Skip to contentThis page is in English

2970 results for: "undefined"

  • As an educator, you know you can improve your practice by reflecting on your teaching and setting a professional goal. But it’s not always easy to do.Start by reflecting on the last month or quarter. Ask yourself: What has been working well for you and your students who learn and think differently? What challenges have you faced? Think about how you’d like to grow as an educator. What do you want to learn more about? What would you like to change? What student outcomes do you want to improve? With those reflections in mind, follow these four steps for setting a professional teaching goal. 1. Pick a focus area.There’s only so much you can work on at once. Consider your situation and be realistic about what you can take on. Then pick one area you’d like to focus on first. Here are some ideas to get you started: Social-emotional learning (SEL)Many students and teachers are experiencing high levels of stress. When you incorporate SEL into your teaching, both you and your students can find ways to cope with your feelings and navigate challenges. To learn more about SEL in the classroom, check out these articles: Social-emotional learning: What you need to know5 myths about social-emotional learningHow SEL helps you as a teacherCollaborating with colleaguesColleagues are important partners for sharing ideas, discussing accommodations for students, and building community. Think about how you can start or strengthen your collaboration with colleagues. Take a look at these resources: 6 models of co-teaching5 tips for teacher collaboration when students struggleTeacher to teacher: How I help students see support staff as teachers 2. Set a professional teaching goal.Once you’ve picked your focus area, set a manageable teaching goal. Try using a SMART goal. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-oriented, and Time-bound. If you’re focusing on SEL, for example, a SMART teaching goal may be to include at least one community-building activity each week for the rest of the quarter.To help you keep on track, tell your colleagues about your goals. They may have tips, words of encouragement, or questions to help you think further about your goal. You might also inspire them to set their own teaching goals. 3. Get feedback from your students. Model a growth mindset by sharing your goal with your students. Depending on your goal, consider including your students in the process. Gather their feedback about your focus area through class conversations, one-on-one chats, videos, or surveys. For example, you can meet with small groups of students to talk about ideas for building class community. Let them know you value their input. 4. Implement and reflect.Give yourself at least a month to implement your goal. Set aside time afterward to reflect on your progress. Use a notebook to jot down observations or add your ideas to a running online document. Try recording audio notes or short video reflections if those options work better for you. Ask yourself how your work has impacted your students. What challenges have you worked through? What successes have you found? Is it time to move on to a new teaching goal?At first, it might feel like you don’t have the extra time for this reflection. But once you start doing it — and see the benefits — goal-setting can become a natural part of your teaching practice.

  • Practical strategies. Expert insights. Bite-size episodes. “What Now? A Parent’s Guide” is a how-to podcast that helps you handle common behavior challenges like a pro. Psychologist Dr. Andrew Kahn hosts Season 1, which looks at tantrums and meltdowns. Each episode takes less than 10 minutes and helps you fit these parenting strategies into your life whenever you need them.

  • ADHD Aha!

    Max Willey’s ADHD diagnosis has led him to a more stable life — and to seeing ADHD as a “glorious curse,” with downsides and upsides. Max Willey, an expat living in Norway, often found himself overwhelmed by complex tasks as a kid. There were too many moving parts, and his brain was always racing too fast. A teacher thought he might have ADHD. But it wasn’t until adulthood that Max was diagnosed “by accident.” He was feeling depressed and was struggling with some relationships. When he sought treatment, he was diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety, and depression all at once. Max felt relieved. And he’s come to see ADHD as a “glorious curse.” It has its downsides — but also allows him to feel and do wonderful things.  Listen in as Laura and Max unpack this and more. Related resourcesADHD and creativityTrouble getting work done is real. Executive function challenges may be the culprit.ADHD and depressionEpisode transcriptJessamine: Hi, everybody. This is "ADHD Aha!" producer Jessamine. Before we get into the episode, I wanted to give you a heads-up that our guest, Max, shares his experience with depression. And there is a brief reference to suicidal ideation. Max's telling of his journey back from that dark period is important to his story, and we hope you will find it as insightful as we did.Max: Just recently, the realization that came to me was that I don't need to turn everything up to 11 in order for it to count. Sometimes it just needs to be showing up. These little things — they count. More than the gigantic, titanic, Herculean efforts. And with that, it's very liberating.Laura: From the Understood Podcast Network, this is "ADHD Aha!," a podcast where people share the moment when it finally clicked that they or someone they know has ADHD. My name is Laura Key. I'm the editorial director here at Understood. And as someone who's had my own ADHD "aha" moment, I'll be your host.I am here today with Max Willey. Max is a content and video producer and expat living in Oslo, Norway. Max is also a listener who wrote in. And one of the things that stuck out to me in the letter that he sent in to our "ADHD Aha!" email address was that he referred to ADHD as a glorious curse. Welcome, Max. Thanks for being here today.Max: Thank you for having me. It's a pleasure.Laura: Let's get started with when were you diagnosed with ADHD? What was going on?Max: The official diagnosis occurred when I was 31.Laura: So that was a few years ago.Max: A few years ago. Unofficially, my first-grade elementary school teacher picked up on some unattentiveness, inability to complete tasks. And that was brought forth to my parents, but nothing was really done.Laura: Tell me more about what led you to get diagnosed when you were 31.Max: Well, let's see. The childhood symptoms were, I mean, a touch of hyperactivity. The main thing I remembered from kindergarten was just that complex instructions were very difficult, and I lost interest very quickly.But at the same time, I felt that everyone around me was going so slowly. Like, if it was something that interested me, then I just soaked it up like a sponge. If it was animals or planets or facts about UFOs, I just ate that up.But if it was following through on complex things, then I was hopeless. I still remember the very first project I didn't complete. It was the, you know, those little hand printed — like you traced your hand for the turkeys for Thanksgiving?Laura: Yeah.Max: There were just too many moving parts for me to really wrap my head around. I was like four and a half, five years old at that time. And I just remember having this uncompleted turkey on my desk for a week. It just sat there and it was this constant reminder of my first failure.Laura: Wow. That's kind of amazing how vividly you remember that.Max: It just stuck out to me. Perhaps because, like, I've gone back in my mind so many times, I've ruminated so many times about these things and just been like, that was a sign and I should have seen it.I remember reading comprehension and math were also big issues because it just felt like everyone was running circles around me. I just completely did not get it. Until I was put in — this was in third grade — I was put in remedial reading and math. And they just took everything at a snail's pace. And I just remember, wow, this is fun. I can do this.Laura: I wonder if there was a struggle with reading and math, or if it was the effort that needed to go into learning — the kind of, the ADHD symptoms around that? Or maybe a combination of both. Have you struggled with forgetfulness?Max: Oh, yes. That was one of the things that drove my mom crazy in particular. It has been a specter over my life — forgetfulness. And like it just built up to such a state where, like, sometimes I would forget a piece of paper. I'd forget a piece of homework. I would forget to do this thing, or I would forget that. I mean, all throughout my childhood.And it drove my mother crazy. She would ask me, "Why did you do this?" or "What happened?" I would tell her "I forgot." And she would either mock me and say "I forgot! I forgot!" like that, or say, "Max, I'm going to get you a tombstone. And it's going to say 'Max Willey, I forgot' on it."The problem was, I thought it was normal for parents to do that to their kids. It's been a point of contention for not just me and her, but me and other people. Forgetfulness is a big issue that I've had to tackle.Laura: I think a lot of times when we talk about people with ADHD and we talk about forgetfulness, I think what we're really talking about is trouble with working memory, which is related to executive functioning issues. People with ADHD, their brain makes it harder for them to have strong working memory.So you've been carrying around this information that you had been identified as potentially having ADHD when you were a kid. You remember these struggles. So what led you to get evaluated for ADHD as an adult? What was the turning point there?Max: Well, it happened actually by accident. Because I was originally being treated for depression. There was a period between 2016 and 2019 where I had a serious personal decline. I was stretching myself thin with freelance work. I was working with someone who was very cynical and exploitative, working for them almost every day, on top of working nearly full time at a part-time job. And also starting a master's degree, which I didn't finish.It was a lot. And throw in multiple failed personal relationships into the mix. That pushed me over the edge. But it was a slow decline, I would say, from the early 2010s. And I just got to a point where I was showing all the classic signs of depression. Lack of interest in things, rumination, ideation of suicide, poor sleeping habits, poor eating habits, not exercising. It all just balled into one.And I was just like — I was in such a hole that I was just like, I can't keep going on like this. I need to get help. And so I went to the doctors. My general practitioner told them what was happening and they immediately fast-tracked me to a therapist's office. I was screened for different symptoms, and they identified ADHD. Plus generalized anxiety and depression.Laura: How did it feel? That's a lot of diagnoses to receive at one time. How did that feel?Max: I felt actually relieved. As crappy as I was still feeling, I was happy that I was getting help. I have this range of like mood from like 100 being like, you're living your most ideal, perfect life. It's heaven. Zero? Dead. You're gone. You don't exist. Like I went from 40% to at the end of the treatment, around 70%. So far, more stable. Still a long road ahead.I went through group therapy for ADHD. I actually met some people that I knew that I was surprised that they were there. I was like, What, you're here? You're one of the best people in your class. Like, that's a surprise. And they're like, Yeah, like, likewise. You know, I just. I didn't expect you to be here. It was fun to have that kind of camaraderie. And it was very nice to know that a lot of the symptoms that I was having were quite normal.Laura: Right. And to see them and people, it sounds like, who you admired or were in your eyes high achieving. Probably a good reminder that you can thrive with ADHD.So one thing I remember, Max, when we had our initial interview, you were like, my view of ADHD isn't all sunshine and roses, right? I remember you talked about the glorious curse, which I guess isn't totally a negative thing because you've got this word "glorious" there. I want to hear you articulate what you mean by ADHD as a glorious curse.Max: Absolutely. In my research of ADHD, I have heard more people than I can count call it a superpower. And the term just seems so saccharine sweet and just so like Oh, we're going to have fun. Whee! You know, just like — and I just was like, it's not a superpower. I mean, it's a curse.Because here's the thing. The glorious part is it opens up vistas of creativity and energy and dynamism that people just don't understand. Like when you are fired up, you get fired up. You just can do all the things. You feel like you have divine inspiration. The gods have just shone down a light upon you, and you are at the very center of what you were meant to be. It shows you that, off in the distance, off on the horizon. This glorious city in the clouds.But between you and that is a deep valley of sharp rocks and obstacles that you have to get through to get there. It's like the ADHD part oftentimes makes it impossible — or not impossible, but just very, very difficult and tedious to get there. So that's where the curse part comes in.It's glorious in that you can see the potential of who you can be, or even just things that just light your heart on fire. Brings out the best in you. But at the same time, it's like trying to sprint up a mountain with the ball and chain. So that's how I feel about that.Laura: Very — really beautiful imagery that you use to describe that, too. It really resonates with me. I feel like a good manifestation of this glorious curse is something that you described to me when we originally talked, which you actually had mentioned as being a big "aha" moment for you: writing your thesis.Max: Yes. I took my very first bachelor in humanities at the University of Oslo. And usually you have a year and a half to do your thesis. They clear your schedule and they just say, Just do that. And I took almost three years to get it done, because it was all of the things that hamper completing a task through — following it through.It was just the task was a bit complex. I was doing it by myself. And the longer I went without contacting my advisor, the more pressure I felt to deliver. And also fear of his wrath that was just building exponentially with every week, with every unanswered email. I just felt the pressure increase. And so I delayed. And I finished it and handed it in four minutes before the deadline. And that was my last chance.And one of the biggest symptoms, one of the biggest things that stood out to me was — aside from the things I mentioned, where the putting the pressure on myself and expectations from my advisor and just this pressure to deliver this perfectionism — was it again boiled down to my reading comprehension was too slow for my brain. And it — just like sitting there in a quiet environment, just like reading sentence after sentence. And then just my brain felt like I was holding my breath underwater. And you know that feeling when you just try practicing holding your breath for as long as you can, and it starts burning in your lungs? That's what it felt like in my brain.So it was frustrating. It was very, very difficult. It was a topic that I loved, too. And it was it was just so interesting. But the thing is that when you get into the nuts and bolts of it — doing the actual work — that's when the passion can evaporate. That's when you'd be like, I have to set up a schedule to actually do these things. I have to write two pages a night. It turns into work. It goes from being a passion and an interest to being an obligation.You know, a lot of people can say like, Oh, that's childish. Then you're not serious enough. Or you know, grow up, which I've heard before. But it's like that's the point for a lot of people where they fall off. And then it's like, I can't do this. I'm giving up.Laura: This race to the finish line. Handing in your thesis four minutes before it's due. I mean, that to me is exactly what you described with the glorious curse. You're sprinting up a mountain with a ball and chain. All of this was happening during what you called that decline time period that led up to your ADHD diagnosis, right?Max: Just before, I would say. Like it was this in-between phase where I graduated from my second bachelor, in media and communication studies. It started around there where one personal relationship ended very badly. And then I just had a string of bad relationships. And it really affected me because I had a lot of guilt.But the depression part — one of the main like points where I've ruminated on in that dark period was just like, You never follow through. You never complete tasks. You're never going to be anything. You are going to be surrounded by a graveyard of dreams. And that's essentially what I was feeling at the darkest points. It was like being awake at three in the morning. So tired but my brain is just on. And I was just thinking of all the points in my past where I could have changed things. Or thinking about how I'm never going to amount to anything because I never complete anything.Laura: Wow, that's really powerful. So you've got anxiety and depression kind of feeding off of and ruminating on what are essentially ADHD symptoms. So you're ruminating about your difficulty with these kind of every day.Max: Yes.Laura: Executive function skills, completing tasks.Max: And even up until that point, before my diagnosis, I just thought it was a personal failing. I just thought it was me. I had notes dating back to like 2011. Like "goals for my life" type thing. One of which was "Learn to be consistent. Follow through on tasks." Like on sticky notes I would have on my chalkboard.Laura: Oh my gosh, I did the exact same thing.Max: Yeah. God, why are we like this?Laura: Well, these like, giant ideas I've evolved from, you know, sticky notes to, like, emailing them to myself because that doesn't put any pressure on you to have an email to yourself that says, "Figure out next five years." Or like, "Get better at focusing" or whatever. It's like kind of this all-or-nothing approach, right? Where it's like we're not allowing ourselves — maybe because it's so difficult to break down tasks — we're not allowing ourselves to take these things in chunks. And instead it just looks like this big, giant gray cloud of things we will never get to.Max: The I think most destructive aspect of it, from what I've experienced, is like the older you get, the more that you rely on friends, on your financial stability, your health. And all of these things needs to be maintained. So I mean, that has always been a challenge for me.And like especially in the last few years when I was diagnosed with depression, you know, there are times where you just want to vent to a friend. You just want to meet up with someone that you feel safe with. And you just want to talk about everything that's on your mind, talk about what's in your heart.But for me, that was difficult because I realized that I have not maintained friendships, because I was under the presumption that if you get along with someone, you know, that connection will be there. Right? And I mean, at least in my twenties, I never really considered that maintaining friendships required effort. I always was under the presumption, very naive presumption, that like, oh, we've got chemistry. It'll come back like that. No.And that really was a bitter awakening in the last few years, just wanting to talk to someone who isn't your therapist, who isn't your significant other, who is not your parents, and just dump all of the stuff out on a table. And not just like talking about your problems, but also growing, you know, becoming an adult parallel with your friends. That's something that, you know, is very, very important, I think. And no one tells you that you have to maintain friendships. Growing up, at least no one told me. So that's — that was one of the things that really hit me in the teeth.If you find people of value in your life, you do need to touch base with them often. It's just I've never been good at consistency. So it's more of just the repetition of that effort has always been difficult, because then that falls into the routine. It's less novel and interesting, and it just kind of falls into the routine. Like the thought of maintaining something is just like, ugh, work. It's automatically in a work category and then it no longer becomes fun. I mean, this limiting mindset, that's kind of how I approached friendships for a while.One of the things that I realized just very recently, and this has been in due part to therapy, is that the reason why I was so averse to things like maintaining effort, maintaining fitness, or maintaining financial health or, you know, maintaining friendships, is that my presumption of what it takes to do that work has always been skewed. It has been contaminated by a perfectionist mindset, an all-or-nothing mindset, that any effort that you do has to be turned up to 111 in order for it to count.And with that corrupted mindset, every time I thought of doing work to maintain these things, I immediately was just like, I'm too tired. I cannot do this. Because I assumed that the effort it took was this monumental effort. But something that my therapist told me was that — it was more of a rhetorical question. She asked me, like, with those things, those assignments at work or the effort it requires to maintain certain habits or hobbies. Could you have done any better there and then with the knowledge that you had? And I was like, obviously not. I mean, I did the best I could. And she's like, There you go. You did the best you could with the knowledge you had.And that changed my mind is that maintaining things, half of the battle is showing up. And just recently, the realization that came to me was that I don't need to turn everything up to 11 in order for it to count. Sometimes it just needs to be showing up. Or sending a message to a friend. Sending them a funny meme or gif or saying, Hey, what's up? You know, just like what's new in your life? These little things, they count more than the gigantic, titanic, Herculean efforts. And with that, it's very liberating. And with that, it's more hopeful, I think.Laura: So, Max, you're here talking with me now, which means that you have a level of self-awareness. You're aware of your diagnoses. You're aware of what you're struggling with. I know that you've got coping strategies in place now. And am I right that you even can joke about some of this now?Max: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. I mean, that's the best part is just like my girlfriend. We've been together for five years, and she knows better than most the struggles, but also the humor. And we joke constantly about it. Early in our relationship I told her that, like, I envision my ADHD as a tiny baboon in a control center. He's watching stuff on his phone or got like 20 tabs open. And he's just like going from one thing to the next. He pushes a button here and there. Or he gets hyperfocused on one thing and just like lets the whole thing just melt down.It's easier sometimes to laugh at it — only if you are trying to fix it. Like if you're trying to actually deal with it, then yeah, sure, you can laugh. That's the thing. Like now I'm a grown-ass man, you know, it's on me to fix this.Laura: Do you need to fix it, or do you need to cope?Max: Well, I mean, yeah, maybe a little bit of both. You know, find strategies that work.Laura: I like that better, Max. You use the language that you want, but I like that better. I'm just telling you.Max: Yeah, OK. Healthier.Laura: Max, it's been really nice to talk with you today. I really appreciate your perspective. I love the imagery, the beautiful images that you use. And I appreciate your realism. I think it's necessary.Max: Thank you for this opportunity to talk with you. Just one parting point I think I'd like to make is just that life can be very beautiful with ADHD. I'm not trying to have this like, "oh, poor me" type mentality, you know. And it can be a very powerful tool if wielded correctly.My hope for other people is that they do have an opportunity to find a balance between the gloriousness of the curse so that they can actually get to those perfect vistas that they envision for themselves.Laura: You've been listening to "ADHD Aha!" from the Understood Podcast Network. If you want to share your own "aha" moment, email us at I'd love to hear from you.If you want to learn more about the topics we covered today, check out the show notes for this episode. We include more resources as well as links to anything we mentioned in the episode.Understood is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people who learn and think differently discover their potential and thrive. We have no affiliation with pharmaceutical companies. Learn more at"ADHD Aha!" is produced by Jessamine Molli. Say hi, Jessamine.Jessamine: Hi, everyone.Laura: Briana Berry is our production director. Our theme music was written by Justin D. Wright, who also mixes the show. For the Understood Podcast Network, Scott Cocchiere is our creative director, Seth Melnick is our executive producer, and I'm your host, Laura Key. Thanks so much for listening.

  • I think the best way to start is to be as honest as possible. I’ve always had anxiety. I just didn’t come to terms with it until I got older. (After college, I started to go to therapy.) Now I talk about it, often. I have vivid memories of being nervous during tests in school, and absolutely dreading math exams no matter how much I’d prepared. I’ve always been anxious for things involving numbers, and math has always made me uncomfortable. My anxiety about math came into focus when I was told I had dyslexia around age 8. When doing math problems, I’d constantly switch + and ÷ signs around. It felt “normal” to me to read addition and division symbols incorrectly. In school, everyone I knew had a subject they didn’t like, so I didn’t question whether that nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach might be more than just “nerves.” As I got older, anxiety was always a bit of a lingering shadow, something I noticed out of the corner of my eye, until it became all-encompassing. I had my first anxiety attack in college after a snarky remark to a rude teacher made me fear I would lose my student job. (It ended up being OK, but I spent the next five minutes in the hallway crying and hugging myself to calm down).I’ve spent hours on phone calls with friends, asking them to help me reassure myself that the text or email I just sent made sense, that the words were clear and precise and didn’t make me look weird or needy. I remember writing out a text to my now-fiancé after our first date about how great a time I had, about how I’m just bad at flirting and how I hope they had fun too. Rambling on because I wasn’t sure if I’d made that clear on the date itself. If you can’t tell by the words “now-fiancé,” we worked it out just fine after that. Subway ride home Mimi wasn’t 100 percent sure. Just this last week, I lay in bed, looked up at the ceiling, and wondered where the next few months would take me, all while trying not to cry. Anxiety Mimi, as I like to refer to these moments, gets overwhelmed with whatever thoughts are the loudest. She likes to shed some tears. Anxiety Mimi likes to linger, and some days it’s so loud I have to talk on the phone with my therapist — she reminds me that emotions are like the ocean, they change and don’t last, to just breathe and remember that things will be OK. On days when it’s overwhelming, I admit out loud it’s a bad day. Today was a heavy anxiety day and that's OK. Other days it whispers, wondering if that text or email went through or am I just being ignored? The quieter moments are easier to handle than the louder ones, I can’t help but admit that. Sometimes the anxious thoughts linger and hover around like flies, but I swat them away and things move on. Anxiety isn’t exactly something I’ve conquered as an adult, though it is something that’s gotten easier to get a handle on because I speak about it, often. I write out dialogue with it, I talk through it with my friends, my fiancé, my co-workers, even my boss (!) some days. Facing it as “head-on” as possible is scary but it helps.My best advice is to talk it out loud, write it down as lists — as what’s real and what’s not real — and remind yourself to drink lots of water. Simple things like that help me more than anything else. Having a support system helps, too, like my fiancé. On the days when it’s just you and your anxiety, remember you’ll get through it.Read 8 ways to manage anxiety when struggling with math or difficult thoughts.

  • There’s a lot to learn about learning and thinking differences like dyslexia and ADHD. Understood Explains is a podcast that unpacks one important topic each season. Season 1 covers the ins and outs of the process school districts use to evaluate kids for special education services. Host Dr. Andrew Kahn is a psychologist who has spent nearly 20 years evaluating kids for schools. He explains each step of the evaluation process and gives tips on how to talk with your child along the way.

