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ADHD has been getting a lot of attention on social media. From videos about personal experiences to experts sharing tips, some posts hold truth. But many don’t.   

In this episode of The Opportunity Gap, we take a closer look at the role social media has played in the spread of toxic ADHD myths. Listen as psychologist Dr. Kristin Carothers explains:

  • The dangers of myths and misinformation 

  • How myths lead to increasing stigma and shame 

  • Ways parents can do their part in debunking these myths 

Related resources

Episode transcript

Julian: From the Understood Podcast Network, this is "The Opportunity Gap." Kids of color who have ADHD and other common learning differences often face a double stigma. And there's a lot that families can do to address the opportunity gap in our communities. This podcast explains key issues and offers tips to help you advocate for your child.

My name is Julian Saavedra. I'm a father of two and an assistant principal in Philadelphia, where I've spent nearly 20 years working in public schools. I'll be your host. Welcome to Season 3.

OG family! Welcome back to another episode of "The Opportunity Gap."

So lately, there's been a lot of talk on social media — you know, all the platforms, all the things — about ADHD, special education, and its impact specifically on marginalized students. The students that we talk about and we serve the most with this podcast. Some of these posts, they hold some truths. But some are reinforcing some blatant myths.

So, to shed some light on the truth about ADHD, to debunk some of these myths, and to try to discuss ways parents and teachers can support kids, we brought in an old friend of the show, the OG of the OG, Dr. Kristin Carothers. And it's always such a good time to have her come on. So welcome back again to the pod, Dr. Kristin.

Kristin: Thank you so much for having me, Julian. And I love to be here.

Julian: Of course. So, yeah, let's dive right in. Let's dive right in. Those of you that consume social media, I'm sure you've seen a lot of talk about ADHD is coming up. Can you share some of the myths that you've been hearing related to ADHD?

Kristin: So I know, in particular for communities of color, we have what's called a natural cultural paranoia about different types of diagnoses in the medical field, but especially diagnoses when it comes to mental health. And so some of the things that I've been exposed to recently on social media specifically target ADHD in Black and brown children, specifically males.

And there's some information that's been put out which suggests that ADHD is not a real thing. Or that people only try to overdiagnose Black males because they want to put them in this quote unquote system or put them into special education. And those things bother me because they are not necessarily true.

Children of color, especially Black and brown males, are going to be less likely to actually get the diagnosis as compared to their white male counterparts. They're going to be more likely to get maybe an oppositional defiant disorder diagnosis or conduct disorder diagnosis. Or their behaviors that might be linked to neurodevelopment are going to be more attached to behavioral problems or disruptive behavior. And so I really have some concerns and wanted to try to talk to you about them.

Julian: Yeah, I appreciate it. So, you know the idea that ADHD is not a real thing, right? Kids with ADHD are lazy. Kids aren't trying hard enough. It's bad parenting. They're trying to get all of our boys into special education, right? We've heard this on social media all over the place, and it's very dangerous to spread some of this misinformation. So, why is it so dangerous to spread these myths about ADHD and especially about ADHD and our Black boys?

Kristin: I think the first reason it's dangerous is because it's invalidating. There are children, adolescents, and adults that have a very real experience of having difficulty with concentration, attention, being able to finish tasks, being able to keep their thinking clear when they're trying to learn. And when we pathologize or when we say these negative things...

Julian: Pathologize!

Kristin: Pathologize. To make a pathology — something that is disease oriented. It's negative. Right?

Julian: I just learned a new word, listeners.

Kristin: Yes. Sorry, pathologize.

Julian: That's SAT words in there, I like that.

Kristin: Or when we attach stigma to something like ADHD, or we make it a bad thing, or make it as if it is something that someone is doing wrong on purpose. Right? It makes it such that person may then be embarrassed, afraid to reach out for help. They may blame themselves. Their families may blame them.

