Adaptation as Reciprocal Dynamic

  • Peter Smagorinsky
Part of the Palgrave Studies In Play, Performance, Learning, and Development book series (PPLD)


My interest in human adaptation follows from my efforts to understand neurodiversity. This topic has occupied my attention informally for nearly 30 years and has become, within the last decade, a focus of inquiry for me across a series of autobiographical, theoretical, and empirical papers. I was forced to take on this topic during the youth of my daughter, who began exhibiting unusual behaviors early in life, ultimately being diagnosed with a number of what are known as mental illnesses and neurodivergent conditions: Asperger’s syndrome, Tourette’s syndrome, severe chronic anxiety, depression, oppositional defiance disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, as they are known in the diagnostic community. The charming manner in which she would, as a child, arrange her dolls and other belongings in well-ordered patterns in various rooms of our house eventually manifested itself in other ways that began to get our attention. Ultimately, it led us to consult with medical, psychotherapeutic, and psychological interventionists who provided various combinations of pharmaceuticals and interactive therapies designed to temper her extreme tendencies, which at times could be alarming and destructive.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Smagorinsky
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Language and Literacy EducationThe University of GeorgiaGeorgiaUSA

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