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Bright Not Broken: Gifted Kids, ADHD, and Autism

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  211 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 292 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Jossey-Bass (first published August 2nd 2011)
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Mar 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book should have been subtitled - Understanding the labels.
A good portion of the book is about the current DSM system used in diagnosing the individual or child. Also covered in depth is the educational systems lack of understanding on how to work with the "labeled" child. Sections on IDEA 2004 and the issues with RtI - (Response to Intervention) are also included. Only a very small but practical section is included in supporting the bright child.

This book is clearly written and easy to s
Aug 25, 2015 rated it liked it
The first 6 chapters of this book were excellent, then they went off the deep end. They systematically discredit the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual and later they argue that ADHD is not a true diagnosis or medical problem. They are not qualified to discredit the DSM. In fact, I would challenge them to stop complaining and come up with an alternative; that's if they know so much. They are brilliant and articulate, but very biased. To the lay reader these ladies would come off sounding like renow ...more
Dec 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: psych-reference
An interesting discussion about twice-exceptional ("2e") children, particularly gifted kids with an autism-spectrum disorder and/or ADHD. Much of the book is focused on discrediting the DSM system, which is of course imperfect, but these authors were extreme. Not sure how qualified they were to do so, since they seem to just be essentially parents of 2e kids. Tried to add some clout by adding Temple Grandin's name to the book cover, with only a small amount of input from her (mostly in the form ...more
Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Having had a child MISDIAGNOSED as being "On the Autism Scale, High Functioning, Probably Aspergers" to find out at the most recent ETR/Psych Eval that he is NOT Aspergers, on the Autism Scale NOR is he learning disordered but has an ABOVE AVERAGE IQ...the term TWICE EXCEPTIONAL was revealed to me and understanding my child, the education system and wanting to give him the very best possible education, I started researching and found THIS book. A MUST READ if you or a loved one has a child who h ...more
Jun 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I agree that too many kids these days are medicated. Einstein, Van Gogh, and other brilliant people would be labeled and medicated in this society. They are bright not broken. We need to nurture and create an environment in which they can flourish.
Mar 23, 2015 rated it liked it
My "lay-person" take-aways. The diagnostic system as outlined in the DSM is insufficient for identifying twice-exceptional children--those who are both gifted and who also have an ADHD or Autism-spectrum diagnosis. With 2-e children, sometimes the giftedness masks the disability to the extent that the disability remains undetected, and the behavior that is manifested is not understood and thus not accommodated or otherwise managed. Sometimes the disability masks the giftedness so that the gifted ...more
Kitty Honeycutt
Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Book Title: "Bright Not Broken”
Author: Diane M. Kennedy & Rebecca S. Banks
Published By: Jossey Bass an imprint of Wiley
Age Recommended: 17+
Reviewed By: Kitty Bullard
Raven Rating: 5

Review: This is a wonderful book that takes you on a journey in which the reader is taught that having a child with Autism, ADHD, ADD, or any other behavioral or mind challenging disease is not the end of the world.
This book gives hope for those that feel there is none. Being a mother of a child with ADD, I can ho
Dec 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book explains how the current education system and the DSM are harm harming many of our children today, especially those who are both gifted and have learning disabilities. Included are ways to help our children succeed despite the broken system, as well as suggestions for making the system better.
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating read for a positive and heartbreaking view of Aspergers.
Mimi Lala
Jan 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: autism
This book is AMAZING! I am a parent trying to get a grasp on Autism. I have found it to be extremely informational. Autism, ADD, testing, therapies, etc. Great resource I keep in my collection.
Mar 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
I was reading this sporadically, not really getting into it and skipping some bits... a few things seemed a little questionable... but then 3/4 of the way through it brought up chiropractors and went full woo. Abandoned at that point because really I can't trust anything the authors say if that chiropractor stuff made it in there - it could be spot on about many things... or totally off the mark... I'm not knowledgeable enough about the topic to judge, which is why I was reading the damn book. B ...more
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
I'm not sure if I came into this book with the wrong expectations, but this book spent the first third discussing how it was the opinion of the authors and some psychologists that ADHD isn't really a disease in itself - that it's really just a part of the autism spectrum - and in many cases with gifted children may simply be a symptom of giftedness that some children display. The second third talks about how the DSM is made by people who are researchers and don't actually see people and so are d ...more
Oct 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
Diane and Rebecca give a different, and very needed, perspective on the DSM and the current education system in the USA. It was certainly worth my time to read. But, I was quite disappointed in the "how to help them" section. It was very brief, especially compared to the detail of the rest of the book. There was nothing in that section I hadn't already discovered myself... and as the mom of a likely 2e kid, this was extremely disappointing! I was also hoping, with Temple Grandin's name on the co ...more
Karen Rossi
Feb 16, 2013 rated it liked it
The book is right in that there is a problem with our special education system. A paradigm shift is necessary in order to help twice exceptional kids to succeed, which includes helping them improve their weak areas while allowing them to flourish in their strong areas.