And when we're in positions of blame, we are less likely to be empowered to go out and get the tools and resources that we need. Or we're embarrassed. And if we're embarrassed, then we're not going to seek out resources. And that has long-term negative effects.

So, Julian, an example for me would be one of the things we say in the Black community all the time is "Ain't nothing wrong with that boy. Nothing wrong with her."

Julian: Yeah.

Kristin: She just need... He just need... He's just lazy, right? And when we do that, over time, a person may internalize those thoughts and think that they are lazy, or think that something is wrong with them, or think that they should not pay attention to signs and symptoms that could be really problematic.

And then you end up with an adult who for years has been in and out of work, for years has had difficulty sustaining attention in relationships, in occupational settings. And they may end up depressed. When we trivialize symptoms of ADHD or neurodevelopmental disorders, we in fact reinforce negative stereotypes that have no basis in truth, right?

And so when we think about what happens with ADHD, it's a disorder of executive function. And when we say that we're talking about the control center of the brain, the frontal lobe, right? So if you think about the airport, the control center is air traffic control. Air traffic control has to know when planes are landing and when planes are taking off. I've used this example before. With ADHD, our frontal lobe, which is responsible for that air traffic control, has difficulty determining which planes are taking off, who's landing, who's taxiing on the runway, who's still at the gate.

And so that's just a metaphor for what happens when we have to think about how do we plan, how do we organize, how do we attend to the information that is really important in this moment and put off attending to some information that's not that important? How do we focus on things that aren't very interesting to us, just to get through a task, rather than shifting our attention to what's most important or interesting? So that's not laziness. That is an actual system that has a function in our brain.

Julian: The vast majority of people don't truly understand what ADHD is, right? There's misinformation about it. And this misinformation leads to all these different stigmas. And this social media avalanche of information that's coming out that in many cases is not true.

I think about my own experience as a Black male educator, my experience as a Black man in this world. Some of the things that I hear on social media, it's not all wrong. And I'm just, this is me, Julian, speaking. There is definitely a reality of a system that has been put in place where our young men, especially our Black and brown young men, have not been getting the educational experience that they deserve.

You know, as I think about why some of these things are being spread on social media, you know, I wonder where is that coming from? Like, why now? Why are prominent people and influencers in the Black and brown community, especially Black men, deciding to bring this up? You know, I wonder where is it coming from? And as we think about the danger of the myths that are spreading, I always want to dig deeper and figure out, well, why? Because I don't think they're fully wrong. So what's your response to that?

Kristin: OK, so as a psychologist — Black female psychologist, clinical psychologist, and mother of a Black boy who has also been raised around Black men, and in relationship with Black men, one of the things that I am hypersensitive to is to how Black men in general, Black boys are portrayed, which behaviors are attended to by society, and which things are ignored. And also, as a psychologist, for me, one of the things that I often have to do in working with colleagues who are not Black is explain behaviors in a way that makes it such that they're not seen negatively.

So OK. Case in point: I went to Howard for undergrad. As an alumna, alumni, we get a magazine every quarter from Howard. And this most recent issue focused on ADHD diagnosis in Black children. My child saw the magazine in the car and he immediately said, "What's ADHD?" And I said, "Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder." He immediately said, "Hyperactivity. I know some people who have hyperactivity." And I said, "Well, we're not going to just jump and say that because somebody is more active or that because somebody sometimes struggles to focus, that they are automatically meet criteria for a disorder, or that there is something that they are struggling in terms of their neurodevelopment."

But one of the nice things the article did was it compared how behaviors would be described for white children in the classroom, versus how those same behaviors would be described for Black children in the classroom, right? So a kid who was out of their seat, high activity level, who was Black, it might be said, "Oh, he's never on task. He's always out of his seat." Whereas for a white child presenting with the same behaviors in the same classroom, it may be described as "He's bored. He's just looking for more things to do." Right? "He's so intelligent that he can't just sit still." OK?

So for the Black kid, it's a behavioral problem. It's that they don't have what they need to succeed. For a white kid, it's framed in a more positive way.

