The Power of Different

A powerful and inspiring examination of the connection between the potential for great talent and conditions commonly thought to be “disabilities,” revealing how the source of our struggles can be the origin of our greatest strengths.

 In The Power of Different, psychiatrist and bestselling author Gail Saltz examines the latest scientific discoveries, profiles famous geniuses who have been diagnosed with all manner of brain “problems”―including learning disabilities, ADD, anxiety, Depression, Bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and Autism―and tells the stories of lay individuals to demonstrate how specific deficits in certain areas of the brain are directly associated with the potential for great talent. Saltz shows how the very conditions that cause people to experience difficulty at school, in social situations, at home, or at work, are inextricably bound to creative, disciplinary, artistic, empathetic, and cognitive abilities.

 In this pioneering work, readers will find engaging scientific research and stories from historical geniuses and everyday individuals who have not only made the most of their conditions, but who have flourished because of them. They are leaning into their brain differences to:

 *Identify areas of interest and expertise
*Develop work arounds
*Create the environments that best foster their talents
*Forge rewarding interpersonal relationships

 Enlightening and inspiring, The Power of Different proves that the unique wiring of every brain can be a source of strength and productivity, and contributes to the richness of our world.

I truly loved this book. As a mother of 2 daughters on the Autism Spectrum I was particularly interested in the last chapter which dealt specifically with this. The quotes from adults on the spectrum who talked about things from their perspective, what they felt, what they were thinking, etc because so many times I would nearly jump from excitement upon finding something that seemed to explain more fully what my children are currently going through. The information in this book is extraordinary and life changing.

 The connection between intellectual brightness and social/behavioral difficulty was very enlightening as that is a problem I’m currently having with my 7 yr old who is showing an affinity for science and math. Due to her social skills not being on par with others her age we’ve had quite a bit of difficulty in getting people to take her interests and intelligence seriously. The sentence, “…they failed to see that their labeling of Ethan had also become limiting” could be the mantra for so many children like mine.

 This book should be required reading for every caregiver, educator, doctor, etc who has anything to do with someone who has a special gift. It’s long been believed that creativity and high intelligence has a high correlation with elements of mental illness but it’s more than possible what one believes is an illness is just a misunderstood gift, this book rips apart those lines and belief systems.

 Gail Saltz is my new hero. She has written a book that will change how we view so many things and thankfully she wrote it in a way that makes the topics interesting and easy to read. I could not put this down, I even had to go back and reread sections to make notes so I could share what I’ve learned with my husband.

 Reading this now when we just had a huge Twitter campaign on ridding Mental Illness of its stigma seemed even more apropos. Especially as Saltz strives so hard but with great ease to bring some hope and beauty in an otherwise complex and confusing subject. There’s something uniquely elegant about this book and I greatly hope others will find the same inspiration I did.

 Thank you to Netgalley and Flatiron Books for allowing me to review this book.

 Buy on Amazon:

*synopsis and pic from

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s