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74 Interview: Gail Saltz on the Connection Between Learning Disabilities and Genius

The 74 Million – Emmeline Zhao

“Many of the most brilliant minds and business leaders of our time have a mental “disability,” according to psychiatrist and author Gail Saltz. The rise in diagnoses in children of behavioral problems and disabilities like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, and anxiety reflect a growing focus on children with cognitive differences. But the stigma and often superficial attitudes directed at children with these “problems” fail to recognize the cognitive advantages that may also be present, Saltz argues in her new book, The Power of Different. Evidence shows, for example, that Albert Einstein had what we would call attention deficit disorder today, and Charles Darwin had depression and anxiety. Winston Churchill lived with depression throughout his life. Patrick Kennedy suffered from anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. Jerry Seinfeld is on the autism spectrum. Michael Phelps was diagnosed with ADHD at age 9.”(more)

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