So, I think at this time, one of the reasons these things may be coming up is because we've come out of kind of the Black Lives Matter movement time. You know, during the pandemic, that was a big focus. And we were really trying to tell people that our perspectives matter. But now I think within our community, within the Black community, there are some conversations that are happening about how we raise our children, how we treat each other interpersonally, and how the outside world has impacted how we do those things.

And so what I see is Black people really wanting to kind of take back how we describe ourselves, how we look at our children's education. And if we think of ADHD as being something that was created by another cultural group and then placed on us, we don't want to necessarily ascribe to that ideology. Because we may be saying, hey, they always want to look at us in a negative light. No, we're going to take back control and look at ourselves in a different way.

Julian: That's deep. I have to think about that for a second. Because I see how the idea of ADHD and special education in general, it's built within a system, right, that was built by a certain group of people. And we exist in this system. And yet the conversation by certain people in the Black and brown community of, like you said, reclaiming the responsibility of all aspects of education. And how even while they're having this conversation, there are certain parts of it that can still be dangerous.

Kristin: Right.

Julian: Because even though — again, they're not fully wrong, right? It's not fully wrong. It's — they're raising up experiences and lived experiences. They're still bringing up dangerous myths that take away from the possibilities of educational opportunities that can come from this.

Kristin: Absolutely. So it's like we're trying to combat structural racism, right? By saying take back control over how your child is labeled or how they're categorized. However, in doing so, we've got to walk a very fine line. Because when we are not educated about what special education really is, right? When we're not educated about what ADHD really is, we may throw out the baby with the bathwater.

What I mean by that is, if you think that an ADHD diagnosis is going to mean that your child is automatically placed in a different classroom setting, that is incorrect. Most children who are diagnosed with ADHD — and there are three presentations of ADHD. I'll get into that later. But most children diagnosed with ADHD at a public school level will not necessarily qualify for special education placement as you get it from an Individualized Education Plan, an IEP. ADHD is typically considered an "other health impairment." Like diabetes. Like asthma. And for those types of medical impairments, you get an accommodation. Not an intervention.

Julian: Right.

Kristin: An accommodation means I'm going to allow you to go to the nurse to take your insulin. I'm going to make sure that there's some food available in the classroom in case your glucose drops. If you have difficulty with sustained attention, I'm going to give you preferential seating at the front of the room.

That is on a 504 plan. That's an accommodation. That is not an intervention, which says that you are not performing like the other children in the classroom, or that your lack of attention is keeping you from gaining the academic knowledge you need. It's saying let's try to help you out by giving you a preference so that you don't struggle. And so what's getting confused is an accommodation versus an intervention that comes through special education.

Julian: Got it. Got it. You know, I think the whole point of us starting this podcast, when we started it a while back, is to bring up all these questions that swirl around in the Black and brown community, the marginalized group community, the others. Right? That it's on top of all the stress of special education and just raising kids in general, right? Raising kids is hard no matter what culture you are. And as we're talking through this to all of our listeners, regardless of what demographic you come from, just recognize that these questions are on top of the normal questions you might have. As a Black parent, I have to think about this deeply.

Kristin: Right. Because we're concerned about the prison industrial complex, which we know is based on education from the third grade level when testing starts. And we know that the tests were not created for us or by us, and that many of the structural racism conditions that exist make it such that our children may not perform in the same way that other children on whom the tests were normed on perform. Right?

And we know that how in the United States of America, based on those test scores and that other information, they're determining how many prisons they're going to build, right? So this is stuff that goes back to slavery, right?

So for us, why is this such a big issue? Why are people pushing back on this label? Why are people pushing back on engaging in services around ADHD or special education? It's because they're afraid that to do so will set their children up down a path of negativity. And what I hope that we can do is to say "no." By engaging in this conversation, by having your child formally evaluated, there are actually some interventions that can be put in place that make your child more successful and less likely to end up on that path because they are being educated appropriately.

