Have you thought about what your child will be doing five, 10 or 15 years from now as a young adult?
Imagining your child’s future can create feelings of uncertainty. But it can also raise some amazing possibilities!
We’ve seen so many people with learning and thinking differences make their mark on the world. Some famous examples come to mind, like entrepreneur Richard Branson and director Steven Spielberg. And there are many more great career and life paths that aren’t as known.
Now, we’re partnering with Roadtrip Nation, an organization dedicated to helping people find career and life fulfillment, to help you and your child explore these paths. Together we created Being You, a documentary that follows three young people with learning and thinking differences as they travel around the country on a four-week road trip seeking to find their roads in life and define their possible futures.
The “road-trippers” interviewed interesting and inspiring people who, like them, have learning and thinking differences. Each person they talked to had a unique story to tell. And each has built a life of personally fulfilling work.
Through Being You, your family can learn about how people with learning and thinking differences have forged successful careers. And you can use our free Being You discussion guide to help your child unlock strengths, find a fulfilling career path, and discover what’s possible for people with learning and thinking differences.
Watch the trailer
You can watch the full documentary on the Roadtrip Nation website. Watching with kids can help them better understand their learning and thinking differences. It can also help you start a conversation about the future.
The film is also available for viewing online on PBS.org, and on Roku, Apple TV, Windows 10 and Amazon Fire TV.
Download the discussion guide
To help you start a conversation with your child, Roadtrip Nation and Understood have put together a discussion guide. It includes questions to ask and conversation starters. The guide is a powerful tool that can help you help your child think about the future.
“Being You” Discussion Guide for ParentsPDF
Meet the road-trippers
To take you on this journey, Roadtrip Nation chose three road-trippers with diverse learning and thinking differences. These three young people will be your eyes and ears on the Being You road trip.
Stephanie is 21. Growing up, she thought she was the only one who learned differently. It wasn’t until young adulthood that she realized she wasn’t alone. Although she was told she’d never reach college, Stephanie just graduated with a degree in communications.
Career-wise, she wants to explore the production side of the entertainment industry. Her hope is to show other young people what they can accomplish when they find their passions and strengths. Stephanie has been identified with a .
Nicole is 23. At a young age, she was identified with learning and thinking differences that made reading and writing difficult. She’s always had to work harder to do what many others consider simple tasks.
Nicole has a college degree in business, marketing and digital media. Currently, she has an office job, but she isn’t sure it’s the right fit for her. One of her goals is to build her confidence by meeting people with similar challenges who have pursued their dreams. She’s been identified with and .
Noah is 18 and graduating from high school. He loves gaming and is thinking about a career in the video game industry, but he isn’t sure where to begin. He also enjoys being active and being outdoors. Finding mentors and role models who have achieved their goals is very important to Noah. He’s been identified with and .
Explore your child’s future path
In addition to the discussion guide, you can also read selected articles on how to explore your kids’ strengths and prepare them for young adulthood.
- 5 steps for recognizing strengths in kids with learning and thinking differences
- Checklist: Know your child’s strengths
- 9 ways to help your child explore strengths and passions
- 11 tips for talking to your child about strengths and weaknesses
- How to choose the right job for your teen’s strengths
- After high school: Different paths to success
- How to help your high-schooler think about careers
- At a glance: Career paths for teens who don’t want to sit at a desk
- How having mentors can help your child
- 5 key skills for independent living
- How to help your child get an apprenticeship
Resources for educators
Roadtrip Nation and Understood have created a discussion guide for educators, too. It includes a list of questions teachers can use to start a conversation about the documentary with fellow educators. It also includes tips on how teachers can connect with parents of students with learning and thinking differences.
“Being You” Discussion Guide for EducatorsPDF
Educators may also be interested in a number of Understood resources on topics like:
Keep in mind that Understood resources are written for parents. But educators may still find the information valuable.
Resources for young adults
Young adults with learning and thinking differences may want to learn more about Eye to Eye, an Understood founding partner. Eye to Eye is a mentoring movement. The organization pairs younger students with learning and thinking differences with college and high school mentors who share similar challenges. Young adults with learning and thinking differences can share their story on the Eye to Eye Facebook page.
Your child may also be inspired to learn about:
Keep in mind that Understood resources are written for parents — but they can still help your child think about strengths and fulfilling career paths. Encourage your child to explore:
About the author
About the author
The Understood Team is made up of passionate writers and editors. Many of them have kids who learn and think differently.