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  • Divergent Mind

  • Thriving in a World That Wasn’t Designed For You
  • By: Jenara Nerenberg
  • Narrated by: Tegan Ashton Cohan
  • Length: 6 hrs and 37 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (94 ratings)

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Divergent Mind

By: Jenara Nerenberg
Narrated by: Tegan Ashton Cohan
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Publisher's Summary

A paradigm-shifting study of neurodivergent women - those with ADHD, autism, synesthesia, high sensitivity, and sensory processing disorder - exploring why these traits are overlooked in women and how society benefits from allowing their unique strengths to flourish.

As a successful Harvard and Berkeley-educated writer, entrepreneur, and devoted mother, Jenara Nerenberg was shocked to discover that her "symptoms" - only ever labeled as anxiety - were considered autistic and ADHD. Being a journalist, she dove into the research and uncovered neurodiversity - a framework that moves away from pathologizing "abnormal" versus "normal" brains and instead recognizes the vast diversity of our mental makeups. 

When it comes to women, sensory processing differences are often overlooked, masked, or mistaken for something else entirely. Between a flawed system that focuses on diagnosing younger, male populations, and the fact that girls are conditioned from a young age to blend in and conform to gender expectations, women often don't learn about their neurological differences until they are adults, if at all. As a result, potentially millions live with undiagnosed or misdiagnosed neurodivergences, and the misidentification leads to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and shame. Meanwhile, we all miss out on the gifts their neurodivergent minds have to offer.

Divergent Mind is a long-overdue, much-needed answer for women who have a deep sense that they are "different". Sharing real stories from women with high sensitivity, ADHD, autism, misophonia, dyslexia, SPD, and more, Nerenberg explores how these brain variances present differently in women and dispels widely-held misconceptions (for example, it's not that autistic people lack sensitivity and empathy, they have an overwhelming excess of it).

Nerenberg also offers us a path forward, describing practical changes in how we communicate, how we design our surroundings, and how we can better support divergent minds. When we allow our wide variety of brain makeups to flourish, we create a better tomorrow for us all.

©2020 Jenara Nerenberg (P)2020 HarperAudio

What listeners say about Divergent Mind

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Helpful viewpoint but hard to listen to

I am 3/4 through and so far I think the overall premise and information contained in this book is interesting and helpful. But I found the narrator to be robotic sounding and hard to listen to. As someone with adhd I found this distracting. Oddly, this is the second book for neurodiverse women that I’ve listened to with a flat robotic sounding reader so maybe it’s on purpose and supposed to help? Although I listen to many audio books and a more natural tone is less distracting when trying to absorb new ideas and research.

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9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely BRILLIANT!!!

I cannot recommend this book for highly to anyone who has always felt “Different”, too intense, too sensitive, too perceptive, too ANYTHING.

I wish I had read this book decades ago.

It feels nice to finally understand why it is often so very challenging to live in a world that to the extra sensitive person can feel abrasive, excluding, too loud, too bright, too EVERYTHING.

This book is life changing and should be read by all who interact with the public but especially teachers and healers.

Should be compulsory for all humans.

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3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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If you’re recently diagnosed as an adult, get this book

There are a lot of books out there on autism and neurodiversity but so far this is the most practical, relatable, and positive I’ve found. It gives a great overview about the neurodiversity spectrum and talks about how women have been failed by the system. A must read.

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2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing book

Not patronising, well researched - some interesting things to think about. I am now able to put many things into words I thought I never could.

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2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointing.

Honestly, it’s not great. Content is extremely repetitive. The narrator sounds like Siri’s, robotic half sister. If you do have ADHD, you’ll no doubt find both extremely distracting and difficult to endure. In fact, if you make it through the first chapter in less than 10 attempts. I’m 99% sure, you do not have ADHD.

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful insight into Neurodiversity for men too!

This was a lovely read. A little ivory tower at tones but nonetheless, wonderful. It focusses on women but there is little if anything here that doesn't apply to men also.

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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really good.

not too long. lots of information and studies. easy to listen. recommend for all neuro divergent gals.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Relateable as a late diagnosed Autistic/ADHD

The voice was somewhat robotic, but was okay to listen to for me overall as at least the speed kept me focused. So much was relateable. I had so many Aha moments and began to understand alot more about Neurodivergence. I often lose interest easily. I found it easy to listen whilst driving. Happy I found it. I felt validated at a time when I was quite lost, just after my diagnosis.

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Badly read but a great book.

I’ll have to return the audiobook because I simply can’t listen to it. I have to agree with another reviewer that it sounds like it’s being read by a GPS navigation system, right down to the almost auto-tuned “tone”.

I bought the audiobook because I loved the book itself but didn’t finish it before I had to return it to the library…! Guess I will just have to order and wait for the physical book.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent info although a difficult listen

The material was interesting although the readers voice seemed a little flat. There was more nuance in her voice when she was reading from someone else’s (rather than the writer’s) viewpoint. I found I would get distracted & miss a lot due to the style of reading.

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