And when they are educated appropriately, they have a greater chance for academic success. Greater academic success increases the chances that you will be able to go out and become gainfully employed, college or not. Just being able to figure out what your path should be academically can help you for jobs, for building economic wealth later on.

Julian: Or just giving you choices, just giving you a choice, right? That's the goal. You want to be able to have the choice and not be forced to be into a job just because you got to put some food on the table. And no parent can argue with that. We all want to give our children choices.

As I think about this conversation, I think that so many of our listeners — they might listen to, you know, some of these social media posts or some of the videos that have been out there where they're talking about ADHD and, you know, some of their kinfolk or some of their people might want to argue about it. They might want to say, no, I'm actually — you're wrong. I'm right.

How do you enter into a conversation with somebody if after you've listened to Dr. Kristin and you've done your research and you realize that no, actually ADHD is a real thing. And no, actually there's credible research to show that special education works. If I'm a parent, or I'm a family member, or I'm somebody that is engaged in a conversation with somebody, what are some tips for debunking some of these myths? What should they say?

Kristin: First thing is, consider your sources, right? So whenever you are met with oppositional resistance to an idea, typically it's because people are afraid of it or they're unsure of it. And so one of the things that I would do and that I would recommend is relying on websites like that gives you the evidence-based, peer-reviewed sources of information.

Looking at an ADDitude — there's webinars. There was a great webinar last week that I listened to. There was a psychiatrist based in Houston and — a Black male psychiatrist — and one of the things he discussed was the fact that special education is not just for kids who are doing poorly. Gifted children are also considered under the umbrella of special education. Right?

So when we're thinking about stigma, and "I don't want my kids in special education," where — if your kid is gifted, that's special education, right? And so people don't know that. But if you rely on sources that are research-based, peer-reviewed, and accurate, then you get that information. So going to a chat, going to ADDitude, going to, checking out, looking at Yale Child Study Center that does a lot of the research in the work. You want to know that your sources are people who actually do the work.

The other thing is, it can be very difficult to find people of color who do the work. We want to hear it from somebody that looks like us sometimes, because we're not sure that people have our best interest in mind. And that is also a major point. And so what I would do is I would be looking for people who are board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrists. So Morehouse School of Medicine, I'm on faculty there. We have a child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship. Our director, Dr. Sarah Vinson, has put forth excellent, excellent writings, excellent work about this. And so you want to look at sources. Who is your source? Is your source vested in your community? If your source is not vested in your community, it's going to be hard to trust them. Understood does an excellent job of presenting perspectives from lots of different cultural groups.

Second thing, sometimes you've gotta know that people will not agree with the way you parent or the decisions you've made. And you may have to stand on your decisions knowing that you may be alone.

Julian: Stand on business, as they say.

Kristin: Stand on business.

Julian: Stand on business, as they say.

Kristin: You may have to stand by yourself on your decision. And it can be lonely, which is another reason you need community. Understood. org, the Wunder app, like you need community. People who've been through this. Relying on parent support groups for parents of kids with ADHD.

A few weeks ago, I met with a researcher at the CDC who does — she does the research, you know. And we were having a spirited debate online about IEPs for kids with ADHD. And she was telling me, you won't get one. And I was saying to her, but under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, you qualify. We had such a spirited debate that we met for coffee. And we talked in depth about why it is so hard for kids with ADHD to get an IEP.

And that's another reason I'm kind of triggered when I hear people online saying, "The purpose of people diagnosing your kid with ADHD is so they can put them into special education." It is not easy to get a kid with an ADHD classification an IEP, or into special education. They can get an accommodation, but it's not easy to get them the resources they would get if they had an IEP, right? So it takes engaging with people who have different perspectives.