  • In It

    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? term “neurodiversity” seems everywhere right — news, workplace, even podcasts. exactly mean?In episode, hosts Amanda Morin Gretchen Vierstra talk Emily Kircher-Morris, counselor, author, host Neurodiversity Podcast. Emily unique perspective neurodiversity: She’s neurodivergent parent twice-exceptional kids. Listen hear Emily talk neurodiversity means, applies kids learn think differently, language use matters. Related resources What neurodiversity?All twice-exceptional students The Neurodiversity PodcastTeaching Twice-Exceptional Learners Today’s ClassroomsRaising Twice-Exceptional ChildrenEpisode transcript Amanda: Hi, I'm Amanda Morin. I'm director thought leadership expertise I'm parent kids learn differently, I'm neurodiverse human.Gretchen: Hi, I'm Gretchen. I'm editor Understood. I'm also former classroom teacher mom two. "In It.""In It" podcast Understood Podcast Network. show, talk parents, caregivers, teachers, experts, sometimes even kids. offer perspective, advice, stories people challenges reading, math, focus, learning differences.Amanda, I've heard introduction bunch times, I've never heard introduce neurodiverse human. That's new one.Amanda: Yeah. thought good segue conversation today neurodiversity term "neurodiversity" seems everywhere right now. It's news. It's business world. really wanted explore means.And answer question questions, thought would best talk friend Emily Kircher-Morris, who's host "The Neurodiversity Podcast." She's also fellow author, book "Teaching Twice-Exceptional Learners Today's Classroom" came August.Gretchen: Oh, hooray!Amanda: Right. Gretchen, like us, Emily teacher. She's taught gifted classrooms. She's school counselor. days, lives Missouri. private practice licensed professional counselor, specializes helping gifted twice-exceptional kids.Gretchen: Emily, welcome. I'm happy meet you.Emily: Yes, I'm happy here. Thank invitation.Gretchen: Amanda gave great introduction you, it's first time meeting you, don't tell us little bit yourself?Emily: Well, also neurodiverse individual, part passion field. three kids. older two identified twice exceptional, littlest first grade, but, know, we'll see goes. think probably make good predictions, but, know, life podcast clinical mental health practice kind advocating supporting neurodivergent twice-exceptional people.Amanda: So, basically, you're saying live way rest us do. Emily: do. And, know, it's interesting, know, people, like, refer parenting experts whatever, I'm going, "Oh, please." talk lot, read lot, I'm good brainstorming solutions, figured out. We're together. We're trying figure go. collaborate work together it, that's best everyone.Amanda: thought better collaborate episode neurodiversity host "The Neurodiversity Podcast." Right? mean, it's literally name do.Emily: It's literally name.Gretchen: Yeah. speaking name, would actually define neurodiversity?Emily: So. Neurodiversity really concept allows lot different disorders diagnoses people recognizes it's necessarily always deficit.A neurodivergent person brain wiring atypical compared normative population, doesn't mean dysfunctional broken. talk autism ADHD, things innate, place since person born; acquired. there's nothing you're going do, like kids come counseling practice, ADHD'ers autistic, like I'm teaching ADHD. Like I'm not, I'm going get autistic. Like that's part are. neurodiversity really recognizes that, like biodiversity natural world, variation good world, kind normalizes recognizing different neurotypes might operate world little bit differently, doesn't mean it's bad.Gretchen: Emily, that's beautiful way explain need term. I'm wondering also get little bit specifically falls term "neurodiverse."Emily: we're talking about, like mentioned, ADHD; mentioned autism. We're talking dyslexia, dyscalculia. Um, people would put diagnoses like schizophrenia bipolar OCD category. people would put diagnoses like anxiety, like generalized anxiety or, um, know, major depressive disorder, there's kind like, mind, visualize Venn diagram neurodivergent diagnoses mental health diagnoses, there's definitely overlap, like OCD, me, I'm quite sure really fall.Amanda: would say neurodiversity. actually OCD. So, me, feels like it.Emily: Well, it's, it's interesting there's necessarily agreed-upon definition neurodiversity also, agree that, Amanda. also think instances where, premise neurodiversity something somebody born with, OCD always something somebody born with. It's like, depending you're talking to, you're getting different parameters things fall. so, that's kind say, think kind straddles little bit, depending individual.And would also say example, um, would put cognitive diversity cognitive giftedness category neurodiversity, think that's one doesn't get recognized quite often. would also say twice-exceptional individuals, gifted another one diagnoses mental health diagnosis, need additional supports, like, also neurodivergent.It's broad ambiguous point, like term. talk clients group also individually I'm talking parents, use term "neurodiverse" way explain normalize experiences, know, feel like happens sometimes fall this, like, "Oh, well, they're little quirky." think anything, minimizes person's struggles. disallows access accommodations. enhances stigma surrounds diagnoses.And I'm much believer let's call something is. don't know is, kids, especially practice, maybe tell neurodivergent, like, know, ADHD? autism? Like, exactly going on? difficult tease out. need full psychological evaluation? need IEP 504? need medication? don't need things, useful person label? Sometimes that's empowering people know call something. sometimes go, know, they're neurodivergent, brain works differently, don't necessarily drill much that. kind umbrella term.Amanda: That's super helpful. also, I'm listening say that, moment realized talk now, talk neurodivergent. Diagnoses, labels, impacts me. talk used kid, often say quirky kid. never thought fact that, that's actually, like, I'm I'm minimizing was. Right?Emily: unidentified neurodivergent learner.Amanda: unidentified neurodivergent learner. wasn't quirky kid. actually something bigger there. need stop saying that. need stop saying quirky kid.Emily: know, also want address fact, though, lot folks like talk neurodiversity superpower. think also kind like talking like quirky kid. think diminishes needs go along it.And nobody part really active neurodiversity movement denies neurodivergent disability. really mean? know, Amanda, it's like, know, glasses well. It's like, see long accommodation glasses. take away glasses, can't see anything.Amanda: Right.Emily: disabled. I'm unable function world others do. ADHD'er need certain accommodations order able focus, certain sensory processing needs, still fulfill potential. still live life long accommodations put place. world refuses put accommodations place, disabled.Amanda: that's social

  • It can be really frustrating when kids don’t seem to listen when you ask them a question or give them an instruction. You might wonder if there’s a problem or if they’re ignoring you on purpose. A lot depends on age. When kids are little, they often don’t seem to be listening. They may be wrapped up in a game they’re playing. Or they may hear you but not look at you, so you don’t realize they are listening. As kids get older, they typically learn a simple social rule — when someone is talking, you stop and look at the person, so the person knows you’re listening. Sometimes, though, it becomes obvious that a child doesn’t listen very well. What could be causing that? It’s possible the child has a hearing problem, and that’s the first thing to check out. But there are other reasons kids have a hard time listening.Two common cases are trouble with language or trouble with following directions. Focus challenges can also play a role. No matter what’s causing the difficulty, it’s important to know that kids don’t mean to be disrespectful. They just need help building the skills they need for listening.  

  • 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

  • In It

    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. ADHD medication. decide it’s right child? It’s personal decision often takes time. Learning experiences families help. In episode, hosts Rachel Bozek Gretchen Vierstra talk Amelia, mom whose son started taking ADHD medication high school. Amelia shares journey led decision medicate, including worries had. Find son feels taking medication. hear Amelia’s advice families making decision. Plus, get answers common questions stimulant medication Dr. Kamille Williams, psychiatrist lots experience talking families ADHD medicines. Related resourcesADHD medication side effectsHow ADHD medication work? Listen episode Understood Explains Season 2 learn medication: ADHD medication: need know? Episode transcriptGretchen: Understood Podcast Network, "In It," podcast ins outs...Rachel: ...the ups downs...Gretchen: ...of supporting kids learn think differently. I'm Gretchen Vierstra, former classroom teacher editor Understood.Rachel: I'm Rachel Bozek, writer editor raising two kids ADHD. Today we're talking ADHD medication figure it's right kid.Gretchen: Later, we'll putting questions Dr. Kamille Williams, psychiatrist Atlanta lot experience talking parents kids benefits risks medication.Rachel: first, we're talking Amelia. Amelia mother boy we're going call Sam, started ADHD meds first year high school. Getting point long winding journey, Amelia's sharing family's experience us hope might help families find way little bit easily.Gretchen: happy welcome onto podcast.Rachel: Hello. It's really nice meet you.Amelia: Yes, too. I'm happy here.Gretchen: think we're going start tell us little bit son.Amelia: 14, really started become teen. mean irritation levels parents really ratcheted extra notch past months.Gretchen: totally get that.Amelia: So, yes. So, he's 14. He's freshman high school. He's really art. He's really television comedy "The Simpsons" "South Park" kind stuff.Rachel: first realize might learning thinking difference?Amelia: Really, really young. think kind denial super long time. remember pre-K, said school boring spent time — like letter border around edge room, ABCs. proud could ABCs backward, could whole song. he's like, yeah, that's time school.And got called frequently pre-K teacher — disruptive. He's always good sitting one place focusing. constantly asked questions. young, new parents we're like, oh, thought good thing, right? Like kids, know, smart kids ask lot questions. kind like kicked road little bit.But really hated school pretty consistently kindergarten on. time fifth grade rolled around, things getting better. remember going in, like math class, know, one those, like invite parents hour morning things. math demo. could see immediately sitting children — all, most — doing, know, one worksheet second worksheet second one. Like meant fun math thing. son, way all. stuck problem one two entire time.Gretchen: point Amelia husband decided time take Sam's struggles classroom seriously. set meeting school recommended get full neuropsych evaluation, did.Amelia: revealed, know, ADHD inattentive, also mild ASD — autism spectrum disorder. mild nobody picked prior. Oh, also processing issue writing.Rachel: lot Amelia husband take in. glad answers. said, weren't sure Sam would take it.Amelia: told him, really tried frame as, know, actually kind superpower. Like people ADHD focus intensely things love good things love. cried. cried lot. he — not, sad tears. seemed relieved name going him. heard medication available, like, "Oh God. Well, know, maybe take that."Gretchen: So, Sam trying meds. Amelia husband bunch concerns.Amelia: sort thought like legal speed, right? thought wouldn't sleep. thought wouldn't really eat. think really lot biases around it. Like it's going make into, like, robot school, right?Rachel: think concerns mentioned common.Amelia: Oh, say one thing thought, actually opposite truth. thought would gateway relying drugs, self-medicating ways. another thing really, know, underneath all, part resisted. Because, course, that's something worry when, know, kid maybe big joiner anyway, maybe rebel tendencies anyway. right? It's back back mind. another reason.Gretchen: Despite reservations, Amelia husband slowly coming around idea trying meds. midway sixth grade, COVID hit.Rachel: point, Amelia says idea son taking stimulant stuck home day seemed like really bad idea. convinced would bouncing walls. put again.Gretchen: year later, Sam began pretty debilitating health problems. ultimately diagnosed Crohn's disease. again, trying meds ADHD got put back burner adjusted new challenge.Rachel: Throughout time, Sam continued asking medication. finally, toward end middle school, health issues control, decided give go. results almost instantaneous.Amelia: started spring semester eighth grade, things improved quickly. kind wonder. painful anymore sit school, stop saying things like "I'm dumb one class," right? going since sixth grade. Like "I'm dumb one. guys think I'm smart, I'm dumb.".But first experience middle school real friend group. think there's correlation. think finally able focus conversations sort dreaming day away, let tune socially new way.Gretchen: Wow. say you? making feel school?Amelia: rough days, like first started, he's like, feel weird. And, know, even I'm like, oh, want stop? he's like, no, want to, know, see goes. quickly, like got dosage worked type medication worked out, like, oh, it's like kids. Like, teacher tells us hear don't ask three times "What supposed do?" think really big relief him.Rachel: negative side effects anything you've seen made second-guess decision?Amelia: still, depths mind, I'm like, know, I'll ask questions myself, right? Like, going forever? think, well, wouldn't bad he's much functional it. doesn't want take weekends, simply functions better every way taking medication.One little concern Crohn's eating growth. doesn't much appetite day. try get calories first thing morning end day, know, he'll eat significant amount. So, know, that's mind little bit. almost slept better before. almost easier go sleep, shocked me. think could easier road middle school started sixth grade medication.Gretchen: Well, know you're alone saying that. wish done sooner. There's many families say that. it's hard. I'm sure Rachel attest too. It's really hard.Rachel: Absolutely. I'm curious advice families, people going process trying figure whether give medication try child. suggestions recommendations think it?Amelia: think it's really hard see child pain, whether pain social

  • When you’re anxious or stressed at work, it can be hard to focus. Taking a moment to breathe can help. There are brief techniques to help you manage anxiety and stress throughout your day. One is the 5-4-3-2-1 mindfulness technique. With this method, you use your senses to focus on the present moment. It gives your mind a break from difficult thoughts and feelings you may be experiencing. As with any mindfulness technique, make adjustments as you need. It’s all about making it work for you.Download the instructions above to get started. You can also print the instruction sheet and place it in your workspace. It can help remind you to pause and practice mindfulness.Looking for more? Read this article to learn about the difference between the stress and anxiety. 

  • Hear stories about the single moment when it clicked that a person — or someone they know — has ADHD. Host Laura Key, who’s had her own ADHD “aha” moment, brings you unexpected, emotional, and even funny stories about how ADHD symptoms surface for kids and adults.Comments? Email us at

  • ADHD Aha!

    From a very young age, Emily’s son would have meltdowns and get intensely angry. He was also really bright. young age, Emily Hamblin’s son would meltdowns get intensely angry. also really bright. ahead curve academically scored 99th percentile standardized testing. teachers would say “smart quirky.” didn’t sit right Emily, though. knew something else going on.Then one day, friend suggested Emily look ADHD. Emily skeptical first. learned more, clear missing puzzle piece. son twice exceptional: He’s gifted ADHD. discovery even helped Emily recognize ADHD symptoms herself.Emily co-hosts podcast called Enlightening Motherhood, aims help moms overwhelmed kids’ big emotions. Listen hear Emily reframes ADHD symptoms positive light.Related resourcesThe challenges twice-exceptional kids7 myths twice-exceptional (2e) students Twice-exceptional Black brown kids (The Opportunity Gap podcast episode)Episode transcriptEmily: friend heard talking someone child's behaviors. kind stopped track first time heard someone describe son's behaviors. time, took as, "Oh, he's disrespecting me." finally, friend said, "You know, sounds like impulsivity. ever thought ADHD? emotional dysregulation also part ADHD." like, "No, no, no. There's way ADHD. sit read book without blinking three hours. ADHD, couldn't focus long, right?" course, fought it. looked like, "Oh, goodness."Laura: Understood Podcast Network, "ADHD Aha!," podcast people share moment finally clicked someone know ADHD. name Laura Key. I'm editorial director Understood. someone who's ADHD "aha" moment, I'll host. I'm today Emily Hamlin. Emily life coach mom son who's gifted ADHD. She's also host "Enlightening Motherhood," podcast dedicated empowering moms kids big emotions. Hi, Emily. I'm happy show today.Emily: I'm excited here. Thank you.Laura: Let's start telling listeners son.Emily: I'm going use pen name keep identity little bit confidential. I'll call Jack. Jack always bright. kid one year old, brought light switches would study light turned on. We'd see turn predict one get look satisfaction got right. he's always really, really bright. preschool —he 3 years old — remember started kind really intense behaviors. would meltdowns scream become intensely angry. felt like wasn't normal, like twos actually OK. Everyone says terrible twos, us, 3 4 the, kind behaviors started popping up. kind felt wasn't super typical.And went preschool teacher remember saying, "He's great academically, we're seeing behaviors pop up." would say, "Oh, no, he's copying kids, throwing fits school," "Oh, he's little bit quirky he's bright." kindergarten, reading 100 sight words kindergarten, went school, would say, "OK, well, here's letter 'A.' makes sound 'Ah.'" so, would start act kindergarten. again, teacher would call said, "Well, let's skip first grade. think solve behavioral issues." like, "Oh, he's already little kid kindergarten. don't want tiny kid first grade," that's kind offered.So, tried lot of, know, sticker charts could time, never really figuring underlying issue. got patch. First grade, really good teacher recognized "OK, need sit read line line us book. Here, Jack, bring book corner. read pace." like perfect fit we've ever schooling, still told one time, "Mom, partner read rug school, book easy decided lay rug roll around make noises instead."Laura: Oh, wow. So, time discovered Jack gifted?Emily: Yes. tested school, tested 99th percentile gifted. wasn't really gifted program, teacher accommodating much could. really great homework worst already knew beforehand. would come home with, "OK, write word 'cat.'" reading Harry Potter point time. like pulling teeth get it, even though would take five minutes so, right? would throw fit 40 minutes wanting homework. couldn't quite figure out. point, really suspecting neurodivergent went Google.Laura: Dr. Google.Emily: Yeah, Dr. Google. thought maybe autism. don't know. went teacher, said, "Do think Jack autism?" said, "No way. He's smart quirky." always would say, "No, little, like, behavioral quirks he's smart, two combined," wasn't really explaining intense emotions, hardest thing us parents handle. So, third grade, friend workout group heard talking someone child's behaviors. kind stopped track first time heard someone describe son's behaviors, made little mistake homework, suddenly ripped raging like 20 minutes little mistake homework. stopped tracks, like, "Can connect?"And don't remember exactly went there, remember support. would say, "No, just, need listen say 'stay phone' walks past phone gets phone it's like ignores disrespects gets anyways," idea impulsivity meant. looking back, that's totally going on. couldn't control impulse. Whereas time took as, "Oh, he's disrespecting me." teachers would say, "Oh, he's bad class," "He won't listen us." Nobody understood underlying things.But finally, friend said, "You know, sounds like impulsivity. ever thought ADHD? emotional dysregulation also part ADHD." like, "No, no, no. There's way ADHD. sit read book without blinking three hours. ADHD, couldn't focus long, right? couldn't sit still long, right?" course, that's thought. everyone says show, thought know now.Laura: That's here. Yeah, that's right. So, sounds like start ADHD journey. Maybe ADHD "aha" moment son.Emily: Yeah. I, course fought it. looked like, "Oh goodness." Like whole package. It's "He can't pay attention can't sit still." whole package, went third-grade teacher really close students really perceptive them, great, said, "Do think might ADHD?" like, "Yes, please go get evaluated."Laura: Wow. happened then? evaluation process go?Emily: found ADHD clinic emailed us forms ahead time. So, one in-person visit, filling out, NICHQ, looking questions filling him, like, "Oh goodness." marking pretty much everyone. don't remember exact scale, like often, think highest one pretty much everyone often. filling him, "aha" moment went, "Oh goodness, I'm checking boxes, too." never even considered could ADHD. suddenly explained emotional dysregulation tendency get lost time realize time passed procrastination, things like that. like double "aha" moment.Laura: son twice exceptional. Could define listeners? first time we've opportunity talk twice exceptional 2e show.Emily: So, he's twice exceptional one hand, academically gifted, also additional neurodiverse side him, ADHD. So, going time. Getting diagnosis kind difficult almost like giftedness masking ADHD. compensating ability well academics, didn't notice really going on.Laura: It's tricky already spot signs ADHD. There's many misconceptions ADHD presents. That's got add extra layer misconceptions confusion.Emily: Yeah, there's kind social conception, too, children th

  • Kids of color who have ADHD and other common learning differences often face a double stigma. But there’s a lot that families can do to address the opportunity gap in our communities. Host Julian Saavedra is a father of two. He's also an assistant principal who has spent nearly 20 years working in public schools. Join Saavedra as he talks with parents and experts and offers tips to help you advocate for your child. Comments? Email us at

  • ADHD Aha!

    Laura talks with film writer and editor Ariel Fisher about Best Picture winner Everything Everywhere All at Once and its many connections to ADHD. Laura talks film writer editor Ariel Fisher Best Picture winner Everything Everywhere many connections ADHD. making movie ADHD “aha” moment director Daniel Kwan. film feels like depiction ADHD brain. characters film show ADHD behaviors. Fisher, ADHD, also talks film reflects ADHD journey — getting evaluated diagnosed taking ADHD medication. Related resources Read director Daniel Kwan’s ADHD “aha” momentCheck Ariel Fisher’s piece Everything Everywhere ADHDLearn ADHD brainEpisode transcriptLaura: Understood Podcast Network, "ADHD Aha!," podcast people share moment finally clicked someone know ADHD. name Laura Key. I'm editorial director Understood. someone who's ADHD "aha" moment, I'll host. I'm today freelance writer editor Ariel Fisher. Ariel ADHD she's written number online film television publications, including piece wrote last year Slash Film called "Everything Everywhere Once, Stopped Fighting Learned Love Brain." Welcome, Ariel. Thanks here.Ariel: Thank much me.Laura: I'm excited here. I'm going lie. I'm little bit nervous, you, different approach us "ADHD Aha!" bonus episode; going talking "Everything Everywhere Once." film critic. know are, not. going centering episode around film, won huge Oscars recently, took home seven statues, including Best Picture. allow little bit preamble, Ariel, jump in.Ariel: Absolutely.Laura: want ground audience we're going talking today. So, I'm hoping go three things. third one important it's you, Ariel. first thing want chat creating movie, "Everything Everywhere Once," "aha" moment one directors film Daniel Kwan. So, chat that.I want talk movie portrays ADHD, whether that's intentional not, also movie kind feel like inside ADHD brain people reacted that. think third thing want get is, story parallels see film experience ADHD. So, I'm excited talk that. first thing want chat saw film, know creating film ADHD "aha" moment Daniel Kwan?Ariel: part, hearing look intergenerational trauma families passed much pressure specifically Chinese families. Obviously, focus this. co-worker Hana, brought felt like ADHD. like, "Oh, OK, I'm sold." mean, really intrigued, like, "OK, go see this. see what's going this."Laura: yet point, movie many things. mean, hence title especially articulately summed there. ADHD is, know, don't want imply movie ADHD intention creating film. want read quote article kind took breath away. author article asking directors, Daniel Kwan Daniel Scheinert, Daniels, ADHD influence film, Daniel Kwan replied said making film, aware ADHD connection.So, started researching it, quote writer article. "I stayed like four morning reading everything could find it, ADHD, crying, realizing that, "Oh God, think ADHD." So, movie reason got diagnosed. So, freaked read is, that's "aha" moment show called "ADHD Aha!" mean, think that?Ariel: So, remember hearing hearing interview talked connection ADHD, struck much. Like was, genuinely wasn't really prepared, also familiar sensation, moment brain lights go, "Oh, me. this."And think it's fascinating started place wanting respectful. Like, like, "Well, brain everywhere once? kind sounds like ADHD probably look respectful order portray accurately like stereotype."So, starting main reason even started investigating first place, wound giving really interesting foundation make something legitimately good representation invisible illnesses, ADHD specifically, like idea something like never forefront minds. was, guess background Daniel Kwan's mind, became forefront project.And watch this, I'm digressing, course, I'm going tangent. look rest work like music videos stuff, kind makes sense. kind go, "Oh yeah, no, definitely ADHD. Yeah, sure."Laura: Yeah, think remember reading Michelle Yeoh, plays Evelyn also won Best Actress, fabulous, kind almost like avatar ADHD behaviors. notice that? come mind you?Ariel: Oh, yeah. Well, watching movie, was, actually really surreal. got diagnosed 33, I'm 35 now, so, watching like watching pre-diagnosis. Watching her, like watching Michelle Yeoh's character, specifically watching Evelyn, watching pre-diagnosis Ariel. interesting watching Michelle Yeoh kind this, like father. Like saw traits saw ADHD older generation hasn't yet diagnosed, resistant it, isn't really, kind dismisses like, "Well, no, that's me."And, know, kind like line movie says, "Well, no, that's know, know am. You're young. brain still changing, you're still figuring things out. know am." that's, know, know clue time. that's what's much is.Like depictions ADHD became kind ineffable qualities ADHD I've kind started realize whole life. like Jobu head tilt thing clicks back she's able kind tap different parts multiverse simultaneously. It's, makes think every single time I've gone, "Oh, wait, learned that. Yeah, totally, know, zero specific thing or, know, access part mind something learned taught hyper-fixation moment like 10 years ago, knew hyper-fixation was."And like, kind comes together really beautiful, chaotic, confusing fusion knowledge, experience, everything. Michelle Yeoh kind moment, also kind translates way. Michelle Yeoh kind really interesting fusion hope younger generation getting diagnosed kind realizing superpower disillusionment denial older generation thinking there's nothing done it, ignore it. "Oh, it's bad. Oh, it's so. It's that." Whatever.Laura: love Jobu head tilt thing mentioned. hadn't thought way. that's, really interesting way putting it. felt lot ADHDness, guess, Evelyn character she's sitting desk Jamie Lee Curtis works she's totally, guess could say, zoning she's multiple rooms people like, "Are here?" comes back room like...Ariel: Yes, yes. I'm here, I'm here.Laura:...this kind of, I'm here, dissociating maybe, like, just, distracted. So, mean, catch well? I'm sure did.Ariel: Oh yeah. Oh, sure. moment where, like middle thought sudden, you're wondering pasta dinner. And...Laura:Right, right.Ariel: ...then snap back you're like, "Wait minute, talking about? Oh, shit." It's weird kind coexistence mind feel like it's everywhere once.Laura: Yeah, exactly. mean, title itself, Ariel, it's like blows mind. "Everything Everywhere Once." therapy session kind rolled tongue describing ADHD challenges had. like, "It sounds like brain chaos." like, "Yeah, brain chaos right now. can't compartmentalize."I mean, actually really appreciated separated film three thirds, even though, like we're going talk Everything. we're going talk Everywhere. Now, end, we're going talk Once. needed

