As you (and your child) gear up for the new school year, get inspired by these stories about people who learn and think differently. Here are the articles, videos, blogs, and Twitter campaigns the Understood team loved that were posted in July.
1. Daniel Radcliffe trivia. To celebrate the Harry Potter star’s 30th birthday, Insider shared 30 cool details that most people don’t know about the British actor. Examples? He can recite all the elements in the periodic table, loves Spider-Man, and has dyspraxia. Click here to read the other 27 nifty facts.
Want more info about Radcliffe’s trouble with motor skills? Check out the advice he gave a 10-year-old about growing up with learning differences.
2. What’s your superpower? A psychology professor has written four books about common challenges that can be superpowers. The books are for kids, and each one focuses on a different challenge: dyslexia, ADHD, anxiety, and autism. Each book also includes tips to help work on certain skills.
“My goal is that people will be able to have a greater awareness” of these challenges, says author Tracy Alloway. “I also want children to see that they do have a superpower, and here is how they can improve and grow this superpower.”
And speaking of superpowers, check out this awesome new Understood video about Captain Underpants creator Dav Pilkey. He grew up with ADHD and dyslexia and created a “What’s Your Superpower” coloring sheet for Understood.
3. “Why you shouldn’t judge me for my spelling.” Billionaire Richard Branson blogs about how dyslexia makes spelling hard for him—and why critics need to cut bad spellers some slack:
“It’s fascinating how much we judge others on their ability to spell—when in reality most of the time this has little effect on our ability to do our work effectively. If you get an email that no one else will see apart from you and the recipient, does it matter that much? Being clear and concise is more important to me!”
Branson’s blog post arrived on the heels of two other stories in July about thriving in the workplace with learning differences. CNN profiled executives with ADHD. The BBC also reported on policies to help with dyslexia at work.
4. Bring back Andi Mack! Disney’s Andi Mack isn’t the first beloved TV show to get canceled and have fans beg to bring it back. But it is the first show where fans are begging to renew the show so it can keep developing the storyline for the character who has dyscalculia.
The hashtag #uncancelandimack was trending on Twitter in July. Many fans tweeted about how important it is for TV shows to represent characters with different backgrounds and challenges. Andi Mack has tackled a lot of social issues. But TJ’s trouble with math has been a fan favorite.
#uncancelandimack because of the amazing storylines presented in this show. what show do you know represents dyscalculia? what disney show do you know has represented a main gay character that has come out? what disney show do you know that has talked about teen pregnancy? — 🌸Gen🌼 AM Spoilers (@imthebestmother) July 15, 2019
#uncancelandimack so that viewers with dyscalculia know they are not alone and represented by tj kippen — ellie ☁️ am spoilers incoming (@rcbinshawke) July 14, 2019
#uncancelandimack because TJ inspired me to test for dyscalculia, pull up my big girl pants and not let it stop me from getting a job. — AghhhNO (@MariDefecates) July 15, 2019
5. Nobel Prize winners who struggled to read as kids. Guess how many of the world’s top scientists had trouble learning how to read? To find out, watch this new video on our YouTube channel.
Hungry for more success stories about scientists? Check out this infographic on STEM stars who learn and think differently.
Any opinions, views, information, and other content contained in blogs on Understood.org are the sole responsibility of the writer of the blog, and do not necessarily reflect the views, values, opinions, or beliefs of, and are not endorsed by, Understood.
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About the author
Tara Drinks is an editor at Understood.