Julian: I gotta take a breath for a minute because I'm listening to it, and there's so many tidbits and knowledge in what you just said, you know, for our listeners. Just really take in what she's saying, that it's really difficult. But you're not alone, right? That's the most important thing to take out of this is you have to find your people. And ultimately you are your child's best advocate. You know what you're supposed to do for them. And it doesn't mean that you're not gonna make mistakes along the way. But finding people that are like-minded, and in some cases finding people that are not like-minded to converse about it. It's OK, that's what we're supposed to do.

Let me switch lanes a little bit and talk more about teachers and the role they play. I know there's been a lot of criticism towards teachers, especially in such social media posts that we've been referencing. And you hinted a little bit earlier about teachers putting students in the, quote unquote, the system.

Now, I've said it many times on this podcast: Racial bias in the classroom is a real thing. As a teacher, as an administrator, now I can validate that. Yes, it is a real thing. And it is so true that it can affect the kind of support that our students are getting — or in many cases not getting. At the same time, it's also true that even teachers who are really trying, like teachers that are there for the right reasons, they're trying. They're putting their effort in. They're trying their best. They read all the books, they've done all the talks. They're doing it. They're trying. They still can have a really tough time providing support to students with ADHD. You can have all the best intentions in the world, but it's hard work.

Kristin: Absolutely.

Julian: So, Dr. Kristin, my question is: Based on your experience working with students, can you give us some very specific ways that teachers can play a role in supporting kids with ADHD?

Kristin: I'm going to say that teachers can advocate for themselves, with their administrators, to ask for behavioral interventions and supports and coaching around how to do behavioral interventions in the classroom. What we've got to remember is when teachers go to school to become educators, they are not going to school to learn how to become behaviorists and how to manage behaviors in classroom settings. They are being taught what they need to learn to teach.

And so one of the things that I do is go into schools and some other organizations I know, we do teacher consultation and coaching. Because there are some very real behavior management strategies that many teachers don't know that can be very effective in the classroom. And I'm not just talking about giving points. There are other ways that we reinforce behaviors.

So first is I want to say to teachers, the work that you do is hard. You want to be aware of your biases. And once you are aware of your biases, you also need to advocate for yourself to get additional support. Now, there are some teachers who have no interest in being aware of their biases, and that's why we have trouble in the classroom.

But we have racial and cultural bias that occurs. Right? And so I would like those people to become enlightened, but I don't know if I have the power to do that.

But I would say to teachers, to administrators, advocate for yourselves at the district level to request funds to get behavioral coaching consultation in the classroom, to work on behaviors.

Julian: What does that look like? If a teacher gets behavioral intervention consultation or behavioral coaching, what would that actually look like?

Kristin: So what that actually looks like is a person who is a psychologist or social worker who specializes in interventions, behavioral parent management interventions, parent management training, teacher behavior management training interventions.

Having an expert or consultant come in and do professional development for the entire school on how you reinforce and extinguish behaviors, how you drive kids to succeed, how you extinguish behaviors that are going to prohibit them from succeeding, and how you work with that 1% of kids who might present with the most disruptive behaviors.

It's going to be less than 3% of the entire school setting should be presenting with those behavioral concerns. If you get more than 3% of kids in a school setting presenting in that way, they are likely in a community where there has been exposure over exposure to trauma.

Julian: Yes.

Kristin: And the behavioral issues that you have are likely because those children are growing up in settings where they are overexposed to trauma. And trauma looks like ADHD symptoms, especially forgetfulness, being distracted, being hyperactive. And so we don't want to go and push people into an ADHD label when they've been overexposed to trauma. And we need teachers to be aware that trauma exposure could also look this way.

Julian: That very well may be where some of this conversation is coming from. Like, we know that our Black and brown communities have experienced a wealth of trauma. You and I have talked about this in previous podcasts. How so much of our experiences are steeped in generational trauma. And when there's a misinformation about what is ADHD versus what are trauma-induced behaviors, then that's where that stickiness comes, right? That's where that misinformation comes.

What are some ways that teachers, you know, they may have gotten this training, but even teachers, as they're waiting to get more training or as they're in their classroom practice right now, what are some ways that teachers can support students with ADHD right now, today? What are some things they can do?