However, the book blames the DSM (IV-TR) for problems that instead should be blamed on the psychiatric profession in general. Too many psychologists don't understand the DSM, do not perform comprehensive exams/testing, and even wh
Hannah Laurel Overstreet
Bright Not Broken, though one of the few books on twice-exceptional students that I was able to find, was not especially informative. It was extremely helpful, which was sometimes helpful to emphasize a point the authors were making and was sometimes merely annoying. Some of the information seemed particularly vague or involved more opinion than fact, especially where things like the DSM and the public school system were concerned. Many of the subjects within the chapters were overly broad and w ...more
Keep in mind that this book came out before DSM5, so talks about diagnoses that are now different (e.g. Aspergers is no longer a diagnosis).

Book barely mentioned insurance companies, which I suspect are a huge player in the mental illness field. Also only briefly mentions homeschooling, which is where one finds a lot of 2e kids.

A lot of discussion on how DSM and education system is failing our 2e kids. Not a lot of discussion on what a parent can actually do, other than try to get an ASD diagno
Oct 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The authors give an in depth analysis of the DSM - the system by which exceptional children receive diagnoses, such as Autism, ADHD, etc. They lay out an argument as to why this system is fundamentally flawed, resulting in inaccurate labels that can be damaging to children and keep them from receiving the treatments they need. The book address specifically the 2e (twice exceptional) child who is gifted and also autistic. It is an excellent starting point for parents and teachers of 2e children. ...more
Jun 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
A lot of good info, particularly about how the DSM-IV worked (too bad it's changed now), and the iep process. Not gonna lie, it's a dry read. Informative texts usually are. Worth your while, especially if you're new to this diagnosis world (I'm not, fwiw).

This did prompt me to look up my own school district's info on dual exceptionalities. Their stance seems to be that they're either not really disabled, or not really gifted. How helpful. (cough)
Susan Jones
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the most helpful book I have read in the last 8 years regrading ADHD, the DSM, Aspergers Syndrom and the autism spectrum. I truly saw my son in this one.
The author and Temple Grandin inspired me to be more encouraging and creative in connecting my son to his strengths and helped me understand his blind spots much better.
Lindsay Brink
This book is AMAZING! For any parent trying to make sense of a developmental diagnosis, or who is trying to figure out where their child falls, or has a child already diagnosed 2e, ASD,Aspie or ADHD, this will help you understand so much more!
Nov 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Fascinating commentary about the upcoming DSM release, and good information for people unaware of the correlations between ADHD & Autism. Liked mention of Dabrowski also. Good foundational read in the realm of 2E.
Jul 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Useful information and interesting insight from Temple Grandin but I felt more overwhelmed than ever while reading it. I feel the authors lost sight a little bit of who the target audience was and at times I felt like I was trying to decipher text book material.
Jan 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A great book about a tough subject.
Gilmara Mendes
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book not only for parents and teachers of 2E children, but also anyone who wants to learn about autism spectrum disorder and other impairments that hold back our children today.
Apr 22, 2013 added it
Shelves: nonfiction
Mostly written for the USAn market and not terribly practical, but some good background information.
Oct 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Interesting view of the topic that highlights some misconceptions and diagnostician bias. The table comparing symptoms for giftedness, ASD and ADHD was eye-opening.
Dec 03, 2016 added it
Very helpful take on the challenges and talents of Twice Exceptional kids.
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
A good book to come back to when I have more time.
Gail Holman
Feb 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Authors make some very good points. Most could be said for all Special Ed children trying to navigate the public ed system. Sometimes too academic. Could use more anecdotes.
Jun 22, 2012 rated it liked it
This book isn't as informative as I would like and it is a bit repetitive.
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Diane, author of the groundbreaking book, The ADHD‐Autism Connection (2002) is a longtime advocate for individuals with Asperger’s syndrome. She is a national speaker and trainer for parents and professionals on Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD, and giftedness.
She is the proud mother of three twice ‐ exceptional sons.
More about Diane M. Kennedy...

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