With over a million copies of his books, including If Einstein Ran the Schools, The Human Odyssey, The Power of the Adolescent Brain, Awakening Genius in the Classroom, The Power of Neurodiversity, and most recently, his first novel, Childless, as well as countless speaking engagements, Thomas Armstrong is one of our most influential thinkers on neurodiversity. He has helped teachers, parents, and students celebrate our infinitely resplendent and uniquely neurodiverse brains. Recently, we caught up with Dr. Armstrong for this exclusive interview.
After so many non-fiction books, why did you decide to write a novel?
Though it’s fiction, Childless is still about kids and human development. It’s about a childless child psychologist who tries to foil a plot to identify childhood as a medical disorder. That plot structure allows me to explore a concern I’ve had for decades, that childhood is under attack and that childhood has maybe already disappeared. I was reading just today that kids are being regarded as adults, starting at the age of 12, when it comes to smartphones and social networks. In the novel, there’s a battle between scientists trying to bring maturity to people within a few minutes of being born, making them what I call popcorn adults, and a scientist trying to do the opposite, to extend childhood into old age. While writing the novel, I experienced that playfulness that I talk about as being so important for childhood and so important for all of us to incorporate into our lives.
What started you down this path?
I remember walking past the Harvard Astrophysics Laboratory grounds when I felt a sudden calling, so to speak, to work with children. I realized that to change society, this is the place to ...
You must be a 2e News subscriber to continue reading this content. Membership is free.
Register here for instant access or login below: