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Understood launches Understood Explains podcast to provide insight and tips for parents of kids with learning and thinking differences

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For parents who think their child may have a learning or thinking difference, navigating the evaluation process can be challenging. As many schools face shrinking special education teams, and with many children facing more academic and emotional challenges than ever, the evaluation process can feel even more overwhelming. 

Understood.org’s new podcast series, Understood Explains, unpacks and demystifies different topics related to parenting a child with learning and thinking differences, like ADHD and dyslexia. 

And Season 1, hosted by Dr. Andrew Kahn, Understood.org’s expert in psychology and learning, was designed as a step-by-step guide to the special education evaluation process. Each of its 10 episodes centers around a specific topic parents may be wondering about: deciding when and how to request an evaluation, what to expect during the evaluation, how to talk to your child throughout the entire process, and more.

Dr. Kahn spent 20 years completing public school evaluations and supporting neurodivergent kids and their families. So he knows firsthand just how overwhelming — but also how important and empowering — an evaluation can be. 

“Over the years, I’ve worked with many families who were hesitant about seeking an evaluation for a variety of reasons, like worries that their child may be treated differently, or uncertainty if their child’s challenges were serious enough for an evaluation,” says Dr. Kahn. “In reality, the only thing an evaluation can do is help — help you understand your child’s challenges and strengths, and help get your child the support they need. On Understood Explains, we’ll break down evaluations together and build parents’ confidence as they take this important step to help their child thrive.”

To illuminate what the evaluation process may look and feel like, Dr. Kahn brings on other experts and “insiders” to share different perspectives, experiences, and tips. Guests include Lauren Jewett, an elementary school special education teacher in New Orleans; Dr. Ellen Braaten, Understood.org expert and executive director of the Learning and Emotional Assessment Program at Mass General; Julian Saavedra, an assistant principal in Philadelphia and host of Understood.org’s The Opportunity Gap podcast; and more. 

Launching as parents and families enter the back-to-school season, Understood Explains episodes accommodate parents’ busy schedules with run times of 30 minutes or less. While Season 1 focuses on evaluations, future seasons of Understood Explains will focus on a variety of other topics related to learning differences. 

Ready for expert insight and tips related to evaluations? Listen to Season 1 of Understood Explains via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and other listening platforms. For more details on the Understood Podcast Network — including In It, ADHD Aha!, How’d You Get THAT Job?!, and The Opportunity Gap — visit u.org/podcast

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