  • Negative myths about working from home have persisted for many years. And when people with disabilities have asked for this accommodation in the past, they’ve often been denied. But the coronavirus pandemic has proven that remote work is possible. And more than that, working from home can help employees to thrive. Here are some common myths about working from home — and why they don’t measure up to the facts.Myth #1: Employees working from home won’t be as productive.Many managers worry that employees who are working from home will be distracted, or simply choose not to work. The fact: Evidence has shown that performance actually increases when employees work from home. After the U.S. Patent & Trade Office started its work-from-anywhere policy, they saw productivity go up by more than 4 percent.And, one of the largest travel agencies in the world, ran a randomized, controlled trial on working from home. The results? Employees who worked from home were 13 percent more efficient than their office-based colleagues.For some employees with disabilities, working from home can be a key productivity support. “All my energy before, when I worked in an office, was spent on trying to be physically at work. It was spent on the commute and not having my symptoms get so bad that I’d have to leave midday,” communications manager and self-described queer disabled activist Alaina Leary Lavoie told the Washington Post. Myth #2: The technology is limiting.Some managers believe that remote work tools are too tricky to get right. Karrie Higgins, a writer and artist, has heard that explanation from conference organizers in the past: So because abled people might get sick now: -conferences will livestream & Skype even though they told disabled members it would mean "bad reviews" & glitches when disabled people asked for that accommodation 1/— Karrie Higgins (@karriehiggins) March 5, 2020The fact: The COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly shown how doable it is for businesses to use online tools. “It’s a mindset-shifting of what’s capable,” says Katie Aholt, director of people engagement and operations for Understood. “[The world is] learning now in this moment that the work is continuing to get done.”Myth #3: We can’t do it unless everyone’s working from home.Some managers may worry about the appearance of “playing favorites” if only some employees work from home. “We have been made to feel that, as the only one in a class or at a workplace, we didn’t warrant ‘special’ treatment, even when that treatment would only be allowing us to attend classes or work at the same level as any other student or employee,” writes Cynthia McDonald, an author who has brain cancer, on Facebook. The fact: For people with disabilities, working from home can be a reasonable accommodation, according to the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC). The EEOC provides detailed guidance to help employers craft work-from-home policies to support people with disabilities.Myth #4: Remote work is a security risk.Twitter user Brittany H says that her work-from-home request was denied by a large corporation due to security-risk concerns:So, you’ve probably seen mine and other disabled people’s pissed off tweets about the response to the #CoronaVirus. You’re probably wondering why were #DisabledAndSaltyAF. Here’s a thread as to why. Join me, if you please... 1/?— Imani Barbarin(@Imani_Barbarin) March 12, 2020Go off sis!!! I requested wfh accommodations 5 years ago, and was told it was a security risk and that it was an undo hardship (to a large corporation) so nope, sorry not wfh for you. But now all of a sudden the ableds need it so, it’s wfh for everyone!!!!— Brittany H (@Brittanyehig88) March 14, 2020The fact: Companies have ways to secure their work remotely. Businesses commonly use technologies like virtual private network (VPN) access to maintain remote security.“Multinational corporations have done this for many, many years,” says Aholt. “I don’t think it’s a reason to not [allow] remote work.”Myth #5: Employees who work from home won’t be as engaged with the team.For some managers, “an extra hurdle that working remotely can present is connection and relationship-building,” says Aholt. Managers may fear that it won’t be possible for employees to feel like part of a team.The fact: During the coronavirus pandemic, people have found creative ways to bond in their professional lives even while social distancing. From virtual office lunches to one-on-one video calls, teams are figuring out how to stay in touch.Olivia Liddell, a technical curriculum developer, tweeted that working from home has made it easier to balance depression, anxiety, and team communication:If you're a person who works from home some or all of the time, what's your favorite part of it? Many people choose to work in an office for a reason and they're bummed to be stuck at home alone. Let's give them some things to be excited about!— Laurie (@laurieontech) March 9, 2020Being able to handle my depression and anxiety better, since I don’t have to deal with trying to pretend that I’m okay when I’m really not. I can still reach out to my team whenever I want, but I don’t have to worry about having to look better than I might actually be feeling.— Olivia Liddell (@oliravi) March 9, 2020Inclusive workplace practices that disability advocates have long pushed for, including working from home, have suddenly become more common. And now that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown everyone what’s possible, disability advocate Steve Lieberman hopes that permanent changes will take hold: The premise that employers can’t offer telework accommodations has been blown to smithereens. As disability policy professionals, it is our job now to ensure that door, blown wide open, is never shut again on a community that has been asking for these accommodations for decades.— Steve Lieberman (@stevemlieberman) April 3, 2020Follow these writers on TwitterKarrie HigginsImani BarbarinBrittany HLaurieOlivia LiddellSteve Lieberman

  • There’s a lot to learn about learning and thinking differences like dyslexia and ADHD. Understood Explains is a podcast that unpacks one important topic each season. Season 2 explains ADHD diagnosis in adults. It’s hosted by psychologist Dr. Roberto Olivardia, who answers common questions and shares stories about when he was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult.

  • ADHD Aha!

    Women & ADHD podcast host Katy Weber felt like she was in suspended animation during the pandemic. Then she learned about executive function. Katy Weber’s ADHD symptoms took center stage pandemic. stuck “waiting mode” experiencing “time blindness.” learned executive function dug signs ADHD women. pandemic, stereotypes surround ADHD never felt relatable Katy. diagnosed, started talking women ADHD found community. Now, sees ADHD shows children, she’s getting support need — earlier got it. Katy ADHD advocate coach host Women & ADHD podcast. Katy Laura podcast, it’s Katy’s turn hot seat!Related resourcesLaura Women & ADHD: Laura Key: Anxiety, perfectionism, ADHD “aha” momentsADHD girls: Overlooked?How explain relationship ADHD executive function challenges7 tips talking child’s teacher ADHDEpisode transcriptKaty: really struggling complaining therapist felt like suspended animation time. ideas didn't ability felt like literally sitting couch phone hand, knowing next time going interrupted. like first time ever even heard term executive functioning.Laura: Understood Podcast Network, "ADHD Aha!," podcast people share moment finally clicked someone know ADHD. name Laura Key. I'm editorial director Understood. someone who's ADHD "aha" moment, I'll host.Laura: I'm today Katy Weber. Katy ADHD advocating coach, founder Women & ADHD, LLC, host "Women & ADHD" podcast. Oh, gosh, start, Katy? start? Well, we've before. Katy got chat show — fabulous, recommend everybody check — I'm excited Katy today answer questions story "aha" moment. So, welcome, Katy.Katy: Yeah, thanks me. I'm excited get chance sit chat again.Laura: like start guest asking: diagnosed ADHD happening life point?Katy: Yes. So, like call pandemic diagnosis. officially diagnosed November 2020, think kind self-diagnosis journey really started fairly soon lockdown really struggling complaining therapist felt like suspended animation time. kids home, husband home couldn't get anything done like waiting next catastrophe happen around remote learning Wi-Fi Zoom like things. next thing know, kids needed eat again. felt like suddenly this, like many mothers time, like full-time butler chef housekeeper, yet time, know, heightened anxiety, felt like doomscrolling time couldn't go anywhere. difficult time many us.When describing therapist, really kind zeroed inability anything right kind waiting mode felt like unstructured time ability really feel like accomplishing anything. therapist, diagnosed ADHD years ago middle schooler diagnosed, she'd gently kind suggesting look years, dismissive like, "I don't know you're talking about." stereotypes hyperactive little boy, like, kind offended. like, "Do really feel like immature, petulant child?" think was...Laura: I'm sorry.Katy: ...right? Like, totally offended. like, "What talk... ADHD?" didn't relate level really didn't take time think connection making conversations. lockdown, like, "Dude, like, really look looks like, especially manifests women." that's remember like taken online ADHD test, generic one adults, things kind related to. lot DSM questions like, "Do feel like you're run motor?" like, "I don't know even means, guess? Don't all? Like, even that?" so, scored kind moderately didn't really think much it.And took one specifically women ADDitude Magazine, one written Sari Solden, like wasn't talking fidget spinners need move, right? Like talking core shame around clutter and, know, questions like, "Do hate people show unannounced?" know, really sort got lot social emotional elements ADHD never occurred me. that's hit realization — many us — like, "Oh, OK, I, right, see is." that's, kind like, yeah, spring summer 2020.Laura: ADHD symptoms think struggling pandemic? Walk typical day like maybe point symptoms experienced throughout day, time.Katy: Oh, yeah. mean, think mean, we... it's often called like waiting mode. feel like hear called even think it's element time blindness feel like can't start something know there's appointment looming, doctor's appointment 1 p.m., can't anything leading that. didn't realize focus issue anxiety issue. sort something never thought much about. think going time early pandemic lockdown internalized hyperactivity like, "Oh goodness, time, myself, right?" people like baking bread. And, know, see projects, people like home projects time everybody things. impulse, right? Like ideas. like, "This great time invest business start new one."And like, know, ideas didn't ability felt like literally sitting couch phone hand, knowing next time going interrupted. like first time ever even heard term executive functioning. Like, never heard term diagnosed realizing executive functioning plays sort decision-making kind knowing next step is. So, felt like divide thoughts ideas percolating mind, also feeling like ending day, accomplished virtually nothing.Laura: feel slightly relieved I'm person struggles "Oh, something's happen like hour. So, can't focus anything else moment." happened yesterday. daughter going playdate waiting friend show up. so, hour friend showed up, started get super anxious, things wanted do. kind like creepily waiting doorway needed to. struggling much, waiting event start could start next event. I've never heard anyone else explain like that. So, thank you.Katy: Well, remember also, too, another wonderful thing ADHD is, time blindness, like moment realization sitting down, pick kids school — pick three — around 2 o'clock, kind started waiting mode sitting around parsing phone like, "I don't want start anything I'm going leave hour." literally 5 minutes leave, coat one shoe saw dog food kitchen floor something, started sweeping mopping kitchen floor 5 minutes leave decided done right then. So, ended late pick kids.And even though literally done nothing hour, 5 minutes like, thought head, something could easily 5 minutes. think that's another thing lot us struggle with, like, long task take us? so, moments I'll sit around hour nothing, we'll late, thought would take 5 minutes completely reorganize kitchen cabinets.Laura: feel like better understanding personally run motor phrase means?Katy: mean, yes no. guess still don't. mean, use example still don't really understand means. think lot sometimes comes idea many us, we're diagnosed adulthood, don't realize everybody thinks way operates way. Right. so, term, feel like you're run motor? like, who? Everybody feels way. Like, felt like was, like, akin asking breathe oxygen. Like, it's like, yeah, right? heart beats.And so, think,

  • As more schools move toward inclusion, integrated co-teaching (also known as collaborative team teaching) is becoming more common. However, not all teachers are familiar with co-teaching models, the planning and collaboration it takes, or the different ways it can look in a classroom.Co-teachers are often general education teachers and special education teachers working together in the general education classroom. You plan lessons together and teach together to support the diverse academic and social-emotional needs of all students — those who have been identified as having a disability and those who haven’t. Studies show that this co-teaching can successfully meet the needs of all learners when the co-teachers: Have ample time to build a trusting relationship with one anotherHave shared planning timeEach have the chance to use their expertise in the classroomThere are six basic models of co-teaching. Read on to learn how each model works, what it looks like in the classroom, and when to use it. You’ll also learn about the benefits and challenges of each co-teaching model. 1. Team teaching In team teaching, both teachers are in the room at the same time but take turns teaching the whole class. Team teaching is sometimes called “tag team teaching.” You and your co-teacher are a bit like co-presenters at a conference or the Oscars. You don’t necessarily plan who takes which part of the lesson, and when one of you makes a point, the other can jump in and elaborate if needed.Team teaching can make you feel vulnerable. It asks you to step outside of your comfort zone and allow another teacher to see how you approach a classroom full of students. However, it also gives you the opportunity to learn about and improve your teaching skills by having a partner who can provide feedback and — in some cases — mentorship. In team teaching, as well as the five other co-teaching models below, a teacher team may be made up of two general education teachers, two special education teachers, or one of each. Or in some cases, it may be a teacher and a paraprofessional working together. Some IEPs specify that a student’s teaching team needs to include a general education teacher and a special education teacher.Here’s what you need to know about the team teaching method:2. Parallel teaching In parallel teaching, the team splits the class into two groups and each teacher teaches the same information at the same time. Parallel teaching works well to differentiate instruction when the content being taught is particularly challenging. Students can benefit from learning difficult material in a smaller group. Parallel teaching can be a comfortable way to start co-teaching. You and your co-teacher plan together to make sure you’re covering the same material. And since you’re teaching your half of the class, you’re less likely to feel closely observed by your colleague. Here’s a closer look at parallel teaching:3. Station teaching In station teaching, the class is divided into three or more groups and the classroom has multiple learning centers. As the students rotate through the stations, the teachers teach the same material in different ways to each group. For example, fractions may be taught with a fraction line at one and with cubes at another. If there are more stations than teachers, some stations may be student-led and at least one will focus on independent work or practice opportunities. Both you and your co-teacher are responsible for planning and teaching an in-depth concept that helps meet the overall lesson goal. Learn more about station teaching: 4. Alternative teaching In alternative teaching, one teacher instructs most of the class and the other teacher teaches an alternate or modified version of the lesson to a smaller group of students. Alternative teaching is also sometimes described as “big group/small group” teaching.Small groups are often put together based on students’ learning needs. You and your co-teacher will need to find time to look over student data. This will help you figure out which students need support filling in gaps in background knowledge, which students need remediation, or which students could benefit from accelerated learning because they already know the content or have mastered the skills of the large group lesson. Here’s more of what you need to know about alternative teaching: 5. One teach, one assistIn the “one teach, one assist” model of co-teaching, one teacher teaches a full group lesson, while the other teacher roams and helps individual students. This is sometimes called “one teach, one support,” because the second teacher often provides additional support for learning or behavior management. This model of co-teaching can be difficult to negotiate because it may leave one teacher feeling more like an assistant. Building a strong relationship with your co-teacher and talking through when it makes sense to swap roles can make it easier. That’s key to making sure that both of you have a chance to teach content and to provide support to students one-on-one. Debriefing after a lesson is also key. Both of you need to know which students needed extra support during the lesson, what that support looked like, and what each student was struggling with. Here’s what you need to know about this co-teaching method: 6. One teach, one observeIn a “one teach, one observe” setting, one teacher serves as the primary instructor, while the other is simply observing students’ learning and collecting data, which can be useful in:Determining what instruction takes place nextSeeing which students need additional helpDeciding what co-teaching model may be used next to address any identified needsIdentifying and tracking helpful school services, such as IEPs, 504 plans, functional behavioral assessments (FBA), behavior intervention plans (BIP), or response to intervention (RTI)Making co-teaching workCo-teaching definitely has benefits, but it can also be challenging to implement. It can be especially hard for new teachers who are paired up with teachers who have more experience, or for co-teachers whose teaching philosophies differ from each other. But there are several steps you can take to help make co-teaching work:1. Plan who’s doing what. No matter which co-teaching model you use, you and your co-teacher need to thoughtfully plan out which responsibilities each of you will have. Planning is vital to your success as a co-teaching team.2. Agree on expectations. Having a conversation before the year begins about your expectations for students, behavior, homework, bathroom use, etc., can help you work out any differences you may have and come to a consensus for how your shared class will run. It’s also essential that both teachers share behavior management equally. Avoiding a “good cop/bad cop” situation can make it easier to maintain a positive classroom culture.3. Understand the needs of all of your students. It’s critical that both you and your co-teacher understand the needs of all of your students, including those who learn and think differently. Knowing how to read an IEP or 504 plan, implement accommodations, and participate in IEP meetings is a shared responsibility. 4. Use signposting. Making sure both of your names appear on the door, on assignments, and in the classroom can also help your students see you as the team you are.5. Keep setting aside time to collaborate. Planning and reflecting on the lessons you teach together is especially important. Keeping lines of communication open, raising concerns respectfully, and having a supportive and involved administrator can help bridge any gaps. 

  • Explore the unique (and often unexpected) career paths of people who learn and think differently. Listen as host Eleni Matheou talks with people about finding a job they love​ — and how it reflects who they are and how they learn.Comments? Email us at

  • ADHD Aha!

    Rebecca is a high achiever who’s always pushed herself to work around and compensate for her ADHD challenges. And yet she still thought she was lazy. Rebecca Phillips Epstein ADHD. many high-achieving girls, symptoms missed early on. Then, pandemic, finally clicked: discovered Twitter thread people beat lazy clearly they’re not. Rebecca always aware challenges — procrastination, late, million great ideas never get finished. screenplay writer essayist, she’d overcompensate one would wiser. Hear ADHD diagnosis helped rethink used call “personality failures” “laziness.” Also episode: depression treatment ADHD diagnosis helped tread water never “surf.” Rebecca also talks decision stop breastfeeding second child order stay ADHD medication. Related resourcesADHD myth lazinessADHD brain8 common myths ADHDYou also check Rebecca's Washington Post article ADHD medication breastfeeding. Episode transcriptRebecca: scrolling Twitter came across thread written woman talks lot ADHD writes lot ADHD. said experience, thing causes pause suggest someone might want talk someone hears people describe lazy clearly not. wrote, "If you're sitting around thinking you're lazy, thinking you're failure, please allow suggest maybe you're not." like years understanding suddenly made sense. near-misses failures frustrations clicked place.Laura: Understood Podcast Network, "ADHD Aha!," podcast people share moment finally clicked someone know ADHD. name Laura Key. I'm editorial director Understood. someone who's ADHD "aha" moment, I'll host.I'm today Rebecca Phillips Epstein. Rebecca screenwriter essayist lives Los Angeles. She's worked bunch shows, including "Roseanne" "Emily Paris." She's also written variety publications, like Washington Post's Parenting blog. Hi, Rebecca. I'm glad you're today.Rebecca: Hi. Thanks me.Laura: let's dive right in, Rebecca. would love start telling diagnosed ADHD going life time.Rebecca: diagnosed ADHD June 2020. going life time? majority going lot people's lives, pandemic totally changed every aspect life career family life. two young children. One last year preschool 6 months old. May 2020, Twitter stumbled across thread woman named Erynn Brook, writes lot ADHD neurodivergent brains. retweeted friend mine. care friend I'm always interested post, clicked through.And thread talking speaking people helping realize ADHD. happens lot. says people talking her, things listens makes say "you might want talk somebody this" tell stories things want do, know do, care lot about, can't do. write lazy terrible people.And wrote thing lazy people don't actually care they're lazy. don't care they're letting people down. They're fine pattern, truly lazy people. you're sitting around calling lazy can't understand can't get things done you're beating it, perhaps you're lazy. Perhaps it's something else. like 30 years tiny "aha" moments sudden exploded.I often compare end "A Beautiful Mind," Jennifer Connelly walks murder shed pictures strings connecting everything, room starts spin. That's felt like me, two close near-misses getting diagnosed throughout life. hadn't happened. one moment, one Twitter thread, realized, like, made everything make sense.I immediately emailed therapist said, "When see two days, need talk this." talked said, "I think undeniable." called psychiatrist. incredibly lucky known psychiatrist years, treated postpartum depression oldest baby. long relationship. went there, shorter diagnostic evaluation years notes knowledge life. said, "Yes. meet entire diagnostic checklist. textbook example gets missed high-achieving girls."And similar story, Laura, perfectionist. fell back AP classes, top 10 university degrees, 15 minutes early everything, wasn't 15 minutes early, going extremely late. knew shortcomings were, overcompensated every single one could one would know. knew wasn't good enough. good reason why. hide it.Laura: Yeah, overcompensating time — yet feeling like lazy. that's — it's interesting one person says one thing one particular way, clicks. "Beautiful Mind" moment. feeling lazy about?Rebecca: Oh, God. Procrastinating everything. late everything. million terrific ideas never got finished. know? writer, writing hard even neurotypical writers. It's like Dorothy Parker quote, "I hate writing, love written." ADHD, never get point written. ideas, know want be. getting — getting started — nightmare. came tricks tips deadlines, course, pressure.But throughout life, always kid whose paper day late. high school was, "Oh, printer didn't work." "I emailed you. Didn't get it?" things every teacher knows is. good smart accomplished, let get away it. never learned lesson young enough learn it. instead lesson learned could get away it. effect thinking put effort, meant wasn't good something. this, like double bind I'm naturally gifted, shouldn't work hard. even work hard can, sometimes can't even produce anything.Laura: Yeah. Yeah.Rebecca: graduate school, got worse worse less oversight. wasn't living parents provide structure, would stay night wait. would paper really spent two weeks working on, would 8 hours. would almost well could. time, course, chalked imposter syndrome fear failure. "Oh well, work hard don't well, say me? must why."You know, always another explanation. "Oh, I'm depressed. That's house mess." treated depression couple times throughout life. remember saying psychiatrists treating me, "I feel like I'm drowning anymore, don't feel like I'm surfing." Like I'm never ahead it.Now, looking back, recognize that's wasn't dealing serotonin deficiency. wasn't dealing standard depression. dealing dopamine deficiency, different. dealing ADHD depressive behaviors sometimes come ADHD. looked like depression, right?Laura: Yeah. ADHD depression kind mimic other. Hats going writing career. know exactly feeling you're talking — there's reason I'm editor I'm writer. love produced something — go back Dorothy Parker quote — getting impossible. I'm really fast edit something.Rebecca: didn't start writer. sort tried everything, — look back, it's like, don't know missed college improv. didn't sketch graduate school. went theater school, playwriting, dramaturgy. job dramaturg basically read drafts give notes. sit next director say thoughts them. job immediate. moment. lot job sitting bouncing thoughts around bringing sort academic background rehearsal room, could done live moment.And noticed always thrived environments prep really smart really competent, actual work something could live — wasn't homework, wasn't preparing, showing prepared. bulk work happening immediate sense. way procrastinate. know, instinctively chose path leaned skills person ADHD could creativ

