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In It

Listen to the joys and frustrations of supporting kids who learn and think differently. Hosts Rachel Bozek and Gretchen Vierstra talk with parents, caregivers, teachers, and sometimes kids, offering support and advice for and from people who struggle with reading, math, focus, and other learning differences. Comments? Email us at init@understood.org.

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Latest episodes

February 15, 2024

Talking with your child about their diagnosis of a learning and thinking difference can be tough. Get advice from an expert.

February 1, 2024

How can you manage the challenges of having one child who learns and thinks differently and one child who doesn’t? Get advice from an expert.

January 18, 2024

Any sibling relationship can be hard to manage. But what happens when one of the siblings has a learning or thinking difference? Here’s one mom’s story.

January 4, 2024

Overwhelmed by talking with your child’s pediatrician about ADHD or learning differences? These tips can help.

December 14, 2023

Tantrums and meltdowns are challenges all parents face. Get tips for projecting calm when kids and teens have tantrums.

November 30, 2023

A child’s learning or thinking difference can take any parent by surprise. One mom shares how her daughter’s diagnosis changed her parenting.

November 16, 2023

Puberty can be a challenging time for kids and their families. But what about if your child going through puberty has ADHD? 

November 2, 2023

What is assistive technology? And is it something your child could benefit from? Here’s what you need to know.

October 19, 2023

The sights, sounds, and smells of the holiday season can be a lot for some kids. Get expert tips for making the holidays more manageable.

October 5, 2023

Has your child ever been bullied? Or been the one doing the bullying? Find out what’s often behind bullying behavior and how you can help.

September 21, 2023

Has your child ever refused to go to school? In this episode, learn about common reasons for school refusal and what families can do about it.

September 7, 2023

Starting a new school year can be overwhelming, especially for kids who learn and think differently. Get tips for making it more manageable.

August 31, 2023

Join us for Season 5 of In It. Listen to the trailer to learn more.

July 6, 2023

In this bonus episode, Rachel Bozek and Gretchen Vierstra share summer reading recommendations and tips to encourage kids to read.

June 22, 2023

In this bonus episode, Rachel Bozek and Gretchen Vierstra share a few of their favorite moments from Season 4 of In It.

June 8, 2023

Summer break. Some families love it. Others dread it. No matter how you feel about summer, we’ve got hacks to help your family thrive.

May 25, 2023

The teen mental health crisis. How is it showing up in kids with learning and thinking differences? And what can we do about it?

May 11, 2023

Sending kids off to the adult world can feel both scary and exciting. How can families best support their kids who learn and think differently?

April 27, 2023

How do you decide if ADHD medication is right for your child? Hear one family’s journey and get answers to common questions about ADHD medication.

April 13, 2023

What if your child gets an ADHD diagnosis and you recognize the symptoms in yourself? Hear one mom’s story and get tips from a psychologist.

March 30, 2023

How can families prepare their kids who learn and think differently for life after high school? Get advice and tips from a high school counselor.

March 16, 2023

Many kids and teens go to TikTok for information on ADHD. But is everything they find on TikTok legit? How can we help our kids navigate TikTok?

March 2, 2023

Hosts Gretchen Vierstra and Rachel Bozek share listener stories of parenting fails — plus their own stories.

February 16, 2023

How do you discipline kids who have trouble with the skills they need to behave? What works for kids with ADHD? Get tips from an expert. 

February 2, 2023

Being a couple who’s “in it” can be challenging. Get ideas on how to connect from a marriage and family therapist.

January 19, 2023

Why is math so hard for some kids? And what can we do about it? Find out from a special education and math teacher.

January 5, 2023

Homework. It’s a source of battles in many families. But does it have to be? How can we make homework less stressful for everyone?

December 15, 2022

Impulsivity can be a big challenge for kids with ADHD. But it’s also something many kids struggle with. How can we help kids manage impulsive behavior?

December 1, 2022

Self-advocacy is important for thriving in school, at work, and in life. So how do we help kids build their self-advocacy muscles?

November 17, 2022

When kids have trouble learning to read, families may wonder about dyslexia. But what exactly is dyslexia? And what are the signs to look out for?

November 3, 2022

Many families worry about their kids’ social lives. But when your child has a learning difference, you might worry even more. Hear one mom’s story.

October 20, 2022

Kids who learn and think differently are more likely to be bullied than their peers. What can families do about bullying?

October 6, 2022

You have a ton of questions for your child’s teacher, but only 15 minutes to discuss them. How can you make the most of parent-teacher conferences? 

September 29, 2022

Get ready for more parenting stories and tips on Season 4 of In It! Listen to the trailer to find out what’s in store.

September 8, 2022

If your kid is a picky eater, you’re not alone. What’s behind picky eating? And should we even be calling it that?

August 25, 2022

Messy backpacks. Forgotten lunches. Missing assignments. How can we help our kids get organized this school year?

August 11, 2022

How do schools evaluate kids for special education? Season 1 of our new Understood Explains podcast answers these questions and more.

July 14, 2022

How do we react to the judgment of others when we’re raising kids who learn differently? And how do we handle our own judgment?

