Bright Not Broken – Gifted Kids ADHD & Autism

I read a lot. I also listen to a lot of audio books if I am cleaning or in the car. True to the Aspie nature, I am happiest when I am learning about my field of interest. Since learning that I am on the Autism Spectrum, ASD and mental health have been in the forefront of my mind.

Most of what I read has been about Autism in women and adults, because I feel as if this is a field that was neglected for many years. When my most recent Audible credit arrived I was drawn to a book that has a focus on bright and brilliant ASD & ADHD children.

Bright Not Broken: Gifted Kids, ADHD, and Autism written by: Diane M. Kennedy, Rebecca S. Banks,Temple Grandin, focuses on a group of children known as twice exceptional, or “2e”. Twice exceptional kids are both gifted and diagnosed with a disability – often ADHD or an Autism Spectrum Disorder. These children have the potential to be our next Mozart, Isaac Newton, or Albert Einstein if we give them the right tools in life. 

Unfortunately the gifts and talents of some of our most brilliant kids may never be recognized if we overlook these kids’s talents and focus solely on their weaknesses. It is easy for these children get lost in an endless cycle, piling on harmful diagnostic labels.

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 importantly, 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.

The book is very scientific and has more of a textbook feel, so if you like warm and fuzzy or have a hard time reading non-fiction this title might not be for you. Listening to it on Audible while you are driving or cleaning house might make it easier to digest if you have a hard time sitting still through something so information focused.

However, I really do feel as if this title looks at Autism and ADHD in a unique way, and can help shed light on why our brightest and most brilliant minds are often left behind in society.

If you prefer to read on Kindle or want a physical copy – you can purchase the book here.

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8 thoughts on “Bright Not Broken – Gifted Kids ADHD & Autism”

  1. Anna, I suppose my only reserve about this is lumping ASD and Autism with ADHD. I know many titles do that, but I see them as quite different neurodevelopment differences. I read a review of Diane’s original 2002 book suggesting the ADHD and ASD connection, and it didn;t look very convincing. Any thoughts?

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    1. First – I am an Autistic NOT a doctor, but growing up people thought I had ADHD, mostly because I was misunderstood and hid (unintentionally) my Autistic traits well due to my above average intelligence. I see were many of the “symptoms” overlap, and the causes of the symptoms seem to be easily misunderstood due to assumptions made by doctors and health professionals. It is easy to observe a person’s behaviors but unless you can peer into the black box (the person’s mind) and understand things from their prospective it is impossible to know why people do things. With ADHD there is a tendancy to treat with medication, but ASD has a tendency to treat through understanding. ADHD says the child won’t while ASD says the child has a hard time and needs support. I am glad that I was never medicated as a child. It forced me to learn on my own to handle my wild mind (and I am still taming it). I want to be myself, scattered brain and all because this wild mind is the key to my brilliance. There is also a reluctance to diagnose a smart kid as ASD due to the steriotypes associated with Autism.

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  2. Thanks for sharing; I’m definitely going to look into this book, or at least similar titles.
    On a more general note, this topic has always been a big one for me as well, since I was diagnosed with the “2e” label as a child, although my asperger’s was initially being misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder and ADHD at the time (it’s complicated – my unusually high verbal intelligence made it really hard to pinpoint what was going on, I suppose). Anyway, the result of this didn’t really lead to anything positive. Hopefully more awareness and education will help the next generation get the help they actually need and deserve, rather than having their brains and well-being wrecked by pharmaceuticals.

    Liked by 2 people

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