  • It’s only been a few weeks since schools closed in my state. It feels like an eternity. My district has been preparing speech-language pathologists (SLP) like me to transition to teletherapy, but we haven’t gotten the green light yet. For me, and for most of my colleagues, the initial reaction has been to kick into preparation overdrive. We’ve been in hurry-up-and-wait mode. So far, we have:Mailed or emailed printable packets to families for at-home practiceSigned up for telepractice webinarsShared with colleagues teletherapy resources we think are usefulStarted planning for our first week of telepractice lessons in case we get the go-ahead soonPreparing in these ways has helped reduce anxiety for some of us. It has made some of us feel more confident in our transition to teletherapy. But it has also made some of us feel overwhelmed. There’s still so much to learn, and it seems like there’s not enough time to learn it. Gratefully, each day brings new lessons in how to prepare effectively and keep my worries in perspective. Here are six things I’ve learned since I started getting ready to practice speech teletherapy:1. I don’t have to be a teletherapy superhero on Day 1. My first teletherapy session will not be my best. But I can still make it work, mostly using skills and materials I already have. The parents, students, and I will work out the glitches together. 2. There are lots of resources to help me learn and improve my online practice.Facebook’s SLP communities are brimming with suggestions and feedback. Pinterest is also overflowing with ideas for telepractice.I have made a conscious decision to limit the resources I access regularly. I currently use American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) as my go-to for all things teletherapy. ASHA posts regular, comprehensive updates on telepractice services and coronavirus. It also provides a basic guide for new teletherapists. 3. Speech therapy may not be every family’s first priority at this moment. Early contacts with parents have taught me to ask, “How are things going?” and “What do you need?” before discussing any distance learning options. In talking to my friends, my colleagues, and the families I serve, I’m getting a better sense of how to listen. I’m listening to families when they tell me what they actually need right now. I’m listening for the positive ways my colleagues are navigating these waters. And I’m listening to myself — setting reasonable work limits and allowing myself ample time for self-care. 4. Not all families have equal access to technology. Some lack devices to meet their kids’ needs. Some lack internet service. Our district is working hard to get devices into the hands of families. The city has made its Wi-Fi service free during this crisis. But it’ll take time to equalize the playing field. In the meantime, I’m mailing or emailing materials they can use now. This includes monthly calendars of speech-language activities that families can practice with their student, thematic units from Boardmaker Activities-to-Go, or at-home practice sheets for articulation skills. 5. Contact with my “work besties” is still important. As much as I can learn online or during a virtual staff meeting, nothing can replace close colleagues for supporting me through this transition. When I find myself at the end of my tether, I use FaceTime to take a coffee break with the people who make my work life fun. Luckily, these are also the friends who help me solve technology problems or generate novel lesson plans. I know I can go to them with my teletherapy conundrums.6. We’re all new at this. Colleagues, students, neighbors, and friends — we’re all adjusting to a new normal. Almost all of us are learning how to connect with each other in unfamiliar ways. I look forward to collaborating and learning with families as we make speech therapy work at a distance.Whatever the next weeks and months may hold, I’m grateful to be gaining new skills and connecting with families in meaningful ways. Making sense of a new form of therapy is only one piece of the puzzle. 

  • How’d You Get THAT Job?!

    Nathan Friedman is the co-president and chief marketing officer of And he has dyslexia and ADHD. Learn how he got into the C-suite. It’s the last interview for How’d You Get THAT Job?! For this special episode, our guest is Nathan Friedman, co-president and chief marketing officer at Nathan was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia as a child. Early in his career, he didn’t openly discuss his learning and thinking differences. But now he recognizes the value of being vulnerable and embracing them. Today, Nathan is helping shape the world so people with learning and thinking differences can thrive. Nathan went from a political science degree at Washington University in St. Louis to the world of marketing. He started as an assistant account executive at Ogilvy and at 27 became their youngest managing director. He went on to start his own company before joining Understood, where he oversees marketing and provides operational and strategic support. Listen to Nathan’s insights into the power of advocacy, finding relatable role models, and creating a supportive network. Related resourcesWhat is an inclusive workplace?What is self-advocacy?Nathan’s Adweek article: How learning to navigate dyslexia landed me in the C-suiteEpisode transcriptNathan: How do you build advocacy? It starts with people having others to look up to in this space. It's somebody that you can relate to. So, how do you find those everyday heroes, people that are inspirational to you and understand how they got there?Eleni: From the Understood Podcast Network, this is "How'd You Get THAT Job?!," a podcast that explores the unique and often unexpected career paths of people with learning and thinking differences. My name is Eleni Matheou, and I'm a user researcher here at Understood. That means I spend a lot of time thinking about how we find jobs we love that reflect how we learn and who we are. I'll be your host.This will be our last episode with a guest before our final summary episode. I'll be chatting with Understood's co-president and chief of marketing Nathan Friedman. Nathan was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia as a child. He's since learned what coping skills work for him, how to self-advocate, and how to advocate for others. He started with a political science degree from Washington University in Saint Louis and then leaped into the world of marketing. Starting as an assistant account executive at Ogilvy, he worked his way up from there to be the youngest managing director when he was only 27. Nathan stayed Ogilvy for over 15 years before moving on to create his own company and then coming to Understood to be our CMO. He's passionate about our mission to shape the world so that those that learn and think differently can thrive. I'm so happy to have him on the show today. Welcome, Nathan.Nathan: Thank you for having me, Eleni, and honored to be your last guest on the penultimate episode.Eleni: So, why don't we start with who you are and what you do here at Understood.Nathan: Sure. Nathan Friedman, co-president and chief marketing officer of Understood. And my role really spans not only marketing but a lot of the operational and strategic support for the organization. So, it starts with brand and strategy all the way down to creative production. How do we engage and reach and deliver impact to audiences, both on platform and off?Eleni: So, taking a step back, rumor has it that you are a poli sci major. I did my research internally.Nathan: Is that a rumor or is that what you looked at on my resume?Eleni: Actually, I just asked around what things that I should know about you. So, what made you go down the marketing route? What was interesting to you about marketing, communications, advertising, whatever it was? What piqued your interest?Nathan: You know, it's an interesting journey that I had to get that first job. I, as you mentioned, was a political science major at WashU in St Louis. I wanted more of a liberal arts background, and I thought I was going to go into law or something of that nature. I did not come from a long line of lawyers and decided that was not the right path for me.Eleni: Do you think there was anything about your experience with dyslexia and ADHD that kind of shaped or influenced your decision to go down that path?Nathan: Back then, it was more about how do you get that first job. You know, whatever you need to pay the bills. I worked two jobs at first. I worked at a retail store, and I worked at a large goal agency because large goal agencies at that point didn't pay any money. So, in order for me to pay rent and go out and, which was going to be more important than just eating, you know, I had to work two jobs.Eleni: So, it sounds like you casted a wide net at the beginning. But then, was that first job in marketing or advertising?Nathan: Yes, it was in marketing communications. So, I really focused on that area at first because it was one of the more interesting areas at the time. And I think it was really about how do you get that first meeting with somebody and perseverance and then kind of just trial and error. I was picky about the type of areas I knew the first job would not necessarily be my last job, so, how do I get a job and then I can learn on that job and get transferable skills so I could do what I wanted to do?Little did I know that I would be in that first job for 17 years, and so, that was a huge growth opportunity clearly for me. And I think I leveraged the abilities that I had gleaned from my differences to my benefit within that role. But it didn't come until I was actually in the role that I could understand how they could be of importance.Eleni: It sounds like you weren't as intentional about where you wanted to start off, but once you got there, there were things about that role that made you stick around for a really long time. So, what was it that led to you kind of sticking with that, that made you realize that it was actually for you and worth pursuing and like continuing down that path?Nathan: So, there were a few reasons. Let's put a couple of things into context at that time, right? I think as I got that job, one year into it is when everything started to fall apart in the economy, followed by the terrible and tragic events of September 11th. So, there were no jobs for a while. So, I held on to the job that I could, and that was a very difficult time personally because you saw every single one of your friends get laid off and try and find new jobs.And a lot of people were out of work for a while, I think what it enabled me to do, though, is leverage my skill sets and innate curiosity to grow, raising my hand for new challenges, working around and through the opportunities I had to gain skills and knowledge and my abilities or superpowers to able to digest complex problems and sort them and in my own mind, to sort of get it out as quickly as I want to, was a benefit in a client-driven organization. I think my upbringing combined with my differences, allowed me to engage and build trust in people that were well above my tenure.Eleni: Do you want to talk a little bit about how you feel your upbringing influenced that?Nathan: Everybody's upbringing plays a role in where they are, what they do. I think, you know, my parents encouraged me to work at a young age, so it was always about, what do you want to do? How do you want to live your life? And so, you know, I got a first job at 15 at a hardware store, and I always worked. One could say it was an avoidance and one could say it was more of an opportunity for me to keep me busy. I needed multiple things. I couldn't focus on one thing or another.So, I had four jobs during the summer, three internships, or it was just a drive that I had. And I think that led me to have a variation and understanding of what different types of roles would be. So, I worked at a record store, and back when record stores were a thing. I worked at a hardware store being a cashier, I worked at Banana Republic, I worked at Sony Music. I thought I wanted to do music for a while, and then I sat around at 14 concerts in one week with earplugs in, and I'm like, "This is the worst thing ever for me." So, I decided that wasn't for me.So, you know, it's trial and error and then finding out what in listening to yourself and being like, "This actually doesn't excite me. This doesn't interest me." And that's why I've always encouraged people to try internships because then you actually get a little inside peek into what people are doing on a day-to-day basis, because what people say they do and what people actually do are two different things.Eleni: You mentioned that it wasn't until you were in that first job that you recognized how your differences and your upbringing could play into strengths for that role. Was there anything else that kind of stands out to you that were big like "aha" moments in terms of how your differences could be strengths in the agency world?Nathan: Yeah, I mean, and an agency world, I think back then is very different. So, I want to preface it with that, right? I still had a, I mean, ironically a typewriter on my desk as well as a computer. So, like there are differences in the way things work now than then. And there's a lot of differences in awareness of things like ADHD, dyslexia, etc. I think I knew my writing wasn't as strong as it could because I didn't quite grasp, or I didn't see structure and sentences and things like that. So, I had people review my writing a lot and that helped me get better.But also I explained, "Hey, I need help. I need someone to proof this for me because I'm not as strong in this area." Not everybody's as vulnerable as that. And especially in work environments where it's more competitive. I think that helped. I think I also had an innate ability to understand what people were saying when they really weren't saying it. So, they said they want bananas, and I'm like, "No, they actually want peaches. Like that's not what they want. They don't want bananas." And it's like, "You don't know what you're talking about." And we go in there and they'd be like, "Where are my peaches?" And I'd be like, "Told you!" So, I think those are a couple of examples.Eleni: That's interesting.Nathan: Yeah. And also, finding the right rhythm helped me because, you know, in agency environment, you're tracked by the hour. So, there's a lot of pressure to deliver things on time, which then leads to a whole bunch of complications. And when I found I did not have the deadlines, I found I would just like wander off in my mind and not necessarily be able to complete a task.Eleni: It's interesting because, you know, you always hear about agency environments being incredibly fast-paced and pressure. There's a lot of pressure to deliver. But for you, actually, the deadlines is what made it work. I've heard you mentioned like you have really high bandwidth, great output than like the average person. You're the youngest managing director at Ogilvy at 27, which is impressing that you've won a bunch of awards. Like, how did you become aware that you have a faster processing speed or don't think similarly to other people? And like, how were you able to adapt your working environment and your communication style and your differences to others?Nathan: It takes a while, and it took a while. It wasn't great off the bat. It's still a work in progress. I've always been able to process quickly and understand things differently and that my ability to do that in front of senior people earned me the trust that I knew more than my tenure, or I was able to do things differently. And I was lucky enough to have mentors who saw that and believed in me and gave me the opportunities.Eleni: So, you said that they were aware that you thought differently. Did they know why?Nathan: They're aware I was different.Eleni: Yeah.Nathan: And I think I talked about the outcomes of it, not the ADHD or dyslexia. I talked about, "Hey, I need X" or "I need some more time to think about this," or "Let me come back to you." Like, it wasn't like, "Hey, I have ADHD, let me do it." That wasn't the case. And again, a very different work environment. You could still smoke in offices. There was no generation above me to look up to whether it was LGBTQI, so there was no one really who had talked about it because you kept that stuff to yourself.Eleni: It's interesting to think about how visibility has made such a big difference. And yeah, as you said, having older mentors.Nathan: Well, we talk about that a lot here at Understood, right? With ADHD or dyslexia, whatever the difference is, the first step is awareness and issue awareness when you know about it and you can relate it to somebody, you know, that reduces stigma and then drives advocacy.Eleni: So, you mentioned that you would talk more about like the outcome of what your need was as opposed to naming the difference. I'm curious how things have changed for you now compared to then.Nathan: I think being at Understood gives you an opportunity to be more vulnerable with those things and those things being like having differences. In the past, I haven't had the space to do so because it was more of a yes or no environment in a lot of different companies. I truly believe that if you have a difference or no matter who you are, you need to find a job that suits you and then work to be the best you can in that role.I think I need to be more aware of myself and self-awareness of, "OK, I've already answered the question that you're asking me in two seconds in my mind, but you're going to continue to go on for three minutes. And I and I just like I'm lost, and I have no idea what you're saying anymore." Like, that's where I have to catch myself. And so, a lot of it was more around self-awareness and I think understanding that people do have differences, and then me adjusting my style to the individual has been another important element.And nothing's perfect. I'm not perfect. I'm far from perfect. And I think I'm lucky enough to have direct reports and the team that give me direct feedback that I can incorporate into how I work with them.Eleni: How do you lead by example on your team? Like in terms of appreciating different working styles, accommodating for different working styles, whether officially or not, like in the way that you mentioned, where it's talking more about like outcome than like specific diagnosis.Nathan: So, I think that goes back to understanding what motivates people and how people work and having that conversation directly. I think it's all grounded in what the role is and what the role needs to do. Shared expectations. And maybe this is a unique point of view, but it's important not to use your learning difference as a crutch or an excuse, because for me that invalidates the actual importance of having a difference. So, this has not happened, it's just an example, somebody is like, "Well, I can't do that because I've ADHD," that's just to me seems like, "Well, if you can't do part of your job because you have ADHD, why are you in that job? Let's talk about what supports you need."So around this day I can't do that, the conversation would be "Hey, can I talk about how I can get this done? Because I have a difference." And I want to see people thrive and advance and work. But nor do they have to lean in to figure out what your strengths are, what accommodations you need, or even what assistive technology or anything. I've shifted people's work schedules, we changed people's hours, we've moved people's desks, we've given people technology, we've given a whole bunch of things that aren't necessarily technically accommodations, and some of them are, but some are really easy and, you know, they need to work in a brighter area near you, whatever it is.Eleni: Yeah.Nathan: You know, and I think that's....Eleni: It's like being creative.Nathan: It's being creative about it, but it's also having the person have the ability to say, "This is what I need to get the job done."Eleni: What would you say to individuals that are struggling to find like the right place to work for them given their differences and you know, how they might kind of discover and also leverage their unique strengths and skills to be successful?Nathan: There's a few things people can do in order to find the right environment for them. One is understanding what it is, what environment are they looking for, and then doing research. Research, both looking maybe there's some lists about most inclusive employers or talking with people who potentially work at some of the places that they're considering. It's really hard because a lot of times what you see is not what you get.And so, you know, how do you feel comfortable if you see other people more comfortable talking about that? Generally, it means that there's a more accepting and more belonging effort in the culture. Look at their, do they have a DEI&B program? Do they have initiatives regarding groups and inclusive environments? Those are telltale signs of people who are putting that in the forefront of the business and making sure that the people feel like they belong.Eleni: I've heard you talk about how, like your differences have shaped your leadership and decision-making approach and have helped you succeed as a leader and also in your role as a co-president and Understood. Could you give some specific examples of skills or strategies that you've developed specifically around leadership that you can relate back to your differences?Nathan: Sure. So, I think, you know, carving out time, very distilled, quiet time for me, I carve out an hour every day. I kind of have an idea of what I want to focus on, and I just kind of let myself go within that space. How I structure the meetings, what I put in the afternoon versus the morning is also another ability for me to structure and oriented the day that is more beneficial to me and my personal style. And then making sure that there's enough time to digest materials beforehand.Eleni: I'm curious to hear what you have to say to leaders that have differences themselves and you know, how they can kind of leverage their positions to further the goals around like awareness and advocacy.Nathan: I think what you're really asking is like, how do you build advocacy? And it starts with people having others to look up to in the space. It's somebody that you can relate to. So, how do you find those everyday heroes and everyday people that are inspirational to you and understand how they got there? And I think that also relates to your own personal growth and organization, knowing what your strengths and opportunities are. How do you make sure that you have people around you that can do some of the work that you're not great at? Whether it's subject matter or skill, that is another thing to realize is it's not just about you, but it's like, how do you form part of a team to get the work done?I think, you know, I've never done anything traditional in my life. I think it's important to show that there are people who have different backgrounds, different skills. I mean, I have two beautiful kids with a lesbian couple that is not traditional, right? And so, talking about that has opened the door to other people asking about that. So, if I opened the door to people talking about it, they can come up to me and talk about my experience as well. And from there they can drive what will help them in the working world.Eleni: I know we talked a little bit about intersectionality. Like, is there anything else that you'd like to talk about from your experience as someone who is again, neurodiverse, how that's kind of fed into your experience? Nathan: Yeah, it's fascinating. I think I've become more aware of this now than I have been before. It never really factored in in the past, and I didn't even think about it in that construct until recently. And I think there's a lot of different struggles and differences between having a learning thinking difference and being LGBTQI+. But I think the similarities are around coming out and disclosure is a coming out and people don't realize that it can be traumatic for people if it's not handled correctly.And it just starts with that driving issue awareness. Being gay 15, 20 years ago was a lot different than it is today. I am aware that people who do have ADHD or dyslexia in way more severe cases that I do, struggle in different ways. And so, it's important to realize that not everything is the same. If you have an invisible disability, some people can do things and not other people with the same disability can or cannot do. So, it's incredibly complex, it's incredibly personal, and there's a lot more that we all can do as individuals, family members, friends, co-workers to help people.Eleni: I think this was a great conversation. Thank you.Nathan: Thank you, Eleni, for having me on your podcast, and congratulations. I appreciate you having me. Thank you so much.Eleni: You've been listening to "How'd You Get THAT Job?!" from the Understood Podcast Network. This show is for you, so we want to make sure you're getting what you need. Email us at with your thoughts about the show, or maybe you'd like to tell us how you got THAT job. We'd love to hear from you.If you want to learn more about the topics we covered today, check out the show notes for this episode. We include more resources as well as links to anything we mentioned in the episode. Also, one of our goals at Understood is to help change the workplace so everyone can thrive. Check out what we're up to That's the letter U, dot org slash is a resource dedicated to help people who learn and think differently discover their potential and thrive. Learn more at "How'd You Get THAT Job?!" is produced by Margie DeSantis and edited by Mary Mathis. Briana Berry 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 Cocchiere is our creative director, and Seth Melnick is our executive producer. And I'm your host, Eleni Matheou. Thank you for listening.