June 9, 2022

Summer is a great time for kids to fall in love with reading. How can we make summer reading fun for all kids — even those who don’t think of themselves as readers?

May 26, 2022

What unique challenges do single parents face when raising kids with learning differences? Hear from a single parent who’s “in it.” 

May 12, 2022

There are plenty of myths and misconceptions about learning differences. Let’s get the facts to debunk them. 

April 27, 2022

Summer camp is a tradition for many kids. But does summer camp work for kids who learn differently?

April 14, 2022

Many kids with ADHD have trouble with sleep. How can families help kids with ADHD get a good night’s sleep? 

March 31, 2022

What’s one way to empower kids who learn differently? Connect them with near-peer mentors who learn differently, too. 

March 17, 2022

Many schools across the country are lifting their mask mandates. How can we help our kids manage these changes?  

March 3, 2022

Kids of color who learn differently face unique challenges. One challenge is the “opportunity gap.” What is this gap? And what can we do about it? 

February 17, 2022

What’s it like to be on reality TV when you’ve got ADHD, dyslexia, and dyspraxia? Just ask Lizzie Acker from The Great British Baking Show.

February 3, 2022

How can we make learning joyful? How can we build schools that include and celebrate all kids, families, and communities? 

January 6, 2022

School refusal is real, and it’s trying to tell you something. But how do you figure out what that is?

January 6, 2022

Living in a pandemic is hard. With the latest surge in COVID-19 cases, it feels even harder. How do we start off yet another year in a pandemic?

December 23, 2021

What does it mean to thrive? And how can we help our kids become thrivers? 

December 16, 2021

Many kids and teens love to play video games. Are there benefits or risks to playing video games for kids who learn differently?

December 2, 2021

The holidays can be a stressful time for families with kids who learn differently. How can families do more than just make it through the holidays?

November 18, 2021

Being an anxious kid has its challenges. But what happens when that anxious kid grows up to be a parent? 

November 4, 2021

What’s an IEP? And why are there so many confusing acronyms in special education? Hear answers to common questions about IEPs and more.

October 21, 2021

With most kids back in classrooms this year, many parents of kids who learn differently are worried that their kids are behind. But are they?

October 7, 2021

The term “neurodiversity” seems to be everywhere right now. But what exactly does it mean? And how does it apply to kids who learn and think differently?

September 23, 2021

Signs of ADHD can pop up for kids — and adults — in unexpected, emotional, and even funny ways. But sometimes there’s a single moment when it clicks.

September 23, 2021

Teacher Kara Ball shares what school was like for her as a student with dyslexia and dyscalculia, and how that experience shapes her work today.

May 19, 2020

We’ve all seen it — a child falling apart in a store or at the park. In these moments, people often assume they’re seeing a tantrum. But it might be a meltdown.

May 19, 2020

What are the unique challenges Black families face when it comes to having kids with ADHD? What does it feel like to not see your family reflected in any of the resources designed to help?

May 19, 2020

In an article for the New York Times, Andrew Solomon wrote, “The fact that you wouldn’t have chosen something doesn’t mean you can’t find joyful meaning in it.”

May 19, 2020

ADHD is just as common in girls as it is in boys. So why are girls diagnosed less often? And why do signs of ADHD in girls tend to get overlooked?

May 19, 2020

Parents rarely admit it, but sometimes our kids are hard to like. If you’ve thought this before, know you’re not alone.

May 19, 2020

Is it ever OK to let your child fail? It can be difficult to see your child try something and fail. But sometimes FAIL stands for “First Attempt At Learning.”

May 19, 2020

What’s it like to be a dad who’s “in it”? In this episode, hosts Amanda Morin and Bob Cunningham take a moment to hear from and celebrate dads of kids who learn and think differently.

March 28, 2019

Meeting the needs of kids with learning and thinking differences can be a lot. Add giftedness into the equation, and parenting takes on a whole additional dimension.

March 14, 2019

When it’s time to split a bill or calculate a tip, lots of people confess to “not being a math person.” But when does struggling with math mean something more?

February 21, 2019

Who do you tell about your child’s learning and thinking differences? When? Does the explanation depend on the situation? And how are you preparing your child to own those ongoing disclosure decisions?

January 31, 2019

Most of us can remember having to read out loud in class in school at some point. Maybe we felt shy or uncomfortable. But for the many students with reading issues like dyslexia, this experience can be downright scary. (No wonder they may conveniently opt for the bathroom pass during their turn.)

January 9, 2019

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about ADHD. The biggest (and perhaps most hurtful) myth of all? That it’s not a “real” condition.

December 21, 2018

Anyone who’s ever sat in on an IEP meeting can confirm: When parents and teachers meet to discuss the needs of a child who’s struggling in school, emotions tend to run high.

Hosts

  • Gretchen Vierstra, MA

    is the managing editor at Understood and co-host of the “In It” podcast. She’s a former educator with experience teaching and designing programs in schools, organizations, and online learning spaces.

    • Rachel Bozek

      is co-host of the “In It” podcast and the parent of two kids with ADHD. She has a background in writing and editing content for kids and parents. 

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