Kristin: So some things that teachers can do right now for kids that they have in their classrooms who have ADHD is look at those kids' strengths and try to put them in positions where they can be successful. And what I mean by that is, if you have a kid with ADHD, but that kid is a stellar reader, have that kid have a job of being able to read to the class as a reward for getting through a five-minute assignment. Give that kid a lot of praise and positive feedback about their reading ability and how long they're able to stay on task in that ability.

If you've got a kid who moves around a lot and who typically has trouble staying in their seat, allow them to stand while they do their work. If it is distracting to the other kids for that child to stand while they work, perhaps have the child go to the back of the classroom to stand to write, and then to return to the front of the classroom to the desk to sit once they've completed the writing. Sometimes just being able to change your posture and just being able to physically move will help you to attend. OK, so flexibility in thought.

The other thing that can be helpful is to try to pair kids who have different strengths and weaknesses. So if you've got a kid who is more anxious or reticent and doesn't speak up as easily, pair that kid with a kid who might be a little bit more impulsive and willing to speak up. It may be that they can partner on a project, and you give them very specific things to do.

The kid who is more impulsive and willing to speak up is going to coach the kid who's more shy in how to speak and look at the crowd. The kid who is more shy might coach the other kid on how to stay focused and get through one point at a time.

Julian: The idea of partnering students up, the idea of having a group reinforcement — that's steeped in our culture too, right? And that's culturally responsive teaching. So thinking about what are ways that our community educates itself? How can we integrate that into the classroom? All right? And not providing misinformation by saying ADHD is not real. No, it's real. But it doesn't mean we can't do anything about it.

Kristin: Right. And with it — with us saying that it's real, I just want to get this point in. There are three presentations of ADHD. It is no longer call it ADD. The three presentations are hyperactive impulsive presentation, inattentive presentation, and combined presentation.

Hyperactive impulsive presentation are going to be those kids that are like Energizer Bunny. They talk nonstop. They move nonstop. They're running when they should be walking. They're impulsive. They're going to blurt things out. They are going to do things. They're going to act before they think. And then later on it's going to be like, oops, maybe I shouldn't have done that.

The kids who are inattentive, the inattentive presentation, they're losing things. They're distracted. They're like space cadets. They're off in space. You got to bring them back.

The kids with the combined presentation tend to present with both. At times they're more hyperactive. At times they're distracted. At times they're forgetful and losing things. At times they're impulsive and blurting out. So when we say ADHD, we don't mean just one thing.

Once — the child who was diagnosed with ADHD predominantly hyperactive impulsive type is going to look different than the child who is diagnosed with predominantly inattentive type. The way we reinforce behaviors, the way we structure things, will be a little bit different.

For a kid who was easily distracted, we are going to have them to work on a worksheet, and we're going to give them a blank sheet of paper, and we're going to have them to cover up everything except item number one, and to only focus on number one. And when they finish number one, they're going to move the sheet down to number two.

The kid that is more hyperactive and impulsive, we're going to set a timer for them. And we're going to say we need you to focus for five minutes, or for three minutes. Let me see how much of this sheet you can get done in three minutes. Go! Set the timer and let them run.

So the interventions may shift a little bit depending on how the child presents. And that's another reason we don't want to just say, "Oh, people are just throwing ADHD on our kids because they want them in special education." It is more work for teachers to get a kid into special education services and parents have to approve. No school can just put your kid anywhere without going through something called due process. It is a legal process. Sorry I'm preachy.

Julian: No please. It's the truth, right? Like we want all of our listeners to go into this understanding there is truth and there is misinformation. You want to make sure that you find the truth.

A little bit of advice: If you've ever done any work in your house, all right, you want to get something done in your house. You don't just go to the first person that gives you a quote, right? You go find multiple people and you figure out multiple quotes, and then you make your decision. We call that multiple measures of data. You don't make decisions without finding multiple ways to collect information.