  • Traditional job interviewing strategies can be anything but inclusive. That can mean lost hiring opportunities for the 68 percent of Americans with disabilities who are “striving to work,” (either currently working or looking for work) and employers eager to tap into this vastly overlooked talent pool. If you’re part of your company’s hiring process, there’s plenty you can do to make your interview strategies more disability-friendly. And it might not be what you‘d expect. “Inclusive interviewing is not really about How do I make this blind person more comfortable? or What should I ask this person with Down syndrome?” says Claire Odom, senior program manager at Understood. “The bigger question is this: How can we make interviews inclusive and welcoming for every applicant, regardless of their disability or whether they have a disability at all?” Rather than looking at job interviews as a way to screen people out, consider them a great opportunity to help screen qualified candidates in. Here are eight ways to make that happen. 1. Check your own personal biases right up front Fear and stigma about engaging with job applicants who have disabilities is common. “We see it more in job interviewing than just about anywhere else in the hiring process,” says James Emmett, a disability inclusion expert and Understood’s lead workplace strategist. An important part of addressing preconceived notions about disability is recognizing it — not merely among your colleagues, but within yourself. For example, you might think that a person with ADHD will fidget or not stay on topic during your meeting. This is unconscious bias. And it’s human nature, especially if you’ve had limited exposure to people with disabilities. (But you probably have had more exposure than you realize. A 2017 study found that among white-collar, college-educated employees with disabilities, 62 percent identified theirs as “invisible.”) As you begin to explore your own fears and biases, get the facts. Be open with superiors about your concerns. They may offer valuable feedback from their own experience. They can also connect you with a disability inclusion consultant if your company works with one. Whatever the case, take steps to educate yourself about implicit bias. 2. Adjust your expectations We’re conditioned to expect certain things from people we interview: a firm handshake, good eye contact, a ready smile, easy conversation. But people with autism spectrum disorder, for instance, often have trouble with such traditional “people skills.” That may make them less-than-ideal interview candidates by stereotypical standards. “Are ‘people skills’ really important for every job? What do they mean for engineers, accountants, or someone who works on an assembly line?” asks Emmett. When interviewing, put your personal social preferences on the back burner. Then do your best to evaluate a candidate’s behavior based on the needs of the position that’s being filled. 3. Set the stage for success Only a small percentage of job applicants volunteer that they have a disability. And by law, employers can’t ask. So how can an interviewer be prepared from a practical standpoint? Start with using a space that gives every applicant equal advantage. “We have a room at the front of our building near a parking lot that is easily accessible,” says Kris Martel, vice president of human resources at Tufts Health Plan in Watertown, Massachusetts. “It is away from noise and other distractions. Once a person is there, our hiring managers come to them.” If your business can’t set aside space just for interviews, that’s OK. But put some thought into where you might interview job candidates. Is it away from the kitchen and free of odors that could be challenging for people with sensory issues? Can a wheelchair fit comfortably at that conference room table? Book the space as far in advance as possible so there’s no last-minute scrambling. When setting up the interview, it’s perfectly fine to ask the applicant if there are any accommodations they will need during their visit. If they request something, your earlier thinking about the interview space should make any adjustments relatively easy. 4. Rethink interview questions How do you define success? What’s your biggest weakness? How do you accept criticism? Abstract interview questions can be a roadblock for many potential — and qualified — hires with disabilities. This is especially true for applicants with autism spectrum disorder who tend to think quite literally. “We train managers and leaders to ask the kind of questions that will help them make sure a person meets the requirements for a particular job,” says Martel. To that end, if a question doesn’t directly relate to the core duties of a job, why not ask in a more concrete way that’s fair for everyone? Here are some examples of how to ask interview questions in a more inclusive way: Instead of “Tell me about a problem that occurred on your last job,” ask “In your last job at XYZ company, describe a situation where you had some difficulty.” Instead of “Tell me your five-year plan,” ask “What are three things you hope to achieve in this job with us?” Instead of “Tell me about your career experience,” ask “Can you tell me about your jobs at company X and company Y?” Instead of “Tell me about your biggest weakness,” ask “At your last job at company Y, what was the most difficult part?” Some other tips related to disability-friendly interview questions: If an applicant has a disability that you think could affect their performance on a job, don’t ask if it will be “a problem.” Instead, ask the candidate to describe how they see themselves doing the job. People with disabilities learn to navigate the world with the skill set they have. Your applicant may have an answer that surprises and impresses you. Think about providing an agenda before the interview. “It can be helpful to send ahead information about the schedule, who will attend and what you’ll be talking about so applicants know what to expect,” says Emmett. If providing questions isn’t appropriate, it’s still a good idea to let candidates know what the schedule will be and who will be attending. 5. Take cues on language People with disabilities have different preferences in how to identify themselves. Some like to use person-first language. For example, instead of saying “diabetics,” they refer to “people with diabetes.” Others embrace disability as part of a person’s identity and prefer identity-first language, such as people with autism spectrum disorder who call themselves “autistics.” Those who are hearing-impaired may prefer being called “deaf.” The best way to navigate this situation, says Emmett, is to put your own idea of “correctness” aside. If an applicant refers to their disability during or before the interview, follow their lead and make a note in your records. 6. Consider alternate interview formatsNot everyone is comfortable sitting across the desk from an interviewer. And interviewers can’t always tell if a candidate is right for a job while sitting in a conference room. So why limit your interview? There are other more inclusive options you can consider: Invite the applicant on a tour of your workplace. It’s a good way to ease conversation. And applicants have a chance to size up the noise, energy, and physical setup of your facility. Pay attention to how your applicant responds to your workplace. Concerns you might have had about that person’s disability may not turn out to be an issue. Consider a “working interview.” A growing number of employers are also including “working interviews” as part of their hiring process, says Odom. That way an applicant has the chance to actually demonstrate how they’ll do certain tasks. Assign a project instead of an interview. Some employers do not even require traditional interviews at all for certain positions. Instead, they may ask a programmer to complete a project or take an assessment test. There are many ways to make your interview format more inclusive. You will need to decide what works for your company and for the job that needs to be filled. 7. Respect silence Many people with invisible disabilities like ASD and ADHD are visual learners. That means they learn best through their eyes by reading, watching, and observing. Traditional Q&A interviews are based on verbal questions. So it can take a visual learner time to think about what you are asking and to formulate their answers. This can lead to lulls in conversation. Resist your urge to fill them. “Get comfortable just sitting there while giving the person a chance to process,” says Emmett. “Good interviewers embrace silence. They don’t run from it.” 8. Be yourself Yes, being more inclusive means adjusting your interview strategies. But don’t go overboard in your quest for inclusiveness. If you are interviewing a candidate with Down syndrome, talk in the same tone you use with other candidates. “Interview applicants with disabilities just as you would anyone else. If you tend to use humor, use humor. If you are more straightforward, stay that way,” says Emmett. Part of being yourself is also acknowledging when you’ve felt uncomfortable during an interview or struggled to react to the unexpected. If someone discloses she has mental illness during an interview, do you ask questions? Say “I’m sorry”? Plow right ahead with the conversation? “Process what happened with supervisors so you have a better idea of what you should do next time,” says Emmett. “Especially in the beginning, inclusion is a learning process.” Employing more inclusive interviewing strategies opens up more possibilities for your company to connect with talented candidates. Understood can partner with you to make your disability inclusion program as robust as it can be, from recruiting candidates to creating a workplace that is inclusive, supportive, and inspiring to all.

  • How’d You Get THAT Job?!

    Heath Howes struggled in school with reading and focus. His passion for art and working with his hands led to a unique career in saddle making.Heath Howes built hundreds custom horse saddles riders. Growing up, trouble reading writing struggled ADHD. Hear found strengths art three-dimensional thinking. get advice find career working hands.Listen in. Then:Watch Heath working horse saddle YouTube channel.Check video jeweler dyslexia found strengths. Read welder dyslexia makes $140,000 year.Episode transcriptEleni: Understood Podcast Network, "How'd Get Job?!," podcast explores unique often unexpected career paths people learning thinking differences. name Eleni Matheou, I'm user researcher Understood. means spend lot time thinking find jobs love reflect learn are. I'll host.So show, like talk wide range people different jobs careers. spirit, think today's guest would felt right home Wild West modern city. Heath Howes saddle maker. challenges reading child also ADHD. Welcome show, Heath.Heath: Well, hello. Thank you. Thank me.Eleni: you're horse saddle maker also leatherworker. saddle maker do?Heath: saddle maker. make saddle trees. job putting leather hard form called saddle tree. adapt shape horse rider suspended animal get thrown slide off, also able work animal rope cattle animals it. saddle construction. I've probably made 500 saddles 1,200 saddle trees.Eleni: actually explain saddle tree is?Heath: Traditionally, saddle tree four pieces wood, specifically shaped mounted together. fork, cantle, two bars. Usually it's bound rawhide. make high-density polyurethane, put mold fill that. form tree match horse, back horse, bottom side. match rider you're constructing saddle top side. thing majority job making saddle trees, send saddle makers.But get chance, make saddles themselves, custom ones. I'll end hand tooling call carving, take swivel knife break grain cut grain leather. everybody wants thing takes time, hand tooling. take little stamps like eighth inch eighth inch, way like half inch half inch. make flowers, make human faces, make portraits, dogs, cattle, stuff like that, huge geometric patterns. anything think of, pretty much put leather. dress trees make belts things like that.Eleni: mentioned often people looking custom saddles. don't know there's anything else you'd like add people looking custom saddles, like that's important and, like, kinds things looking seek custom saddle?Heath: know, type work, ranch work, hard horses. want something that's going comfortable throughout day continue work. longevity we're looking now. want custom saddle allow work day long — days like maybe eight hours easiest, know, 14 hours dusk till dawn — way 70s.For people want comfortable ride, it's hard joints, it's hard hips, it's hard knees ankles. dad's 70 still able ride production method have, know, relieve joints custom saddle.Eleni: That's super cool. That's something I've never thought about.Heath: Well, does? get horse, right?Eleni: mentioned, like, people ask specific imagery carvings. story mind maybe strangest request you've had?Heath: didn't get request. one heard shop, dad's shop. dad's name Mark Howes, shop Double H Ranch Saddle Shop, shop learned grew saddle making leatherwork. gal came in, interested fully floral carved saddle. particular flower set wanted. it's floral, it's petals vines leaves go it.She wanted little animal too. wanted tree frog, tree frog. There's specific type tree frog wanted. starts explaining it. dad's like, "Well, OK, what's this, like toad, like bullfrog?" she's like, "No, no, no. tree frog." He's like, "If could show picture." She's like, "All right, I'll show image." pulls shirt. she's wearing bra two tree frogs tattooed breasts. she's like, "Those, want frogs saddle." like, "I think that."But anyway, yeah, interesting story someone like, "I want this." don't know.Eleni: interesting. Cool. typical day look like you? favorite thing process work do?Heath: day, structure it. start small projects first, ones don't like doing, it's easier pile beginning day small stuff, get it. So sweeping, prepping, cleaning, there's lot clean you're messing around plastics liquid form, soon hardens cases out, what's cool like, it's like living sculpture. looks like drip place, it's hard. COVID everything going right now, I've release two guys worked hired on.And me, mind, easier talk process individuals shop. it's me. I've got to, like, start music podcast something like that. something subconscious work on. Otherwise processes thrown window tend overthink don't something mind working on. Eleni: said actually helpful verbalize day would look like colleagues around. want talk little bit that's helpful perhaps might relate learning thinking differences?Heath: me, it's systematic approach things. talk it, guess ADHD, there's compulsionary issues, I'm also oral learner teacher. It's easier sometimes explain something, gotta get first. know, don't know I'm doing, talk it. I'm, like, "I'm going go thing; I'm going go put on," good idea, say loud. it's still good idea, go it. you're like, "Oh, no, great idea." say loud sounds horrible awful, don't it. "I said now, something bad. I'm going that."And process, change, especially I've reconfigure entire process since it's me, make one tree day mistake ratio greater. don't talk think next step process, may screw tree, $400 piece me. that's entire day. I'm, like, oh well, day's scrapped, two things: Solidify it, process mind, assurance — confidence day. feel confident you're every day, showing someone else telling someone else something that's new daunting.Eleni: haven't really talked like differences are. could describe, like, identify or, like, perhaps would describe learning thinking differences to, like, friend family member colleague, maybe actually shifts depending you're talking to? Heath: Yeah. better success talking issues friends rather family. I'm certain that's going everybody. happens be, folks tend think whatever difficulties bearing taught upbringing. don't tell folks that. I recently diagnosed ADHD. Although know long time struggle real. It's school broached subject folks first time, was, like, "I think that." mom's, like, "Even do, there's ways around it, don't take it, don't want take anything chemically."I'm, like, OK. one conversation many, many years ago. it. end it. bringing back up. talk friends say, think problem. suggest books me, know, younger, was, "Is entertaining educational?" it's educational, struggle it, larger words; read, don't read left right. look center word assimilate letters wa

  • At the start of the school year, it’s important to gather information about your students. Asking a few questions can help you build positive relationships with your students and their families. What were the challenges? What were the successes? What changed in kids’ lives? And how are they feeling right now? Share this one-page questionnaire with your students’ families. Families can download it on a computer or phone, and then type answers into the form. Or they can print it out and fill it in by hand. The form is also available in Spanish.Responding to families’ concernsAfter families return their questionnaires, follow up as needed and plan for how you can partner with families throughout the year. Some families may mention new behaviors that concern them. You can direct them to Take N.O.T.E., a step-by-step tool Understood developed with the American Academy of Pediatrics to help families spot signs of learning and thinking differences. The tool includes resources on frustration, stress, and anxiety, and it empowers families to seek support. Ready to dive deeper? Find out more about the benefits of strong family-teacher partnerships.

  • Understood Explains Season 1

    What happens during the evaluation? And what role do families play? Learn how to help shape the evaluation plan and help your child get ready. happens evaluation special education? plans assessment activities? role families play? This episode Understood Explains covers more.Host Dr. Andy Kahn psychologist spent nearly 20 years evaluating kids public private schools. first guest episode Brittney Newcomer. nationally certified school psychologist. Andy Brittney explain:What expect evaluationWho plans assessment activities How help shape evaluation plan childAndy’s second guest parenting expert Amanda Morin. They’ll share tips help child get ready evaluation. (Hint: answer involve studying.) Related resourcesPreparing evaluationThe school evaluation process: expectWho’s evaluation team child’s schoolShould child study special education evaluation?Download: Sample letters things like accepting rejecting evaluation planVideo: Inside dyslexia evaluationEpisode transcriptJaime: Jaime. living Huntington Valley, Pennsylvania, right outside Philadelphia. son Jonah; ADHD. visual impairment, general learning disability basically every subject. So, whole process getting Jonah evaluated acquiring necessary materials school needed complete mess. Every time thought done, good go, called said, "Oh, need another document" "Oh, need another record." felt like never-ending.Andy: Understood Podcast Network, "Understood Explains." You're listening Season 1, explain evaluations special education. 10 episodes, cover ins outs process school districts use evaluate children special education services. name Andy Kahn, I'm licensed psychologist in-house expert I've spent nearly 20 years evaluating kids public private schools. I'll host. Today's episode expect evaluation itself. We're going explain help school get ready evaluate child help child get ready. No, promise won't involve studying. First, let's hear Jaime's story.Jaime: So, way involved evaluation planning process sent home basically like questionnaire parent fill terms behaviors happen home child — guess tight tied towards ADHD diagnosis, know, asking sorts questions impulsivity social interactions people. actually remind several times, "By way, Jonah different children visual impairment, please test see qualifies vision therapy know get vision therapy public schools." also, said them, know, "At previous school, speech therapy." remind pushed hard wanted make sure got tested things got supports found necessary.Andy: It's common families wonder worry happens evaluation. shouldn't surprises child. member evaluation team, right know help shape evaluation plan child. first guest going help unpack this. Brittney Newcomer nationally certified school psychologist based Houston, Texas. Like me, she’s schools quite long time. She's also mom two Understood expert, master's degree special education. Brittney, welcome.Brittney: Thank you, Andy.Andy: So, let's start big picture. Different kids need different evaluation plans, right? So, example, kids need evaluated speech therapy, kids don't. many evaluations tend one thing common. that's educational evaluation, sometimes hear called psycho-educational evaluation. psychologists like me, Britt, cognitive testing areas like reasoning, memory processing speed. also look like academic skills, reading, writing, math, look social, emotional, behavioral functioning. So, key areas mind, academic, social-emotional, behavioral, go personalizing evaluation plan kids?Brittney: Yeah. So, approach planning evaluation, start referral reason. requesting evaluation? really clear picture referral reason is, that's start plan evaluation. So, gather much data first, know, school records, information teacher, typically talk parent. sit down, plan evaluation, essentially looking broad measures first, really give us big picture student performing. So, say broad measures, I'm talking things like behavioral scales look broad spectrum behavior.Andy: So, like questionnaire kind scales?Brittney: Yeah, exactly.Andy: right, let try sort break down. So, talk like referral reasons, questions you're trying answer?Brittney: So, first referral question usually ask is, ways student struggling? also ask, flip side, ways student successful? struggling? also look factors could contributing student struggling. So, could include things going home, could include global pandemic, really looking factors could influencing student's performance time.Andy: So, think know use word like comprehensive, know, idea we're looking lot bits pieces child's whole life about. families, that's little bit anxiety-provoking, right? they're challenges, let's say school, come big broad question like this, navigate families you're looking big picture? might thinking, "Oh, thought looking kid's reading" specific challenge.Brittney: try approach evaluations working families sometimes explain them, know, we're using analogy, like jigsaw puzzle, know problem is, end evaluation, really want kind comprehensive, full picture what's going child. way us get different pieces put together able see full picture what's going child. again, emphasizing we're talking areas need, disability, we're also talking strengths well. so, emphasize families right bat. order us get comprehensive picture, side well, could impacting child. that's, opinion, one important pieces input family.Andy: Yeah, think makes lot sense. talk evaluation team, also members like teachers team? else table outside those, know, multidisciplinary, evaluators, perhaps?Brittney: Yeah, ideally, teachers would table. Speaking reality, teacher schedules, it's often difficult get initial meeting. input always provided; teachers provide input via writing, call meeting via Zoom allow share input classroom teachers seeing day-to-day basis. It's huge piece puzzle need consider initial referral meeting.Andy: Absolutely. depending upon state, may requirements people around table. So, example, state Maine, required regular education teacher, special education teacher, administrator around table. Brittney, timelines guys honoring Texas? know, Maine, 45-day timeline day referral signed completed evaluation. think federal law, maybe 60 days, folks use timelines Texas?Brittney: 45 days complete evaluation report written, additional 30 calendar days, 30, school days, 30 calendar days first meeting, IEP meeting, review results determine eligibility.Andy: So, folks concerned individual states, know, take look page podcast you'll see we've got state-specific information folks. see, there's little bit variation across states. little bit confusing, certainly get information school staff. So, let's move the, know, some, brief conversation kinds tests you've using. maybe talk process might look somewhat differently different kids. know, don't take tests. we're looking different things, maybe talk little bit specific kinds tests.Brittney: school psychologist, given many different types cognitive intellectua

  • Here are some highlights from this week’s news about disability inclusion (DI) in the workforce — and how you can use this information to make your company the best it can be.1. Companies need to do more for employees with disabilities, court case suggestsWhat’s reported: A recent court case (Robles v. Domino’s Pizza) points out how companies may be missing opportunities to support customers — and employees — with disabilities. In a Harvard Business Review article, two researchers who conducted a 2017 study about disability inclusion discussed the legal case. Based on their study, they offered the following suggestions for companies to include consumers and employees with disabilities:Recognize the innovative talent of employees with disabilities. Create inclusive workplaces that empower people with disabilities: 48 percent of employees with disabilities felt their ideas that would drive value for their companies weren’t endorsed.Expand the idea of innovation with people with disabilities in mind. This includes adopting universal design products and services that benefit those with disabilities.What it means for you: People with disabilities have a lot to offer. Disability inclusion helps employees and the consumers they serve. Learn how your company can partner with Understood’s Inclusive Careers Cohort (ICC) program to implement a disability inclusion program.2. Bank of America created a thriving team that employs people with disabilitiesWhat’s reported: Patricia Saucier thought her intellectual disability would define her life. That changed when she started working for Bank of America 20 years ago. Along with her twin sister, she’s part of the 48-member Support Services team at her branch in Belfast, Maine. Nearly 40 of the team members have an intellectual disability. The department has the lowest turnover in the company. “Even though each of us has intellectual disabilities, the managers never talk down to us,” Saucier told Disability Scoop. “They talk to us. They know we’re adults. We just learn differently.” What it means for you: Creating a more inclusive workplace doesn’t just benefit those with intellectual disabilities, or disabilities as a whole. It can also lead to a more accepting and productive workplace for all employees.3. Activist launches campaign for companies to commit to disability inclusionWhat’s reported: Through her campaign — called the Valuable 500 — inclusivity activist Caroline Casey is putting disability inclusion on the minds of business leaders everywhere, Forbes reports. The Valuable 500’s goal is for 500 companies to “unlock the business, social, and economic value of people living with disabilities across the world.” The Valuable 500 movement views disability inclusion as an essential tool for organizations to drive innovation and improve business growth. Shell and Unilever are among the corporations (almost 470 and counting!) who’ve committed to the campaign. What it means for you: The Valuable 500 campaign highlights the importance of workplaces empowering people with disabilities. By implementing programs and strategies that support them, employers can make a difference to their bottom line. You may also want to consider having your organization join the Valuable 500 movement.4. Philadelphia newspaper devotes special section to the region’s disability inclusion success storiesWhat’s reported: A special “This Ability” section in The Philadelphia Inquirer takes a closer look at disability inclusion stories in the workplace. The stories spotlight how more companies (and people) in the Philadelphia region are seeing the talents and gifts that people with disabilities bring. The section features Wawa’s Supported Employment Program that was established 40 years ago to employ neurodiverse adults. It also focuses on The Precisionists, Inc., a company that hopes to create 10,000 jobs in technology for people with disabilities by the year 2025.What it means for you: A 2018 study by Accenture found that companies that championed hiring people with disabilities achieved — on average — 28 percent higher revenue and 30 percent higher economic profit margins than their peers. Understood can help your company build a pipeline of talented candidates with disabilities.

  • How’d You Get THAT Job?!

    Scottie Donovan is a NYC wastewater engineer with ADHD. She thrives in this interactive civil engineering work, and uses tools to help along the way. Scottie Donovan New York City wastewater engineer ADHD. entered field, frontlines pandemic wasn’t expected. since wastewater helps determine positive COVID-19 cases, she’s played vital role public health information. She’s also heard enough poop jokes last lifetime.Scottie chose study civil engineering interactive is. She’s worked water treatment plants, eventually found desk job consulting role. transition wasn’t easiest ADHD. tools like lists time chunking, makes days work her. week’s episode How’d Get Job?!, get Scottie's tips honest much work take on. Plus, get history lesson sewer system advanced civilization.Related resources4 ways stay organized ADHDADHD sensory overload30 examples workplace accommodations put practiceEpisode transcriptScottie: there's large red buttons you're allowed push reason. Like looks like video game, sometimes you're like "There's button right there. need push it. It's flashing." But, know, can't. Eleni: Understood Podcast Network, "How'd Get Job?!," podcast explores unique often unexpected career paths people learning thinking differences. name Eleni Matheou I'm user researcher Understood. means spend lot time thinking find jobs love reflect learn are. I'll host. Today we're talking poop. Let explain. next guest, Scottie Donovan, civil engineer. Scottie diagnosed ADHD high school. Today, she's got hands-on job really fascinates her. specializes treating wastewater New York City. COVID pandemic, wastewater really important tool figuring prevalent virus communities. know track diseases waste well? don't even want imagine world without wastewater engineers would look smell like. Scottie help explain works. Welcome show, Scottie. Scottie: Thanks me. Eleni: I'm really excited learn topic. It's like, really something thought like, "Oh, it's obvious, know, know." But, know learn interesting things studying wastewater. So, could talk maybe things are? Scottie: always like start fun fact biggest improvement public health history invention sewer system. completely changed humans live completely cut back diseases filth general, really advanced civilizations, wouldn't today without simple seemingly simple infrastructure. already that, it's kind cool, especially right — always feel weird saying it's cool regards pandemic — but, know, something used improve public health also study public health it. learn about, know, COVID numbers, percentage population actually it, also diseases. So, you're getting raw data kind gross way, cool. People don't want go get tested don't even know they're sick, already there. Eleni: role process? Scottie: So, civil engineer actually design and, know, help construct infrastructure distribution treatment wastewater. So, work place would sample I'll design infrastructure get needs hopefully treated get disease whatever stuff water made fresh, clean water polluting oceans anymore country's world's waterways, oceans. Eleni: It's interesting because, know, we've mechanical engineer show and, know, bunch friends civil engineers. know, think infrastructure, think like focus on, like building roads, bridges like trains like kind thing. I've never actually heard it, like, also including wastewater infrastructure. Scottie: Yeah. Civil engineering — know, sector smaller branch — like think civil engineering anything making city run. So, really infrastructure civil engineer touch. Like said, there's trains, there's roads, there's buildings, there's that. underground stuff well different options civil engineering.Eleni: made decide focus water treatment wastewater management? Scottie: kind lucked weird way. took couple intro courses civil engineering professor really enjoyed, focus water wastewater. thought interesting subject. like concept taking something dirty, making clean. like environmental aspects it. internship college working drinking water plant really enjoyed that. mean, got kind lucky, really, find something actually passionate really enjoy doing. Eleni: think interest driven way ADHD? Scottie: don't know. think drew liking working plant fast moving know, much could see. wasn't like conceptual. think that's drew definitely civil engineering versus types. liked it's little bit hands-on, it's, know, like I'm seeing happen right front it. hold dirty water hold clean water. it's right there. Eleni: like interesting like surprising thing you've learned working wastewater? Like, makes interesting drinking water? Scottie: You're starting harder product. know, like want kind result. theory, every wastewater plant would come really dirty water would drinkable time it's out. would end goal. Whereas, know, drinking water plant takes something that's like probably fine, depending are, fine, makes even better. Yeah. It's love smell it. That's sure.Eleni: people ask that?Scottie: ask deal smell ever get used it. answer no, get used it. always know it. makes less nauseous time, don't get used it. Eleni: Yeah. actually going ask about, know, field visits like perspective, like sensory perspective. Scottie: sensory perspective, it's overload, especially can't touch anything shouldn't it's kind gross. there's large red buttons you're allowed push reason. Like looks like video game sometimes you're like "There's button right there. need push it. It's flashing." But, know, can't. obviously smells there's many them, it's just, know, would think there's also chemicals, there's different byproducts different steps different additives different steps, different. So, it's lot you're walking around. Eleni: dangerous environment in?Scottie: be, depending you're working depending step, guess, you're in. Yeah, mean, wouldn't want get pretty much step except end all. would pretty bad. don't know it's folklore actually happened, one plants worked every time ask wear eye protection, tell story old CEO one drop get eye went blind. needed hear once, don't want lose sight. again, sure it's real not, possibility. one point time, actually sample water job — like week starting brand-new facility — prove built worked. know really funny photo used keep Tinder like head-to-toe like Tyvek suit, bought like Triple XL construction guys pretty big. am, like time, probably 100-pound, 5'2" girl thing I'm swimming in, holding like gross water. thought really funny. So, always kept like dating profiles see it, see interested that. yeah, definitely careful. It's nice environment then. It's, mean, there's reason we're trying get water. Eleni: There's much involved like never would considered. It's something think about, know, it's like "That's gone."Scottie: Yeah. And, mean, that's kind I, that's also another weird thing like it. like one thinks it, silent hero here. Eleni: Yeah. said, super necessary for, like, progress public health. So, going ask you, know you've mentioned things really like job, know kind vibes ADHD terms like things really tangible like seeing result know, able visit plants always like

