Foreword Reviews

Insight into a Bright Mind

A Neuroscientist's Personal Stories of Unique Thinking

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

Insight into a Bright Mind is engaging as it presents a vision of a world in which neurodivergent people might find understanding, encouragement, and a welcoming community.

Nicole A. Tetreault’s exciting neuroscience text Insight into a Bright Mind covers new research alongside powerful personal stories.

Each human brain is unique, Tetreault says. Further, the intelligent, intense, and creative minds of those who are called “gifted” are not only unconventional, but are necessary. In warm, inviting terms, she constructs an accessible compendium of research into the neuroscience of giftedness, with special attention given to the raising of neurodiverse children.

The complex worlds of gifted children, and in particular those called “twice exceptional” or “2e,” who are gifted and have learning disabilities or differences, are explored with wisdom and compassion, giving those who fall into these categories, or who educate or parent those who do, insights into experiences of the world that differ from those of neurotypical individuals. Indeed, the text celebrates neurodiversity as beautiful and necessary for the development and higher evolution of the species.

The book is penetrating as it considers gifted and 2e children, whose different modes of learning and comprehension, behaviors, and asynchronous development can lead to their being mislabeled as awkward, weird, or eccentric. Supported by research, it argues that such individuals are none of the above, and shows the damage caused when people are so misunderstood, misidentified, and misdiagnosed. It also casts doubt on the value of standardized tests and homework and argues that much is lost, both to gifted individuals themselves and to humanity as a whole, when neurodiversity is ignored or stifled.

Tetreault’s research shatters common myths about the brain, such as belief in a “gendered brain,” which limits all genders. Further, the right brain-left brain dichotomy is countered by citations of three brain subnetworks that work in synchrony to produce “creative problem solving,” while coverage of the brain’s malleability is used to challenge the idea of continual decline with age.

Personal stories are used to enhance the narrative, while suggestions of life practices for cultivating neural plasticity are shared alongside practical, easy-to-implement stress management suggestions. The book is organized in a logical, progressive manner that supports the absorption of its information, while creative, compassionate messages are interspersed throughout the text to assure bright minds that they are understood and accepted. A list of resources and supplementary materials, together with ample references, enhances the book’s contributions.

Insight into a Bright Mind is an engaging neuroscience text that presents a vision of a world in which neurodivergent people might find understanding, encouragement, and a welcoming community.

Reviewed by Kristine Morris

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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