So, if you just don't want to listen to us, like Dr. Kristin said, there's multiple things out there that are vetted, that are expert-related, that are resources to help guide your decisions. But don't think that just one thing that's being said is the truth, right? You have to make sure that you're looking at the whole picture before you make your decision.

Kristin: One more thing I want to point out about ADHD. We know that the environment is extremely important. If you are in an environment that is unstimulating, or that is chaotic, a person with ADHD is going to struggle. If the environment is monotonous, it's boring, it's uninteresting, then your brain is going to work overtime to engage you.

And you may then find yourself engaging in activities that are not conducive to that environment. Or just saying, "I can't take this environment, I gotta get out of here." And then engaging in behaviors to get you out of here.

So I want the adults to be real with themselves about what happens for them at work now. When you are at work now, do you have times when you feel like screaming? When you're like, I have to get out of here. When you're like, this is so boring, I can't focus. Right? Have some empathy for kids who go through this experience but who have no control over their environments.

You as an adult can say, you know what? I don't like the way this room looks. I'm going to move this around. I'm going to change this. You know what — this job isn't feeding me. I'm going to find a job that is more interesting. Kids in school settings do not have control over their environments. Teachers set up classrooms. Administrators set up systems of reinforcement. Kids are along for the ride.

And so we want to be really aware that there are some things that we could do in the classroom setting — I love when I see teachers giving brain breaks and doing the movement breaks, and putting YouTube up on the smart screen and letting the kids dance. Or letting them sing. Or giving them the opportunity to draw before they have to write. Or giving them the opportunity to turn and talk to somebody about what they read before they've got to just move into rote memorization.

Julian: Because that's what humanity is about. That's humanity. And at the end of the day, we need to have the conversation about how are our kids being educated? What services are they being provided? And how can they be successful? At the end of the day, that's what's most important.

I could talk about this all day long, but I know they're not going to give me all that time. So we're just gonna have to get you back on again at some point. So, Dr. Kristin, thank you so, so, so, so much for joining us today. It's always so dope to have you on just to learn from you. I learn from you. I learned a couple new words tonight.

Kristin: Yes, pathologize.

Julian: I am loving it.

Kristin: Thank you so much for having me, Julian. It's always a pleasure and I really appreciate you bringing this information to so many different people. And I love that it is a Black male educator who is doing the work in inner city schools, who lives it, breathes it, and is not just talking about something he read. So thank you so much for your perspective. Thank you for your work.

Julian: I appreciate it. And you're right, I definitely am living it. I'm in the mix every day, all day. But I live to love it, so I appreciate it.

Listeners, it can be super frustrating and discouraging to see misinformation about ADHD being viewed by millions of people on social media, and so we had to do something about it. So we got together. Dr. Kristin reached out and we said, let's get on and let's talk about this. And so, listeners, I would encourage you, if there are things that you want to bring up or things that you think we need to talk about, you can always reach out and we're willing to just talk about it.

The conversation is what really brings about change. We can help shed light on the truth by the way of our own personal connections and conversations like the one we had today with Dr. Kristin. Until next time, OG family, see you.

Just wanted to end the show by giving a special shout-out to Cin Pim, our former producer. She is moving on to another opportunity, and we couldn't be prouder of the work that she's done with "The Opportunity Gap." We're going to miss you, but this show would be nothing without you, and we really appreciate the work that you've done. And make sure you come back and holler at us.

"The Opportunity Gap" is produced by Tara Drinks, edited by Daniella Tello-Garzon. Ilana Millner is our production director. Our theme music was written by Justin D. Wright, who also mixes the show for the Understood Podcast Network. Laura Key is our editorial director, Scott Cochierre is our creative director, and Seth Melnick is our executive producer. Thanks for listening and see you next time.


  • Julian Saavedra, MA

    is a school administrator who has spent 15 years teaching in urban settings, focusing on social-emotional awareness, cultural and ethnic diversity, and experiential learning.

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