  • When you’re struggling at work, talking with co-workers about your challenges can be a surprisingly big help. They might offer strategies and support to make work more manageable.Maybe you worry that speaking up will make things harder. Or that it’ll seem like you’re complaining or not doing a good job. But the reality is that asking for help when you need it is an important job skill. And staying quiet often makes the problem bigger, not smaller. Talking about difficulties and asking for help can be hard, but it’s worth it. Here are tips to make the conversation as productive as possible.Before the conversation: 3 things to think aboutThe key to a good conversation is to think it through ahead of time. Here are three things to consider:What you want to talk about. Maybe you feel overwhelmed by a specific task. Or maybe you’re struggling to keep up with work in general. You might want advice on how to manage your time or help with something you’re working on. What you want to accomplish. Ask yourself what you’re hoping to get out of the conversation. Support during a difficult project? Notes from yesterday’s meeting? Having a goal in mind for the conversation makes it more likely you’ll get what you need. Who you should talk to. Once you’ve decided what to talk about, use it as a guide to choose the right person to talk to. It might be an experienced co-worker who can offer advice on the project you’re struggling with. Or a trusted work friend who’ll be happy to let you vent about a difficult meeting. Once you’re ready, look for a quiet place to talk. If your workplace doesn’t have private space to chat, plan to go out. Or have the meeting on the phone or by video chat. Download a one-page printable of two sample conversations.What to say to your co-worker You may know what you want to say, but struggle to find the words to say it. This can be especially difficult if you struggle with social skills, or if communication in general is hard for you. Here are some phrases that can help.Staying quiet often makes the problem bigger, not smaller. How to set up the conversation“Can we chat sometime this week? I’d love your advice on something.” “Can we grab coffee during our break? There’s something I’d like to tell you about.”“Do you have time to talk later about a work problem I’m having?”How to start the conversation“Thanks for taking the time to talk with me.”“I really value your opinion, so I want to share a problem I’m having.”“I’m wondering if you could help me.”How to share information“Everyone is already using the new system, but I’m confused by the written instructions.”“This project has a lot of parts to it, and I’m having trouble managing my time to get it all done.”“They cover a lot in the meetings, and sometimes I have a really hard time keeping track of all the details. I’m worried I’ll miss something important.”How to ask for support“Would you mind showing me how you work the new system? I’ll understand it more quickly if I see it rather than read about it.”“I know you’ve worked on similar projects in the past. I’d love some advice on planning out the steps.”“I’ve noticed you take really great notes during the meetings. Would it be OK if I check in with you if I need a refresher?”How to end the conversation“Thanks for your help. I feel a lot better. I’ll find a time that works for us both.”“Those tips are great — thanks for sharing them with me. I’ll let you know how it goes.”“I really appreciate this. Thanks for understanding.”Asking for support can make a huge difference in how things go at work and how confident you feel. Read about common ways people struggle at work. And if you’re wondering what may be causing your challenges at work, discover the signs of learning and thinking differences in adults.

  • Understood Explains Season 2

    Find out how doctors test adults for ADHD. What kind of questions do they ask? How long does it take? Know what to expect in a thorough evaluation. doctors test adults ADHD? kind questions ask? long take? Understood Explains host Dr. Roberto Olivardia breaks process explains look thorough evaluation. Get overview answers common questions: What ADHD evaluation look like? [00:51]So, ADHD rating scales? [03:48]How long whole testing process take? [04:59]What diagnostic criteria ADHD adults? [06:02]Why important open honest ADHD evaluation? [07:42]Key takeaway, next episode, credits [08:31]Related resourcesHow doctors test ADHD adults?What ADHD rating scales?The 3 types ADHDEpisode transcriptYou’re listening Season 2 Understood Explains: ADHD Diagnosis Adults.Today, we’re going talk happens ADHD test adults.My name Dr. Roberto Olivardia, I’m clinical psychologist 20 years experience evaluating people things like ADHD. I’m also one millions people diagnosed ADHD adult. I’ll host.My goal answer common questions ADHD diagnosis. Along way, you’ll learn lot ADHD general. We’re going quickly — next 10 minutes. So, let’s get it.What ADHD evaluation look like? [00:51] First, want tell testing doesn’t look like. There blood tests, hooking machine, brain scans — nothing like might see parts medical facility. In nutshell, ADHD evaluation tends involve multiple-choice questions wide-ranging conversation trained professional, like kinds providers talked Episode 2. OK, let’s drill five key components ADHD testing:The first patient history — getting know past. provider ask information childhood, including birth weight developmental milestones, like learned walk talk.This also it’s good share details hospitalizations, well ongoing health issues might have. second big part asks open-ended questions different aspects life, like school, work, relationships, sleep patterns, appetite, etc. essential evaluator know, ADHD impact many different aspects daily life. also affect different people different ways. Let’s look sleep, example. say don’t get enough sleep, evaluator really dig area: Do trouble falling asleep, sleep like rock takes four alarm clocks wake up? Or trouble staying asleep every little noise wakes up? Is sleep disrupted you’re drinking much keep getting go bathroom?  Another example evaluator asking open-ended questions school. say student, evaluator might ask went getting A’s.Did pull lot all-nighters? Were parents involved structuring schedule? Did wheels fall went college got first job?The third part questionnaire asks bunch quick questions using what’s called ADHD rating scale, we’ll get next section. jump that…Another really important part ADHD evaluation asks conditions. For example, maybe symptoms pointing something looks lot like ADHD often co-occurs ADHD, anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder. That’s really, really important keep mind. last big part process want highlight meeting provider go evaluation report. report typically several pages long sound like whoever testing really got know you. report also include recommendations help. notice inaccuracies need clarifications, raise concerns evaluator right away. need certain recommendations spelled get accommodations work maybe college grad school, talk evaluator too. So, ADHD rating scales? [03:48] You’ll probably hear phrase “rating scale” quite bit ADHD diagnosis process. Essentially, it’s questionnaire — series brief multiple-choice questions might fill home, in-person evaluator. These scales ask rate often experience behaviors related ADHD, like running late important events making careless mistakes you’re working boring project.The answers you’re choosing typically something like “never,” “occasionally,” “often,” “very often.”There several different versions rating scales, they’re working toward goal key part comprehensive evaluation.  Generally, different providers tend use whichever questionnaire rating scale like best fill gaps one-on-one conversation clinical interview. Sometimes, evaluator may also ask someone knows well — like spouse roommate — fill questionnaire. Getting people’s perspectives commonly done kids tested ADHD, help adult diagnosis too.How long whole testing process take? [04:59] The length time evaluation takes really vary person person. I’ve thorough evaluations take hour complete. Others taken four five hours. could finished one visit. Others need spread number visits.But general, process tends break like this:The ADHD rating scales typically take anywhere 10 minutes 45 minutes fill out.The patient history open-ended questions may take hour so.And there’s follow-up, evaluator explains results recommendations. typically takes hour too.There lots possible reasons evaluations take longer others…Like there’s lot personal history review, co-occurring conditions go addition possible ADHD.The timing also depends quickly provider patient able move conversations.What diagnostic criteria ADHD adults? [06:02]There three official types ADHD, different threshold patients must meet diagnosis. There’s inattentive type ADHD, used called “attention-deficit disorder,” ADD. Patients need least six symptoms inattention diagnosis.To diagnosed hyperactive/impulsive type ADHD, patient needs least six symptoms hyperactivity impulsivity.Many folks third kind, called “combined type ADHD,” qualify types mentioned.The official diagnostic guidelines part big manual that’s called Diagnostic Statistical Manual Mental Disorders, DSM. The DSM lists criteria three kinds ADHD. These guidelines also looking see started symptoms certain age you’re symptoms two settings, like home work.But criteria really nuanced, it’s important talk one-on-one evaluator. For example, may seem like you’re mainly struggling one area, like time management. one area could huge, negative impact life — like getting fired, losing friends, achieving goals, etc. Context also really, really important. example, noticing fewer symptoms settings you’re getting support areas? highly trained evaluator suss kinds things one-on-one conversations. Why important open honest ADHD evaluation? [07:42] As you’re going ADHD evaluation process you’re filling rating scales, it’s pretty easy guess “often” “very often” answers lead ADHD diagnosis.But want caution trying answer way ensure get diagnosis. don’t truly ADHD, getting treated ADHD may help you. could dangerous you’re incorrectly prescribed ADHD medication. might actually make take longer figure what’s really going on, like sleep disorder instead ADHD. Different conditions require different treatments. try open honest possible. Key takeaway, next episode, credits [08:31]OK, that’s Episode 3. key takeaway I’m hoping remember today ADHD evaluations need thorough.Evaluators ask many questions make sure do, fact, ADHD disorder looks like ADHD. since ADHD often doesn’t travel alone, it’s also really important tease co-occurring conditions provider develop comprehensive treatment plan. Thanks listening, hope you’ll join Episode 4, explains need know you’re thinking getting online testing ADHD.You’ve listening Season 2 Understood Explains Understood Podcast Network. want learn topics covered today, check show notes episode. include resources, well links anything we’ve mentioned episode. One important note: don’t prescribe ADHD medication don’t affiliation pharmaceutical companies — neither Understood. podcast intended solely informational purposes substitute professional diagnosis m

  • ADHD Aha!

    An ADHD diagnosis helped Ange Nolan understand her intense romantic relationships and career hopping. Find out what led to her ADHD evaluation. Ange Nolan suspected ADHD, dismissed doctor. Years later, saw ADHD iceberg infographic related almost every ADHD symptom listed — including forgetting use bathroom. That’s decided time approach different doctor ADHD.After getting diagnosed ADHD last year, Ange realized affecting many romantic relationships. She’d crave chaos intense connection become “chameleon” fixated partner’s interests happiness — burning out. Hear Ange’s ADHD diagnosis helped notice patterns, including hopping impulsively one career another. stay tuned mini “aha” moment host Laura Key likes alone much.Related resourcesADHD emotionsUnderstanding impulsivityADHD marriage (Rachel Jon’s story)Episode transcriptAnge: ADHD iceberg infographic that's floating around social media. reading it, able check almost everything there. one thing really stood line says "forgets eat go bathroom." thought maybe somebody relate almost point life. going lot people honestly say struggle forgetting go bathroom. Laura: Understood Podcast Network, "ADHD Aha!," podcast people share moment finally clicked someone know ADHD. name Laura Key. I'm editorial director Understood. someone who's ADHD "aha" moment, I'll host. I'm today Ange Nolan. Ange listener wrote in, she's account manager landscaping company Southern Illinois. Ange got diagnosed ADHD last year. Let's get started talking visual source ADHD "aha" moment. Tell listeners visual saw it, happening, think?Ange: Yeah. Laura: Go ahead. Ange: Sure. cousin's daughter shared Facebook infographic iceberg ADHD looks like. course, it's inattentive hyperactivity fidgeting. whole underneath part iceberg covers many things people don't really realize struggle ADHD, it's never really talked formal ADHD conversations. reading able check things, like maybe 20 25 things there. Laura: people listening, look online. It's ADHD iceberg. I'm sure came from, it's really interesting graphic shows — top iceberg basically visible symptoms ADHD. Ange mentioned, that's trouble focusing fidgeting hyperactivity, right? signs symptoms underneath surface like bottom part iceberg water. one particular really resonated you. Ange: Yes, kind connecting them, like, OK, well, maybe people might experience issues lives. one really struck "forgets go bathroom eat." like, normal, quote unquote, normal person going like, oh, yeah, forget go bathroom time. Whereas I'm like, always forget go bathroom cannot forget anymore. like, know, telling husband said, "How forget go bathroom?" OK, well. See? justified normal person going like, "Oh, yeah, forget go bathroom." Laura: I'm sure it's led some, like, literally uncomfortable situations? Ange: Right. Yeah. Laura: forgetfulness sometimes comes ADHD executive function challenges. So, seeing therapist time, right? Ange: seeing therapist probably four years. Five years maybe. yeah, brought like, "Oh yeah. Well, talked collect hobbies don't hobbies, kind idea might experiencing ADHD issues." so — maybe trying hint dismissed quickly relationship I — approach primary care doctor 20s asked could ADHD, got dismissed relatively quickly. Laura: clarify timeline, diagnosed last year, 2021. that's around time saw iceberg graphic. talked therapist it. that, inkling. Tell that. Ange: Yeah, it's kind embarrassing, relationship lot issues focusing anything general kind turning windows brain command. struggling time, intimacy issues partner couldn't moment him. thoughts constantly flooding brain time. even whenever nothing really going mind, kinds problems. approached doctor said, "Hey, know, happening. It's affecting life general, aspects. really find hard believe acceptable I'm trying intimate partner can't turn brain." instead going through, know, checklist asking questions, like, "Well, here's medication, try see helps." don't know medication was. took made feel kind like speed. stopped taking it. told that, like, "Oh, well, don't ADHD, reaction medication." like, end. Laura: doesn't sound like thoughtful treatment plan. Ange: No. like, well, that's risky game play. Laura: Yeah. Yeah, that's concerning, because, sure, medication doesn't work everybody, there's trial error. Ange: Yes. obviously, see primary care person saw 20s. approached doctor it, evaluation. know, talked checklist and, know, checked boxes started treatment different stimulants. noticed like calm mind, felt like finally control myself. whole journey struggle it's constant trial error dosages, kind going better kind interact, know, chemical imbalances. that's hard path walk wasn't simple, easy fix. Laura: Let's talk iceberg. symptoms challenges listed underneath surface. things like difficulty maintaining relationships, spending money irresponsibly, losing items time, also, course, poor impulse control. I'm curious resonating you. Ange: Oh, yeah, 100%. Like, even looking back, flabbergasted nobody picked time. Like, went school teacher started working toward master's degree special education. even myself, like studied special education, ADHD chapter that. worked kids learning disabilities behavior disorders. Whenever got college, first teaching job. blows mind how — many scaffolded masks I've put didn't recognize obvious symptoms clueless seems like everybody else around me. Laura: mean, that's partially show called "ADHD Aha!" Sometimes hits like ton bricks. it's maybe building surface for — yeah, pun intended iceberg — like little moments recognition kind building surface takes conversation or, you, visual come together. let's start career. You're longer teacher, right? Ange: Correct. Yeah. work landscaping, which — it's fun I'm learning something completely new. It's little bit inside outside. different clients pace constantly changing, it's keeping interest without overwhelming me. feel like stage life, it's checking boxes able jobs I've had. always used think wish could live seven lives many different things want do. Laura: think term used chatted last "career swapping." jobs education now? maybe list jobs you've had? Ange: Sure. I'm categorizing careers, would retail management teaching this, know, customer service oriented career, like I'm account manager — know, working hand hand clients. Laura: cases, ever start job maybe ready start job? Ange: Yeah. Laura: judgment. I'm curious. Ange: I'm pretty sure almost everything I'm 100% ready. think ever 100% ready something, I'd probably back hit 100%. Laura: well stated, Ange. told last time chatted you've married multiple times engaged multiple times well. Ange: Yes. reflecting yesterday, think it's important also

  • The COVID-19 crisis has changed how we connect with each other. Many kids are spending time with only their caregivers. And they may be around fewer kids than usual. This can make it hard for kids to understand other perspectives — or even remember that theirs isn’t the only one that matters. Building kids’ empathy during COVID helps them think about others. And research shows that having concern for others reduces feelings of isolation. Here are four ways to build empathy in challenging times.1. Talk about the phrase “same storm, different boat.”At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, writer Damian Barr said, “We are not all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm. Some of us are on super-yachts. Some have just the one oar.” “Same storm, different boat” is a great visual. It can help kids understand that we’re all dealing with the same pandemic, but we don’t all have the same resources to help us. With younger kids, help them picture the difference between a large, sturdy yacht and a small boat that might have trouble navigating a storm. Then talk about what people need to build a sturdy boat — things like a job, a place to live, enough food to eat, someone to help with schoolwork, and good health. With older kids, this part of the conversation can be more in-depth.You can talk about what you have — or need — and what kind of boat that means you’re in. Have kids think about how it might feel to be in the storm in other types of boats or with just an oar. 2. Show what empathy looks like. There are plenty of ways to show empathy in action during COVID. You can start by modeling empathy. Share that you understand how hard it can be to not see your friends during the pandemic. Make a point of thanking the employees at stores for being there during these scary times. Talk about how others are showing empathy. If you’re an essential worker, tell stories of how other people are showing that they understand your perspective. If you live in a bigger city, you might hear applause and banging of pots at night to thank essential workers. If this isn’t happening in your neighborhood, look at news stories or videos about this together. Talk about how people are finding ways to show they understand how hard others are working to keep us safe. 3. Have a “we’re all in this together” attitude.Let kids know that you’re expecting everyone to pitch in to take care of and care about each other. That might mean making a chore list so that everyone helps clean the space you’re in. Taking responsibility for part of a shared space helps kids practice thinking about others and about how their actions can make a difference. Try sharing your own emotions openly when you’re having a tough day. Letting kids know that you’re sad or overwhelmed sometimes allows them to be open about their own feelings. It also helps them see that having a hard time — and finding a way to handle it — is something that happens to all of us.4. Find ways to support other people. Empathy isn’t always about emotions. It’s also about actions and being helpful to other people. Practice supporting others with your kids or students. Together you can write notes to brighten the day of someone you know who lives alone. Or you might talk about the risks and benefits of picking up groceries for someone who is sick or at higher risk for COVID. Kids may have other ideas, too, so don’t forget to ask them for suggestions. Dive deeperEmpathy isn’t just important during COVID, and it’s not just for kids. Learn why it’s important to show kids empathy.For parents and caregivers: Learn how to respond to kids with compassion. And then explore more ways to teach empathy to kids.For educators: Learn why teaching with empathy is important. Then find ways to help all kids be more resilient. 

  • ADHD Aha!

    John Hazelwood, who has ADHD, co-founded the Men’s ADHD Support Group, an organization aimed at helping men with ADHD find community and acceptance. John Hazelwood diagnosed ADHD shortly graduated college. therapy trouble test anxiety. Music thing helped study actually remember read. got curious ADHD medication talked doctor, recommended ADHD evaluation.John, mechanical engineer Virginia, co-founded Men’s ADHD Support Group, organization aimed helping men ADHD find community acceptance. John talks facing stigma around ADHD mental health Black community, songs sound like ADHD, much more. Check Men’s ADHD Support Group.Related resourcesADHD “white boy problem” (from Opportunity Gap podcast)What tell Black parents worry labels like “ADHD” childHow ADHD medication worksEpisode transcript John: going therapy towards end college struggling. struggling with, know, mental health process things. I'm like, know what? I'm going go primary care physician let know, like, "Hey, I'm problems focusing. I'm problems emotional regulation, staying interested." like, "Well, let's neuropsych evaluation." Laura: Understood Podcast Network, "ADHD Aha!," podcast people share moment finally clicked someone know ADHD. name Laura Key. I'm editorial director Understood, someone who's ADHD "aha" moment, I'll host. Laura: I'm today John Hazelwood. John mechanical engineer based Richmond, Virginia. He's also co-founder Men's ADHD Support Group. Welcome, John. John: It's pleasure finally able you. I'm absolutely ecstatic opportunity. Just, know, kind spread message different point view, different lens, give everyone different feel ADHD shows amongst everyone. Laura: I'm thankful you're here. diagnosed 21, right? John: Yes. So, I'm 33 now. diagnosed 21. shortly graduated college. learned everything it, I'm sitting like, "Why didn't information way ahead time? Like, sitting struggling?" Laura: Yeah. So, struggling with? John: Oh, let's going ahead talk one. Time management, know, like time blindness, everything right last minute. Organization. like call, know, workspace, organized chaos sometimes, doesn't make sense normal person neurotypical mind. see it, I'm like, "I know everything is." Repeating academic courses college well, especially engineering, courses really intensive math. So, took calculus differential equations twice. Mechanical system design twice. Laura: remember specific moment like, "No, I'm going go get evaluated." John: Well, so, two things. going therapy towards end college struggling. struggling with, know, mental health process things. used think test-induced anxiety, beforehand, sit recite type theorem concept needed, second test comes up, anxiety overwhelms everything goes door. So, never really, really good test taker. So, one them. how, believe not, people would library like, "Hey, got Adderall need it," that. I'm like, "What stuff?" then, know, learning it's like people ADHD. Now, didn't partake that, it's loosely around. So, two things combined together, I'm like, know what? I'm going go primary care physician let know, like, "Hey, I'm problems focusing. I'm problems emotional regulation, staying interested. And, know, I've heard Adderall." like, "Well, instead putting medication, let's neuropsych evaluation."Laura: first all, want say loud don't want people, know, sharing ADHD medication using recreationally using without diagnosis. dangerous. say flat out. it's interesting prevalence ADHD stimulant medication near campus really tip-off, like, "Hey, need support." thought process was? Like "Wait, get support? need support." kind going mind? John: Well, looking it, time went Virginia Commonwealth University, cracking lot that. I'm sitting like, "What doing?" I'm like, "This sound right. sounds like transaction taking place." sparked interest understanding exactly ADHD coming background where, know, think is, it's can't focus. You're hyperactive child. need sit butt down. need take medication else can't function. community, Black community, know, things like negative. many negative stigmas attached connotations associated it, almost felt scary even reveal state mental health status. finally got ahold it, changed everything me. Laura: look like? Getting ahold it. John: "aha" moment. like, "OK, didn't think before?” remember like yesterday. So, studying finals. It's senior year. taking calculus differential equations second time. one thing noticed anything dealt music rhythm, remember things. So, would literally pick certain music, low frequency, I'll play over, I'll studying. noticed is, two hours going things over, tapped hummed song myself, could literally remember exactly looking at. So, me, it's like learning pattern. let's say I'm like flows transform, like we're looking like electrical nodal system evaluation I'm completely stuck. I'll literally hum song head. song Wiz Khalifa time, called "Up." It's probably one melodic songs doesn't hardly words it. would hum it, page, chapter, everything became vivid mind. so, like "This clicking together. wonder I'm constantly around music time." drowns internal noise that's inside mind. puts things together well. paints like image finally becomes clear when, know, don't stimulus nearby music you're sitting like, yo, hell going on? I'm like, OK, I'm looking Picasso painting, trying organize it. So, actually looks like visible picture everyone see. we're meant see way. Laura: younger, kid grade school middle school even high school, remember struggling ADHD symptoms point? John: time. Well, thing is, went predominantly white schools until, well, middle school, Providence pretty integrated. elementary school, kids would tease slowest one class, didn't understand question quick thing, know something's wrong you. know, throw R-word that, know, don't need repeat, understand is. It's like you're sitting it's like, "I want say something it." grow really knowing use voice you're used voice silenced versus heard, suppress want express, starts build up. feel like there's trauma gets added top instigates lot that. think starts bringing lot tendencies. Like it's hard stay still. problems getting bored quick, so — mom, like always scholastic life. made sure stayed top us getting help type mental health conditions may come up. matter fact, learned within recent years, knew basically suffering it. wasn't much it. one things didn't interrupt much class far performance, where, know, could kind like swept rug. like, "Well, that's nice know years later."Laura: Oh, wow. Wait, wait, I'm sorry. mom knew that, said we, sibling?John: So, middle brother struggled it. Laura: So, mom knew ADHD symptoms things support brother? don't want speak behalf mom, inklings didn't pursue official diagnosis further? John: think it's readily available resources putting extra pressure child — introducing something child already feels like back wall because, know, going predominantly, know, white elementary school, kids would make f

  • Some kids have a hard time letting go of things that worry them. They get stuck on ideas that make them feel anxious or threatened and can’t stop talking about them. (This is common in kids who struggle with executive function and kids with autism.)It’s not easy getting kids who perseverate like that to put those thoughts to the side. Telling them that there’s no real threat from COVID-19 doesn’t help, especially because it isn’t true.“The way to quell anxiety is to give kids some control over that threat,” says Jerry Schultz, PhD, clinical neuropsychologist and lecturer at Harvard Medical School. One way to do that is to make them the “experts” on the virus.“Have them write articles, songs, plays, or create videos on the topic of How to Prepare for the Coronavirus Without Freaking Out,” says Schultz. “Let them become the voice of reason about this stressful topic and a guide for other kids (and adults).”Explore more coronavirus updates and tips from Understood.

