The Woman Who Changed Her Brain: Barbara Arrowsmith-Young at TEDxToronto

Barbara Arrowsmith-Young is the Creator and Director of Arrowsmith School and Arrowsmith Program, and the author of the international best-selling book The Woman Who Changed Her Brain ( She holds a B.A.Sc. in Child Studies from the University of Guelph, and a Master’s degree in School Psychology from the University of Toronto (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education). Arrowsmith-Young is recognized as the creator of one of the first practical applications of the principles of neuroplasticity to the treatment of learning disorders. Her program is implemented in 54 schools internationally.

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43 thoughts on “The Woman Who Changed Her Brain: Barbara Arrowsmith-Young at TEDxToronto

  1. Thank you for sharing this! I just wish you had shared more about the specific exercises that helped you overcome your obstacle/gift! I have a student who could be you and I have thought and thought about ways to help her learn without success. I know there is an answer – especially now! Thank you again!

  2. so she was able to all of a sudden start reading and understanding all these books after she studied some clock exercise she invented? ok

  3. offer smoking week at the age of 16 I'm not the same again bec I now have a problem I can't heal . now and then I feel like I just smoke the week and I of to sleep and stay in bed when the feeling come back on me I'm now 22 wish my life could change

  4. very nice and inspiring but all knowledge about neuroscience -any science is merely a representation of reality that is grounded without any exception in existential subjectivity – correct me if I am wrong, but why don't we just cut out the scientific middle men?

  5. KUDOS TO Barbara Arrowsmith-Young !! I have sworn a vow to be a Student of life – To NEVER accept "well you got this problem and have to learn to live with it." I bought a book years and years ago written for Neurologists titled "How the Brain Works" what captured me was environmental aspects; alcohol abuse; violence… I HAD SUFFERED ENOUGH! People!, Neuro-Plasticity is for Real! YOU are now your own limiting factor so get out of your way and get on to Healing and creating the brain (life, and circumstances) that you want! Thanks Barbara!

  6. FANTASTIC!!!!! I suffered a cerebral haemorrhage in my teens. I couldn't do anything, tell a buss schedule, operate a laundry machine and so on. And my doctors just like she said tried to prepare me for a life going around and avoiding my difficulties. And after 7 or 8 years I got fed up with my situation and started progress towards my problems. It took a while and since then 20 years later I have drastically change my life in a way regular treatment would have me living in a special home. Important and well spoken talk. thank you Barbara.

  7. Our education system can't even stop violence in school that leads to anxiety and depression and learning difficulties.
    I worked in the Behavior Modification field for 26 years so I know that the school has to set goals and bullying will stop.

  8. thankyou i have done much the same if less well.
    the absolute commitment to prove to others that i could do the things others do,
    was the only thing that kept me going, to many of my friends classed as disabled did not make it. just telling your story will means much to a lot of kids who will no longer be alone and without hope, that things can get better.
    so once again thankyou wish i had met you 30 years ago.
    please continue with this good work and let me know of any way i can help.

  9. This is so exciting, the idea we can change our brains so we can understand things we could not understand before!.  i wonder if this would work with aging brains, too.

  10. The problems she had were more worse than my current problems yet she lives happier than me. I wanna change my brain too and now I just need to take the right bath. Thanks for this wonderful presentation.

  11. An amazing story. I am just impressed with that woman. Such stories make me think that I have no troubles at all and I should never complain about my own life. But I didn't catch the one thing. Could anybody explain me what does it mean: two-handed clocks? And what hands did she added? Please, I would really appreciated it…

  12. Brilliant discussion of brain work from a personal perspective! I am looking forward to reading her book to see if it can help some of our students

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