In­spir­ing tale of trans­for­ma­tion

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - BOOKS - By Bar­bara Arrowsmith- Young, Harpercollins PETER BOYER Bar­bara Arrowsmith- Young will give a pub­lic pre­sen­ta­tion next Fri­day at the Glenorchy Civic Cen­tre, 2.30- 4.30pm.

THE WOMAN WHO CHANGED HER BRAIN IN homes and com­mu­ni­ties, schools and work­places across Aus­tralia and around the world there are mil­lions of peo­ple who suf­fer from some kind of learn­ing dis­abil­ity. They know some­thing’s wrong but of­ten don’t know what it is or how to han­dle it. En­ter ‘‘ the woman who changed her brain’’. Bar­bara Arrowsmith- Young was born in the early 1950s with a neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­or­der. Out­ward signs were clum­si­ness and an in­abil­ity to judge dis­tance. In­wardly ev­ery­thing ap­peared to her as if through a fog. Her com­pre­hen­sion, writ­ing, read­ing and arith­metic suf­fered. She con­fused her par­ents and her teach­ers. Grit, per­sis­tence and a sup­port­ive fam­ily got her a place in univer­sity. She sought an­swers to her prob­lems and found them in the neu­ro­log­i­cal sci­ence of peo­ple such as Don­ald Hebb, Mark Rozensweig and the Soviet sci­en­tist Alek­sandr Luria. Luria’s work with a sol­dier who had a bul­let in his brain pro­duced ev­i­dence the brain could re­pair it­self. So Arrowsmith- Young in­vented an ex­er­cise ‘‘ to change my brain’’, as she put it. The path­ways opened up in her brain by the ex­er­cise had re­sults far be­yond any­thing she could have imag­ined. Now, through her school and teach­ing pro­gram, she has reached thou­sands of peo­ple. The re­sults, de­scribed in her book, and en­dorsed by her clients, have won high praise from lead­ing neu­rol­o­gists and ed­u­ca­tors.

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