  • Understood Explains Season 2

    Wondering if you have enough ADHD symptoms? If it’s worth the effort to get tested? Host Dr. Roberto Olivardia shares his own adult diagnosis story. wondering ADHD symptoms mild get tested? there’s enough benefit getting diagnosed ADHD adult? Host Dr. Roberto Olivardia shares diagnosis story answers common questions whether get formally tested ADHD adult:  Should get tested ADHD? [00:48]Can diagnose ADHD? [03:44]What else need know think might ADHD? [05:17]Key takeaway, next episode, credits [08:41]Related resourcesADHD symptoms different agesWhat executive function?ADHD eating disordersADHD substance abuse (Peach’s story) Episode transcriptYou’re listening Season 2 Understood Explains: ADHD Diagnosis Adults.Today’s episode answers question “Should get tested ADHD?”My name Dr. Roberto Olivardia, I’m clinical psychologist 20 years experience evaluating people things like ADHD. I’m also one millions people diagnosed ADHD adult. I’ll host.My goal answer common questions ADHD diagnosis. Along way, you’ll learn lot ADHD general. We’re going quickly — next 10 minutes. So, let’s get it.Should get tested ADHD? [00:48]You might wondering enough symptoms, there’s enough benefit, go get formal diagnosis adult.To answer question “Should get tested,” I’m going make two predictions you, based fact you’re listening podcast diagnosing ADHD adults. predict that, number 1, you’re adult, number 2, made childhood without diagnosed ADHD. And I’m right, probably lot common. made many years school without ADHD diagnosis.    I 35 diagnosed ADHD. then, sort OK, finding ways cope certain challenges trying avoid everything else hard me. could kept things still fairly successful adult. glad got diagnosed, four reasons why:First, soooooo many things make sense childhood.Everything numerous sleep problems, like massive effort took shut mind end day, immense energy took stay awake Mr. Burke’s history class junior year high school. Second, ADHD diagnosis helped understand kinds things need thrive work.My favorite quick example fluorescent lighting. finally understand drives crazy I’m going get work done, needs room soft, warm lighting.People like ADHD sensitive nature, much little sensory input make harder present moment stay focused. Third, understand ADHD affect relationships.As someone gets bored easily seeks stimulation, always attracted novelty, drama, taking risks… Sometimes opened risks worked really well, hanging many friends also ADHD. times, didn’t work well, didn’t always make best decisions. And last least, understand ADHD affects impulse control. Because ADHD, know like something, run risk liking much. idea eating satisfied versus eating I’m stuffed, saying buying something really couldn’t afford, restraining mischievous desire things work throughout life, even today.There’s lots research shows people ADHD significantly higher risk addictive behaviors. it’s essential us know ourselves.So, listeners, tell personal experience getting diagnosed ADHD adult helped understand better. helped start figuring kinds supports need thrive aspects life.Can diagnose ADHD? [03:44]So common question, answer hard no. Self-diagnosis may popular TikTok social media platforms. it’s good idea, three reasons why:Reason number 1: lot conditions look lot like ADHD. quick online quiz won’t able tell you’re struggling pay attention ADHD, it’s something else.  Stress depression anxiety even sleep apnea look lot like ADHD, online platform won’t able pick apart differences like professional would, especially you’re asked questions.Reason number 2: ADHD matter degree. Everyone gets distracted sometimes. doesn’t mean everyone ADHD. Diagnosing ADHD involves looking often certain symptoms much symptoms affect daily life.Reason number 3: Self-diagnosis lead wrong DIY treatments — treatments all. whole reason you’re wondering ADHD diagnosis help feel better function better, right?So reasons, it’s much, much better work someone lot training accurately diagnose ADHD. quick quiz useful starting point, please don’t let stopping point. Get tested professional.What else need know think might ADHD? [05:17]This season Understood Explains going cover lot territory, everything kinds professionals diagnose you, prepare emotionally ADHD diagnosis, treat ADHD without medication. topics gets episode. wrap one, big-picture things think important keep mind you’re thinking getting tested ADHD:The name “ADHD” kind misleading.ADHD’s full name, “attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder,” often confuses people couple different ways. “Attention deficit” doesn’t mean people ADHD lack attention. means trouble regulating attention. brains often trying pay attention many things. trouble filtering unimportant stuff, get distracted things like background noise. also focus much one thing can’t shift attention away it. Hyperfocus big challenge people like ADHD.“Hyperactivity” another confusing part ADHD’s formal name. three types ADHD, two involve hyperactivity. don’t hyperactive diagnosed ADHD. struggle attention. used called “attention-deficit disorder” ADD, called “inattentive type” ADHD. confusing lot folks, too.There two terms important know you’re thinking ADHD: “impulse control” “executive function.” “Impulse control” isn’t part ADHD’s formal name, it’s one three main symptoms ADHD: trouble attention, hyperactivity, impulse control. three main symptoms.“Executive function” another really important term world ADHD. Executive functions include everything ability manage time make decisions, plan prioritize, physically organize stuff. involves remember information, regulate emotions. Many people — many women particular — surprised much ADHD impact emotions, whether it’s trouble managing feelings, shame feel clutter, late, etc. things executive functions. probably biggest piece ADHD puzzle really significant impact undiagnosed adults. It’s really since mid 1990s people started talking idea ADHD adulthood. lot folks might know looks like adults connected issues might experiencing, like binge-eating disorder gambling addiction porn addiction. The good news get formally diagnosed ADHD, diagnosis report often include recommendations help addiction risk-taking, well challenges like organization. lots inexpensive apps tools — like setting timer phone — helps know areas you’re struggling start focusing help.Key takeaway, next episode, credits [08:41]OK, listeners, that’s Episode 1. key takeaway I’m hoping sticks episode suspect may ADHD, meet health care professional knows lot ADHD clinical evaluation. We’re going spend whole next episode talking kinds health care providers diagnose ADHD adults. now, want focus it’s good idea this. I’ve found majority people actually relieved feel strong sense validation get diagnosed ADHD. diagnosis isn’t meant make feel bad. fact, it’s opposite. When officially diagnosed, immediately started connecting dots realized behaviors may seemed confusing “out there” suddenly made sense. don’t ADHD, diagnosis, important. Remember: Knowledge power! Now we’ve covered might want get evaluated ADHD, you’re ready rest season. Thanks listening, hope you’ll join Episode 2, explains “Who diagnose adults ADHD?”You’ve listening Season 2

  • Winter is an important time for kids and adults with ADHD to focus on their mental health. That’s because people with ADHD are more likely than people without ADHD to have seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This type of depression gets triggered by a change in the seasons. As the days get shorter, people are exposed to less sunlight. Many people start to feel tired and moody in the fall. These feelings tend to last through the winter. That’s why SAD is often called seasonal depression or winter depression. Shorter days can affect sleep cycles. Many people with ADHD have trouble with sleep year-round. But seasonal changes can make their sleep problems even worse. Sleep affects our brain chemistry. Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep makes it harder to focus the next day. When we don’t get enough sleep, we have less energy and feel more depressed. But the good news is that there are many ways to help. Keep reading to learn why ADHD and seasonal depression are linked — and how better sleep can help manage “the winter blues.”

  • The Opportunity Gap

    She’s an Olympic champion, a Black woman, and an advocate for people with ADHD. So why don’t more kids of color know about Simone Biles? Simone Biles decorated female gymnast history. She’s also Black woman advocate people ADHD. don’t students color know story? Hosts Julian Saavedra Marissa Wallace explore role model means stories rise others. talk shame stigma prevent people color talking challenges. hosts also share thoughts parents schools help kids learn think differently find role models look to.Related resourcesRead Simone Biles tweeted ADHD.Check Tupac Shakur’s poem, “The Rose Grew Concrete.”Watch videos athletes learn think differently, like Olympian Michelle Carter NFL player Lawrence Guy.Get tips finding mentors kids learning thinking differences. Episode transcriptJulian: Welcome "The Opportunity Gap," podcast families kids color learn think differently. explore issues privilege, race, identity. goal help advocate child. I'm Julian Saavedra.Marissa: I'm Marissa Wallace. Julian worked together years teachers public charter school Philadelphia, saw opportunity gaps firsthand.Julian: we're parents kids color. personal us. In episode, we're talking Simone Biles positive role models kids color learn think differently. Marissa, up? How's week? Marissa: Well, it's funny. actually able walk Lincoln home school today, told I'm going talk Uncle Julian tonight. He's like "Uncle Julian?" I'm like, "Yeah, remember Philadelphia? Uncle Julian?"Julian: Well tell little guy said hello. children say hi everybody. I'm really excited episode today we're talking topic think near dear us: idea role models idea really lifting folks students even us looking to.So I'm excited producer, amazing, intelligent, stupendous producer wealth knowledge, Andrew Lee, going share research able Simone Biles start show. Andrew, tell us little bit Simone Biles, please. Andrew: Julian, you're like way kind. thank intro. know, gave assignment, thinking Simone Biles, gymnast, knew little bit that, Olympic background. yes, considered accomplished female gymnast history sport, 32 Olympic world championship medals. got like four moves named her. found little bit research Simone much gymnast.In 2016, started really open learning thinking differences. year reading hackers published medical records ADHD. responded said, know, ADHD taking medication nothing afraid let people know. now, know, read news articles her, really seems like she's charting new course advocate mental health.And last summer Olympics, quite news articles took stand mental health withdrawing competition. September, actually testified Congress abuses gymnasts experience U.S. gymnastics. So, sometimes hear like famous sports star or, know, famous personality, think big accomplishments. one things I've found actually quite bit trauma childhood, know, foster child, part experience. also faced lot bullying. interesting hear beyond sort medals jumps moves, there's much her. really interesting, Julian. Julian: There's many things say Simone. think idea rose growing concrete, right? many things struggles, struggles came beautiful person even continues deal struggles.Yet brings best lot people around her. know, think story really great starting point dive in, talking role models kind making sure give, give flowers can, Simone somebody us presently she's somebody deserves respect admiration.So Marissa, tell thoughts Simone. think? Marissa: Yeah. Well, first appreciate use figurative language describe talking rose crack, giving shout-out Tupac there. feel like already know, feel like you're already setting stage is, obviously much gymnast knowing experiences.And think that, past summer, much news. course there's always two sides every story everyone opinion Simone, don't think takes away accomplishments. don't think take away overcome get point she's at.And feel like that's trajectory that's kind like journey lot role models. It's evolving positions without life history — experiences make are. think that's important piece conversation hope get today. When talk students, talk face trauma, face learning thinking differences might oftentimes feel alone feel like aren't going able achieve that.Julian: Like fact able talk openly one highest, important parts career. wherewithal prioritize mental health continue openly discuss somebody lives learning thinking differences. mean, talk courage really things greater good. important folks this? going make impact?Marissa: Yeah, definitely think helps people positions look them, don't always know got point. also think there's lot left hidden. part hidden, doesn't relatability. think that's piece makes role models, especially role models students thinking learning differences, missing piece like, oh, well person achieved greatness, don't understand haven't struggled school. haven't struggled academics behaviors like have.So therefore, like made point don't this, know. probably don't know Michael Jordan — individual learning differences ADHD. there's athletes later come expressed challenges overcame get place they're now.Julian: I'm going something may disagree with, would venture think Simone's story prevalent schools be. would even guess role role model, even though like we, adults talking lot, don't feel like hear students talking unless bring up.Marissa: agree. Julian: Unless it's something really made popular social media something effect. wonder story elevated everywhere popularized everywhere.Marissa: It's surprising sometimes hear students consider role models, like looking to, especially middle school kids. work primarily eighth graders. lot conversation getting ready high school. talking life high school going look like explaining success look like many different things. they're sharing role models, majority social media personalities, even like athletes anymore.Like feel like it's veered away hearing like, oh, know, want like football player, basketball player. lot it, I've really heard, people TikTok like YouTube. That's I'm getting lot ask students positive role models are. think it's really telling time, it's hard cause sometimes I'm like, don't even know is. like, don't think lot conversation, experience last year two, really talks Simone talks people like her, really important stories really important messages provide students with.And you're high school level. I'm curious you're hearing, far talk days.Julian: Yeah, mean, social media folks vein, Real Housewives still get lot of, still get little bit love, makes think elevate and — wouldn't want say commercialize — like get people would consider positive role models like front kids?Marissa: They're though, right? role models they're students — students color, students learning thinking differences. relatable.

  • No matter which sector you’re in, you’re probably experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety at work due to the coronavirus pandemic. After all, managing coronavirus anxiety is a challenge to nearly everyone across the globe right now. For some people with disabilities, this new anxiety may simply be adding to the chronic anxiety they live with on a regular basis. Or they may be feeling particularly nervous about the ways in which this pandemic could impact them due to a health condition. Maybe that’s you, or maybe it’s not. Either way, there’s a good chance that it’s someone on your team. After all, one in four adults in the U.S. has a disability. Employees aren’t required to disclose their conditions to their employers, but it’s safe to assume that most teams in the workplace include at least one person with a disability. Helping your team to manage stress and anxiety is an inclusive practice at any time. Here are a few tools and ideas for you to use and share with your team. 1. “Box breathing” can help with managing coronavirus anxiety, maintaining focus on workHere’s a quick breathing exercise that can physically reduce your stress levels, according to Healthline. “Box breathing” is a simple trick to help calm your nervous system. Healthline describes the many benefits and offers beginner tips. Box breathing isn’t complicated, and it can be done from anywhere. According to Inc., U.S. Navy SEAL Mark Divine learned the trick during SEAL training. He says he uses it “while standing in line, while I’m stuck in traffic, and wherever else I can.” 2. A browsing tool can put the headlines on pauseThe news is changing by the minute. While keeping up with it right now can feel important — and even necessary — it can also be intensely anxiety-provoking. Mindful Browsing is a free app that can put an automatic barrier in front of any websites you choose. It won’t prevent you from checking the headlines — you can still choose to click through. But it will stop you with a prompt that you can customize. For example: “You said you’d rather take five deep breaths.” If this particular app doesn’t work for you, there are lots of free site-blocking apps available. Forcing yourself to disconnect from any news that’s not needed for practical purposes can go a long way toward relieving anxiety. 3. A Slack add-on can build social connections remotelyRight now, lots of workplaces are operating remotely. For some employees with disabilities, remote work is a fact of life — or an accommodation that’s often been unreasonably hard to get. But for other employees with disabilities, remote work can introduce additional stress. And social isolation can compound anxiety for many people. Donut is an app that can help remote team members get to know each other. If your company uses Slack, you can add Donut to have it set up opportunities for remote socialization. 4. Comedy can always reduce anxietyFind some new comedians: The Invisible Disabilities Comedy Show is a stand-up comedy show for comedians with disabilities. They’re on hiatus due to the coronavirus, but they’ve got a list of previous comedians for you to explore. Calming tips for remote workers: Evelyn Ngugi, aka “Evelyn From the Internets,” is a humor writer and YouTuber who works from home. Evelyn offers tips like her 7-Step Reset Routine, which helps her get back on track when she’s feeling overwhelmed. Right now is an anxious time for most people, whether they’re managers or employees. And many people with disabilities are feeling especially anxious as the coronavirus situation unfolds. It’s a good time to be mindful of the anxiety of the people we’re working with, whether they let you know about it or not. Sharing some tips to reduce anxiety can be a way to show inclusivity during a stressful time.

  • ADHD Aha!

    Dr. Sasha Hamdani didn’t know about her ADHD diagnosis for about a decade. She now specializes in ADHD, and battles the stigma that comes with it. Dr. Sasha Hamdani psychiatrist specializes ADHD anxiety. diagnosed ADHD fourth grade starting calls “riot” classroom. didn’t find ADHD much later, hit wall competitive medical school environment. discovering diagnosis, unplugged academics learn herself — ADHD. debunks ADHD myths one one social media.Dr. Sasha shares story, including thoughts parents’ decision tell ADHD adult. Stay tuned end hear Dr. Sasha talk connection ADHD anxiety. get advice ask kids ADHD symptoms. Related resourcesADHD anxietyADHD girlsADHD boredomPre-order Dr. Sasha’s bookDr. Sasha’s InstagramEpisode transcriptSasha: "aha" moment really would went home I'd struggling long time medical school able sit safe environment parents luxury actually learning symptoms learning ADHD learning "Is truly what's happening brain?" think able pull away drowning academic place trying function own, could actually relate symptoms see going on. that's things clicked. like, "OK, yes, definitely this. Now, do?"Laura: Understood Podcast Network, "ADHD Aha!," podcast people share moment finally clicked someone know ADHD. name Laura Key. I'm editorial director Understood. someone who's ADHD "aha" moment, I'll host. today Dr. Sasha Hamdani. Dr. Sasha psychiatrist specializes ADHD, anxiety disorders, among things, also busting stigma ADHD social media. highly recommend checking Dr. Sasha's Instagram. Dr. Sasha, welcome.Sasha: Hi. Thank much me.Laura: Thank here. think cats background well. So, people watching video...Sasha: They're going start fighting. Sorry.Laura: That's OK. We'll roll it. It's OK.Sasha: Yeah.Laura: Dr. Sasha, think need tell "ADHD Aha!" listeners, described riot. Tell happened.Sasha: OK. So, fourth grade, always knew rambunctious side, substitute teacher day, organized coup classroom got everybody stand desks start chanting. retrospect, don't know that. Like, horrible. Especially I've gotten point career recognize extremely essential teachers are. makes feel terrible. yes, point got everyone else behave badly me. shortly teachers talked parents getting evaluated ADHD. right like quick order, getting diagnosed, getting medicated, turning things around. that's coup.Laura: kind behaviors happening around that? Like say, bad behaviors behaving badly.Sasha: Yeah. don't necessarily mean bad, inappropriate environment, guess. symptoms experiencing typical combined type presentation ADHD. So, lot inattentiveness difficulty focusing engaging task hand, also hyperactivity impulsivity. So, generally, combination symptoms, kids capable work, they're getting bored they're entertaining themselves. that's much happening. entertaining moment time.Laura: time, remember feeling like struggling ADHD symptoms, really teacher said something that's started whole path?Sasha: remember feeling bored remember thinking like, "How people get day? long." Unless something hands-on actively interested in, seemed like agony. that's remember.Laura: Lots kids ADHD struggle boredom. Yeah. remember evaluation process? like? parents react thought needing evaluation?Sasha: So, wish better recollection details, I've talked parents since it. So, got confronted parents, like emergent. teacher like, "No, no. can't riots every day. Like, need something."Laura: almost spit water.Sasha: So, like kind like pushing parents, like "Something needs done. isolated event. need something." mom said "It didn't really seem like choice. seemed like needed go on." mom pediatrician. So, really lucky us opportunity get one peers get evaluated. also, went laborious, long educational panel formal ADHD testing educational counselor. I'm assuming he's psychologist, remember office five hours. "Oh, God, cannot answer another question. Let here." that's kind remember educational testing process, although tell noticing practicing difficult access care is, think really lucky respect.Laura: kind feelings bring fourth grader? afraid getting evaluated? worried different? excited?Sasha: So, preface "I'm telling story with, know, don't know point time would done things differently," parents made choice tell ADHD. tell words. tell kind happening. like, "This everyone's doing, teachers recommended " So, didn't really feel kind isolation difference things like that, didn't even know started medication, taking called vitamin. So, taking this. And, know, I've talked parents like, "Why make choice?" wasn't like, barely developed frontal lobe, I'm pass judgment. "But go there?" reason told ADHD really wasn't talked extensively time, felt like sensitive hard time already brown kid sea Caucasian, well-off, affluent people. already felt different. parents said, "We didn't want add one thing plate." Ideally, wish could handled differently, understand coming from. understand kid was, sensitive things different. didn't want different shoe, didn't want different lunchbox. wanted everything could fit seamlessly possible. So, sudden, things didn't seem terrible. Like, sudden, able sit class I'm like, "Oh, OK, haven't gotten trouble tapping foot desk. haven't gotten trouble talking. That's weird."Laura: OK, got diagnosed fourth grade, received treatment ADHD. Things got better. smooth sailing kind of...That it, right? stop conversation?Sasha: That's it. end story.Sasha: long time. smooth sailing. really well elementary school really like think found stride. Like really enjoyed learning became part identity, never before. started like engaging school. wanted run class office. wanted volunteer things. wanted speak class. stayed dose fourth grade 12th grade, think that's problems slide starting tail end 10th grade again, don't know like behavioral, like normal development like shocking difference parents like "What happening you." think experiencing boredom, hyperactivity, impulsivity. you're late high school years, also additional freedom. So, getting trouble more, anything bad, like stuff you're… within context family fabric like go. so, felt like impulsivity getting more. applied medical school high school, got in.Laura: That's typical, right?Sasha: So, early years high school, knew wanted medical school wanted pediatrics like mom. So, started looking programs combined undergrad graduate programs. started looking fastest, found two six-year programs didn't take MCAT get certain grade levels continue it, start med school right high school, start process right away. yeah, it's common don't necessarily think it's great idea.Laura: want go fast? attraction that?Sasha: don't know. knew wanted go. think typical ADHD, there's like sense urgency. like, "OK, know want

