“The Woman Who Changed Her Brain”

by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young

A Note to Readers

Dear Reader,

We have always thought that “our brain shapes us.” When I wrote this book, I wanted to demonstrate how “we can shape our brains.”

Imagine having a brain that is capable and incapable at the same time. Growing up, I had severe learning disabilities. I lived in a world that was confusing and incomprehensible. As I was to later understand, a critical part of my brain was not working properly, the end result being that all language was experienced as foreign and my translator was broken. Finding connections between things and ideas was a challenge, and telling time, for instance, was impossible—I couldn’t grasp the relationship between the big hand and the little hand on a clock. I could not understand cause and effect, so felt buffeted by random events, not being able to see the ‘why’ of things. And this was the 1950’s and 60’s when the brain was viewed as unchangeable, so I was told I had best learn to live with my limitations. I walked around in a fog, relying on my excellent memory and my drive and determination to find an answer to what plagued me.


What People are Saying

“Arrowsmith-Young explains some of the most complex neurological concepts in a personal and breathtakingly simple way. ”

The Globe and Mail (Canada)

“Hers was a struggle between despair and determination. Determination won.”

Michael Schulder, CNN

“truly heroic, on par with the achievements of Helen Keller”

Norman Doidge, M.D.

“poignant and uplifting”

Mira Bartók

“Ground breaking…revolutionary”

India Today


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Daily Mail (UK)

“Exciting and hopeful”

The Age (AU)

"Compelling and enlightening”

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