball, go to the prom, and flunk algebra. Believe me, adding giftedness to the diagnosis of autism does not somehow magically make everything alright, and these authors get it.
Their explanations are excellent. Their suggestions for curriculum accommodations are what you would pay an advocate thousands of dollars for. This book is a must for parents in this position.
Furthermore, their discussion of the AD/HD diagnosis is absolutely essential to any parent whose child has been labeled with this disorder, whether or not the other two diagnoses are in play. But especially if your child has been identified to have AD/HD and you suspect something Bright Not Broken: Gifted Kids, ADHD, and Autismelse may be going on. Their information is simply too good to ignore.