“Normal doesn’t exist in my vocabulary, because normal isn’t what succeeds in this world.” “Embrace your learning difference, and it won’t ever slow you down.” “If you have to tell me a thousand times, and I still don’t learn it, who’s the slow learner?” A few years ago, I went to hear a group of students talk about their experiences with learning and attention issues. They’d each made a soapbox to stand on as they shared their stories. I stood there, listening in awe, as the students spoke. Whether they had dyslexia, ADHD or another learning or attention issue, each had struggled. But they used those struggles to create something positive together. They told their stories at EdRev-Up. It’s a day of student empowerment that happens in the run-up to the yearly Education Revolution (EdRev for short). EdRev is a daylong event that’s all about pushing for a better foundation for education. (This year, it’s taking place on April 25.) Each spring at EdRev, families affected by learning and attention issues spend the day at AT&T Park near San Francisco. At the stadium, they connect and meet each other. They celebrate student strengths. And they learn about cutting-edge technology. Families also have the chance to meet experts, including educators, therapists and medical providers. And they can visit dozens of booths from schools and other learning programs. The highlight of EdRev is a keynote address by a renowned speaker. This year, California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom will share his journey with dyslexia. And I’m really excited to hear him. Someone asked me the other day why I love EdRev. As a parent of child with dyslexia, I’m excited anytime we can get people together to talk about these issues. Why? A huge challenge parents face is stigma. The fear about what others think. The best way to conquer fear is by talking about and connecting over learning and attention issues. Of course, in our digital age, there’s a huge potential for connecting online. In fact, that’s what many, many parents do through Understood. But I still think there’s something special about meeting face-to-face. That’s especially true for a family event like EdRev. When you get to AT&T Park, and see all these families just like yours, you know you’re not alone. Yes, 1 in 5 people really do have learning or attention issues. I’m especially proud this year. Parent Education Network (PEN), which runs EdRev, is an Understood partner. We’re working with them to make the event awesome for parents. We’ll be at EdRev, sharing information with parents about Understood. There will be a live Understood Twitter feed and a photo booth for families. The focus will be on how we can have a revolution in education for kids. What really excites me? Fighting stigma by talking about these issues. Helping parents get support. Hearing more from the students. And on that note, here’s one final EdRev-Up quote from a student that I just have to share: “A learning or attention issue is a powerful thing. It can bring you down, kick you and drag you around. But the most important thing is that it’s brought us together.” 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.