Genius! Nurturing the Spirit of the Wild, Odd, and Oppositional Child

Genius! Nurturing the Spirit of the Wild, Odd, and Oppositional Child

Genius! Nurturing the Spirit of the Wild, Odd, and Oppositional Child

Genius! Nurturing the Spirit of the Wild, Odd, and Oppositional Child


Genius! is an inspiring guide to nurturing the remarkable abilities of "attention different" (AD) children diagnosed with conditions such as autism, Asperger Syndrome, AD/HD, bipolar disorder, or Tourette Syndrome (TS). Drawing on their experiences with their own son, who has TS, George T. Lynn and Joanne Barrie Lynn offer a positive parenting philosophy and successful strategies for creating an affirmative social and emotional environment that unlocks the potential genius in 'neurologically eccentric' children. The authors emphasize the importance of identifying the signs of giftedness, providing the necessary care and mentoring, and using medication with due consideration of its benefits and limitations. They also acknowledge the need to confront the 'dark side' of atypical neurology - obsessiveness, self-centredness and hyperactivity - and offer helpful advice on ensuring parents' and carers' own emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being. This book will be an essential tool for parents and carers to help bring out the best in their AD child and help him explore his full potential in life. This revised edition also includes additional material on working with older age groups.


We know that something unknown, alien, does come our
way, just as we know that we do not ourselves make a dream
or an inspiration, but that it somehow arises of its own

Carl Jung

The modern meaning of the term “genius,” that it defines a person who scores in the upper 1 percent of the population on certain tests of intelligence (approximately IQ 135), has not been the meaning ascribed to the word for the past two millennia. The Greek philosopher Plato said that a person’s genius is the spirit that guides expression of what he called the “seed self” or “daemon”—the “guiding force” of the child. Plato said that we come into life like an acorn, a tiny complete package of everything we have the potential to become. From this seed, our spirits may grow huge, full, and beautiful, as does an oak tree. It is our daemon, the great philosopher maintained, that guides our seed-selves to flowering. Later, in Greece, the term “muse” came into currency for describing a type of inspirational spirit that comes to us to guide us to our fulfillment, our growth from acorn to mighty oak.

Many cross-cultural myths carry the idea that one’s genius is a kind of spirit guide. From the Grimm brothers’ fairy tales, we get the story of “The Spirit in the Bottle.” In this European myth, the boy finds the magic bottle at the base of a tree and opens it, releasing the spirit. The persona known as the “spirit” in the European versions of the story is called a “genie” in the Arabian version of the story of “The Genie in the Lamp.”

I use these classical attributions to shape my meaning for this word: genius is an unconscious pattern in the personality that guides a person toward the fulfillment of his particular potential. Described this way, genius is one’s creative guiding spirit, or genie. Its character becomes known in a child’s special interests, capabilities, vulnerabilities, and dream life.

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