  • A number of years ago, I was working at a job that was OK, but was very strict about coming into the office. The boss loved seeing us all there and being able to “drop in” whenever he had an idea. This was a very bad situation for me and my ADHD. But because everyone else seemed fine with it, I just assumed I was deficient in some way. Then it snowed. A lot. And none of us could get to work. And for three days, I didn’t absolutely loathe my job. I worked diligently, with focus and clarity. I wrote more in those days than I ever had under the fluorescent lights in my uncomfortable work clothes, always a little bit anxious. And after that, I knew that the whole working remotely thing just wasn’t negotiable for me anymore. I wasn’t lazy. I wasn’t incapable. I just worked way better when I wasn’t being watched or bothered. And when I could control the sights and smells and sensations around me. I’ve been fortunate to work remotely now for some time. I’ve held a variety of jobs. And since COVID, there are more remote opportunities every day. For many of us with ADHD, that’s a huge blessing. It’s allowed us to find a balance that works for us — and with that, ways to harness our focus and attention. Of course, working remotely isn’t available (or even desirable) for everyone. But there may be ways to adjust your working environment to reduce ADHD triggers and feel less frustration, tension, and discomfort. Here are a handful of extremely specific things that make working easier for me. They probably won’t all work for you. But I hope they’ll give you an idea of small changes you can make to take the wind out of ADHD’s distracting sails. 1. Selective notifications For those of us with finite wells of attention, there’s nothing worse than something unexpectedly pulling it away. I’ve made working easier for myself by limiting how, when, and why I get notifications. I’ve taken badges off almost every app, and the only thing that vibrates is a phone call or a calendar reminder. I also often put my phone in “theater” mode (or whatever it’s called) when I know I’m going to be doing something very attention-intensive. The thing about notifications is that most of the time, you don’t really need to see them immediately. They can wait until after you’ve finished your task — which you’re a lot more likely to do if you didn’t get the notification in the first place. 2. Built-in breaks Nothing helps me get through a particularly onerous task like knowing that, even if I don’t finish it, I can stop doing it after a relatively short amount of time. When I look at my daily to-do list, (I use the organization app Todoist), I’ll set a specific order to do things. Then, when I get to the thing I really don’t want to do, I’ll give myself a time limit, like “Start it  and focus on it completely until noon. Then you can get up and walk around and get a snack.” Almost always, it’s a mental trick and not a practical one. Usually, I end up focusing on a task quickly once it’s started. Then I blow right past the stopping time that I set myself. But knowing that I have the option of a break is a great way to help my brain dial into one task at a time. 3. Bundling rewards with tasksWe all have chores or tasks that we just cannot stand. At work, at home, wherever. We’ll put them off over and over in the vain hope that maybe, if we never unload the dishwasher, the dishes will all melt away and float into the sea, and we won’t have to do it. For these tasks, the only way I can get myself to do them is to bundle them with a reward. For example, I’ll download a podcast that I really want to listen to and save it for when that chore needs to be done. Or watch terrible true crime TV during the workday when I’m doing things like responding to emails. It might seem silly, but it really does help me. 4. FragranceI’m not sure about the science behind this. But I find that I can calm my brain down if I take at least two potentially distracting senses out of the equation. I do that by wearing headphones (and noise or classical music, but nothing with words) and through scent. When I was in my teens and early 20s, I mostly worked in restaurants and coffee shops. So everything smelled great all the time. But if I wore the same shirt to class the next day or went to my internship with my hair down, I’d smell my other jobs constantly. It was so distracting. Out-of-place smells really throw me off. Now that I work from home, I have a lot more control over the physical sensations that I experience. I’ll often light a candle or apply a subtle fragrance under my shirt so that I can feel perfectly comfortable. Whatever sensory input makes it hard to focus, there are usually ways to at least minimize it to a comfortable level. 5. Drinking a ton of waterMany years ago, I met a woman in her 40s with exquisite skin. I asked her what the secret was. When she told me it was “drink a lot of water,” I ran out and bought the biggest bottle I could find. The next day, I realized that drinking my weight in water (figuratively speaking, of course) was also beneficial because it gave me a very real way to express my pent-up energy and avoid fits of workplace boredom: The more water I drank, the more often I had to get up and go to the bathroom. One of the greatest perils of ADHD is boredom. I can be bored to the point of becoming drowsy. But I can break it up by staying well hydrated. Taking a sip of very cold water can help give my brain something novel to focus on, and it ensures me that I’ll have to get up and walk around at some point. ADHD at work: Find strategies that work for youMany more people have some choice and control over how they work now. Keeping the chaos of ADHD at bay is mostly an exercise in figuring out what you don’t like and then eliminating or reducing those things as much as you can. Sometimes it’s as easy as putting in headphones. Other times, it may require an uncomfortable chat. (“Janet, I really need you to respect the ‘Working Time  —  Do Not Disturb’ block I put on my calendar.”)But whatever they may be, the specific shifts you make for your own comfort and ability are valid, important, and worthy of respect.Originally published on our Medium publication for/by. Check out our full collection of stories by adults who learn and think differently.Learn about the link between ADHD and sensory overload. 

  • Understood Explains Season 1

    Get evaluation tips from parents who have been through the process at least once — and experts who have been through it hundreds of times. Parents, teachers, psychologists something wish they’d known sooner kids evaluated special education. bonus episode Understood Explains offers tips parents evaluation process least once — experts hundreds times. Related resourcesHow talk child getting evaluatedEvaluation rights: need knowEpisode transcriptLeslie: name Leslie I'm Little Rock. eldest daughter diagnosed age 7 dyslexia unspecified learning disorders. wish knew evaluation. wish knew heck evaluation!Andy: Understood Podcast Network, "Understood Explains." I'm host, Andy Kahn, bonus episode. Our first season covered every part process school districts use evaluate children special education services. In first 10 episodes, talked parents who've evaluation process least once — experts hundreds times. But one point, people brand-new process — like imagine many listening now. Something didn't hear episodes this: end conversations, asked guests wish would've known sooner evaluation process. We got bunch different answers parents experts alike. found perspectives helpful, enlightening, encouraging beginning evaluation journeys. My hope sharing answers, it'll leave feeling better prepared take school evaluations child. First, let's hear parents.Jennifer: Hi, name Jennifer Atlanta. son, Nathan, who's 11. dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD. wish would known started process son, first requested first evaluation, suspecting reading — unexpected reading problems. concerns reading, that's really school focused evaluated him. kind missed bigger picture. me, time head, like, OK, it's dyslexia, remediate dyslexia, he's going fine. that. found dyslexia, remediated dyslexia, wasn't fine. more. wish would open fact maybe there's challenges well need address. mind, like, get one thing, fix one thing, everything OK. feel like might little easier emotionally would certain one thing going solve problems. Keith: name Keith live Columbus, Georgia. son's name Elijah. He's 11 years old he's diagnosed ADHD. state describe something wish would known earlier ADHD diagnosis, say, knowing it. didn't understand parameters symptoms was. known probably earlier, would able take proactive role assisting managing it.Andy: One theme came often conversations guests focus third episode: rights evaluation process.Michele: name Michele, live Bronx, New York. wish known sooner evaluation process rights parents, rights definitely student, process supposed go. lot times focus taken away process what's best child right. Well, I'm, know, we've made determination. what's best child. It's right. parent feels differently, parent needs go gut instinct, sometimes it's right. never, ever stop advocating finding best possible solution child. Andy: Let’s move experts guests show. One advice think parents caregivers take heart.Christina: name Christina. special educator 10 years currently work private clinic offers neuropsychological evaluations parents concerned student's academic needs might require special education services. Thinking experience educator, years spent school evaluation teams, whenever arrived place discussing recommendations students' plans, evaluated, going determine program going look like, wish known recommendations could make even school didn't offer it, students might still receive service. example might specialized classroom setting like 12:1, 12 students one teacher. smaller class setting sometimes allowed students really get handle academic content instructed. Sometimes, though, didn't always recommend wasn't necessarily school offered working in. important remember wasn't necessarily school offered much child needed needed recommended. that's something moving forward I've kept mind.Andy: Another expert guest insight parents interacting schools — seen kind, helpful collaborator nice thing do.Andrew: Hi, I'm Andrew Lee. I'm Understood editor. I'm also lawyer authored studies disability education rights schools. One thing wish parents learned sooner evaluation process notion collaborating school something that's nice friendly sweet. actually huge benefits you.First all, makes sure get best result child, you're working best manner school. Second, road, there's ever serious conflict dispute school, oftentimes, someone new like mediator hearing officer come look what's happened. see you've real partner school, you've tried best work school get solution, they're likely side whatever dispute is.Now, I'm talking collaboration, I'm saying go along flow whatever school wants. I'm saying assertive child needs, time, polite respectful good partner process.Andy: Let’s hear one expert.Ellen: Hi, I'm Ellen Braaten. I'm child psychologist specializes evaluating kids learning attention differences. I'm also mother two children, one also attention differences.What wish knew first starting psychologist something that's kind obvious. it's kids grow — kids see, regardless much struggling now, grow successful, competent adults. don't think could really understood saw kids grow adulthood. saw kids evaluated seemed significant issues things like reading, social skills, attention differences grow find area adulthood right them. it's wonderful see that. It also helps me, psychologist, realize goal right reassure parents, let know every child finds way, way. need present figure get there. Andy: wrap up, want share one thing wish would known sooner. I've evaluating kids nearly 20 years. point, started telling parents it's lot harder break kids think. You see, kids resilient. even though evaluation process may nerve-racking families, it's worth kid's sake.So don't wait. Talk child. Help child buy evaluation process. Help see what's them. And don't afraid partner school, ask lots questions. Together, you, child, school plan better, comprehensive, maybe even efficient assessment offers insights what's going on, leads right supports help child thrive.You've listening Season 1 "Understood Explains," Understood Podcast Network. want learn topics covered series, check show notes episode visit one last reminder we're for, I'm going turn Nina read credits. Take away, Nina! Nina: "Understood Explains" produced Julie Rawe Cody Nelson, also sound design show. Briana Berry production director. Andrew Lee editorial lead. theme music written Justin D. Wright, also mixes show. Understood Podcast Network, Laura Key editorial director, Scott Cocchiere creative director, Seth Melnick executive producer. special thanks Amanda Morin parents experts helped us make show. Thanks listening, see next time.Andy: Understood nonprofit organization dedicated helping people learn think differently discover potential thrive. Learn understood.o

  • In an ideal world, it would be easy to get help from your boss or employer. But in the real world, that might not always happen. Let’s say you ask your boss for a quiet work space so you can focus better. You make clear that you’re asking because you want to do your job well. Maybe your boss isn’t willing to help. Maybe they can’t — or think they can’t. Or maybe you don’t have a relationship where you feel comfortable asking. What then?You have a few options:Bypass your bossIf you need an accommodation for a disability, you may be able to bypass your boss and reach out directly to human resources (HR). You can learn about your employer’s accommodations policy by asking the HR department or by looking on your company’s intranet, if they have one. It may be possible to start the accommodations process yourself by filling out a form. Some companies will require that you disclose a disability and provide medical documentation to get an accommodation.Talk with a co-workerAnother option is to ask for advice from a co-worker you trust. You may be able to get suggestions for how to manage a specific issue. You might get a fresh take on your boss. You can ask how the co-worker has gotten your boss’s support in the past.Connect with a diversity group at workSee whether your company has an employee resource group (ERG) organized around disability or neurodiversity. ERGs are volunteer-led groups focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Connecting with your ERG may give you ideas for advocacy, resources, and networking.Think about other work optionsIf the issue isn’t urgent, you can try to build trust with your boss. Over time, your boss may become more open and flexible. If not, you may want to consider whether you want to work with this person or in this environment — and what your options are. Even if you have formal accommodations, having your manager’s support is important. Having a disability and not getting support from your boss is more than frustrating. It can impact your performance. Being able to talk about challenges and solutions with your boss, HR department, and co-workers lets you get the help you need to do your best work. Learn more about:What an inclusive workplace looks likeDisclosing a disability to your employerTips for talking with co-workers about challenges

  • How’d You Get THAT Job?!

    Kristjana Williams is a London-based Icelandic artist with dyslexia. She wasn’t diagnosed until she was 25, and now she has her own studio. Kristjana Williams London-based Icelandic artist dyslexia. wasn’t diagnosed 25 attending Central Saint Martins, art school many students learn think differently. Now, she’s renowned collage artist studio.Growing Iceland undiagnosed dyslexia frustrating Kristjana. would try hard accomplish work, couldn’t quite get without support needed. Today, knows brain works differently, leans strengths. It’s work creative comes together naturally. Listen week’s episode How’d Get Job?! hear Kristjana’s dyslexia affects memory, led collage art medium.Related resourcesUndiagnosed dyslexia, low self-esteem: Becoming fashion designer, another How’d Get Job?! episodeFAQs bilingualism dyslexiaKristjana’s studio artEpisode transcriptKristjana: remember telling parents, remember dad saying, "Oh, yeah, always wondered couldn't spell name." like, oof. definitely know brain works differently. think allows put things together. happens magnetically. It's natural.Eleni: Understood Podcast Network, "How'd Get Job?," podcast explores unique often unexpected career paths people learning thinking differences. name Eleni Matheou, I'm user researcher Understood. means spend lot time thinking find jobs love reflect learn are. I'll host.Kristjana Williams Icelandic artist based London. dyslexia. studied Central Saint Martins College Art School, found lot others thought differently like her. wasn't diagnosed dyslexia 25 years old. she's part Dyslexic Design art collective running studio since 2012. Hello. Welcome.Kristjana: Thank much me.Eleni: Well, thought good place start studio. tell studio. there?Kristjana: We're studio. Kristjana Williams Studio. heart fine art. like creations, there's always, like, collections make personally year. another half studio commercial projects brand related, also work really well together anybody who's buying art needs happy people I'm working with. that's like two main sides it.And work collage, lot digital art. kind XR well physical 3D pieces, well limited-edition prints. It's interesting actually, started kind kitchen table kind grow, probably one hardest bits get somebody else work you. kind slowly grew that, kitchen table studio. two people four people six, think we're 10 moment.Eleni: want talk little bit chosen medium perhaps like would describe work?Kristjana: role artist, creative director. beginning, some — nature work, much research working Victorian engravings. might find three older telescopes able make new instrument. often would use different scientific material kind create buildings architecture.And young person, used draw things really intense way. Central Saint Martins, internship woman fashion label, started drawing patterns her. actually one introduced silkscreen printing Victorian engravings. Victorian engravings used lot fashion industry London, would create huge giant clips. we're really quick turnaround next season, next season. like three four seasons her. gave idea working big working scale. always interested kind animation digital side things.Eleni: first start collage drew it? like it?Kristjana: kid constant drawing, painting, it. it's interesting. really look back, see work is — like thread it. Even like linocutting stuff started screen printing, really loved, using screens stamp, again, like complete thread that.So collage actually came much later. It's kind realizing work digitally, fashion create big fabrics quickly.Eleni: mentioned dyslexia. link attraction collage artistic practice way brain works dyslexia?Kristjana: dyslexic school Iceland, course, I'm age group, idea. like probably every dyslexic experiences: really frustrating, knowing it, still can't quite get there. things you're good mostly, like variation dyslexia vast. think definitely memory affected really specific way where, know, remember, just — can't get short-term memory quick enough.So feel like finally went Central Saint Martins, wasn't 25, Central Saint Martins, immediately went right get tested. like, oh. didn't think much it, learn navigate it. remember telling parents. remember dad saying, "Oh yeah. always wondered couldn't spell name."And like, oof. frustrated. just, yeah, think definitely know brain works differently. way think, allows put things together. happens magnetically. It's natural.Eleni: mentioned one challenges first working team able communicate thinking years like studio working team. Like learned able communicate what's brain externalize what's going head?Kristjana: think definitely look beginning, again, frustrated something clear head, couldn't communicate easily. definitely journey, journey hammering, gets easier just — you're around nice enough people understand see do, just, faith humanity.And feel like girls studio now, know me. know remember, won't remember. know remind certain things. know I'm going go airport without passport, like 30th time. they're kind floating around work together. actually, I'm getting older, feel like I'm using, like — I'm getting better things.Eleni: kind talked team first came onboard, talked it. mean talked specifically dyslexia might impact day day? mean said that?Kristjana: beginning. think people definitely experienced person would flip around quite lot. I've got older like team established, feel like past four five years, like I'm always vocal it. say, "I can't really hear. Would say letters loud picture them?" like people talking really fast phone, like breaking something they're spelling, always make point talking it. it's also certain disruption studio. fact, took long time learn could ask break.Eleni: think ways dyslexia influences manage team manage studio, like beyond creating work itself?Kristjana: I'd like think so. makes kind empathy many creative people neurodiversity. feel really comfortable around them. Also, like realize look back friends automatically grow people little bit similar you.Eleni: would say you've learned dyslexia years? could go back talk 20- 30-year-old self, like would say?Kristjana: think I'd mostly like speak 10-year-old self. I'd kind give pat back say, know, you're crazy. confusing. think 20s, think never associated dyslexia affects memory. still thought me.And working dyslexic art exhibitions Jim Rokos, friend also Central Saint Martins. Um, completely forgot going say.Eleni: funny thing talking memory.Kristjana: Oh, yeah. Oh, yes. OK. So. Yes. memory thoughts. They're like floating top ocean. even though heard something, likelihood I'll able get it? Quite slim. I'm just — think I've lived fear feeling quite stupid. really makes doubt yourself.And think got diagnosed, it's actually like 25, 26, know hectic time. always person 100 things time. yes, think didn't actually start read 40s. Looking back, feel like would educated bit diversity dyslexia.Eleni: dyslexia manifest differently across languages?Kristjana: No, it's interesting. Icelandic quite literal, it's still quite wordy. expressing English, find really easy. Icelandic really similar, Icelandic it's just — it's still letters. It's just, it's hearing hesitation writing, even though it's fantastic computers spellcheck I, know, compose things really quickly now. Though think it's quite similar.Eleni: heard that, yeah, wondered experience like you. want give us example project you're working right now, perhaps little bit artistic process that?Kristjana: 20 projects going moment. Victoria Albert Museum one favorite places world, it's big contrast Iceland growing there. it's bit like going old English places like — find you're curious one. I've working since 2011.And installation British Galleries could sit sofa. I'd really intricate like junker, like collages, could collage. four corners that. really, really fun, always feel deep everybody creativity inside them, kind leave door. that's collage amazing.Like I've done many like live collage workshops digital ones, it's always brilliant different people come with. like four pieces, everybody like, oh, really want open work? Ot want everybody able go work just — nobody wants do. Everybody wants thing. continue work throughout years about —.Eleni: decade. It's pretty amazing.Kristjana: Yes, the — huge exhibition Alice Wonderland: Curiouser Curiouser. commissioned book that. VR experience within exhibition. like working digitally able kind break everything part paper theaters amazing.Eleni: That's exciting. Thank you, Kristjana, joining London.Kristjana: Thanks me.Eleni: You've listening "How'd Get Job?!" Understood Podcast Network. show you. want make sure you're getting need. Email us thoughts show. maybe you'd like tell us got job. We'd love hear you.If want learn topics covered today, check show notes episode. include resources well links anything mentioned episode. Also, one goals Understood help change workplace everyone thrive. Check we're That's letter U dot org slash resource dedicated help people learn think differently discover potential thrive. Learn"How'd Get Job?!" produced Margie DeSantis edited Mary Matthis. Briana Berry production director. theme music written Justin D. Wright, also mixes show. Understood Podcast Network, Laura Key editorial director, Scott Cocchiere creative director, Seth Melnick executive producer. I'm host, Eleni Matheou. Thank listening.

  • Recently, ProPublica reported that a Michigan court sent a 15-year-old African American girl with ADHD to juvenile detention hall for violating probation. Her offense? She hadn’t done her homework during remote learning. The teen was originally on probation for fighting with her mom and stealing a cell phone at school. But homework was the court’s reason for putting her in detention.Two voices from Understood by Us, Olivia Thomas and Atira Roberson, talk about what happened and how they feel about it. Both Olivia and Atira are young Black women who learn and think differently.Olivia: First off, this is extremely upsetting and messed up. If you read the story, the girl seems like an average teenager.Yeah, she got in fights with her mom. And she took electronics from school, which is understandable because she didn’t have that at home. But her mom lacked the resources to be able to understand her daughter. Both of them seemed kind of lost and the system made it worse.Atira: It definitely did, which is frustrating. Because you have this whole team of people at school who should have been responsible for helping the girl with homework. Even with everyone online because of coronavirus.There was no reason the school didn’t have the means to track her progress. They knew she had ADHD. They knew she had a mood disorder. I don’t know many kids who are going to be able to sit at the laptop for X amount of hours for Zoom calls and Google Classroom. You are asking a lot out of a child.And then she had a special education plan. So then my question is, if you knew we were going to be online, why didn’t you plan for this? Why did you not reach out to the mother? She doesn’t know what to do, clearly. I have so many questions for the school. Like why!?Olivia: Exactly.Atira: I mean, I know she is not the only student who has been impacted by COVID. I know she isn’t the only one who didn’t do her homework. Why is she the one you deem to be the problem child? How is putting her in juvenile hall supposed to correct the problem?Olivia: You are also putting this child into more harm’s way because of COVID, because she could get sick in juvenile hall, because she could spread it. You are not just impacting her life; you are impacting everyone. Putting kids away for minor things is just adding gasoline to the fire. I’m just like heated about this.Atira: Yes. Unfortunately, this is going to traumatize this girl. It wouldn’t be surprising if her attitude is going to be off for the next few years, or she ends up getting into more trouble because of this.Olivia: And also something we haven’t talked about is race. I don’t think this would have ever happened to a white child. Atira: Not at all.Olivia: There would be more steps. There would be more prevention. Putting this girl into jail is the easiest answer, and just part of people of color’s lives. The possibility to go to prison or to go to juvie because you are Black.Atira: I read a quote on Instagram. It said something like: The system was never broken. It was doing exactly what it is designed to do, which is to work against us. It was not made for people of color at all. We were not included in the process.So what can we do to throw that system in the garbage and come up with something different? Because this is not working.Olivia: This is how school-to-prison works.Atira: We need to acknowledge the problem. I’m not going to name-drop.Olivia: Do it!Atira: Everyone is tiptoeing around these issues because it’s not little Sally Jo. Unless you have the time to be that parent who is able to go to the school and demand answers, you are going to end up falling through the cracks. That’s what my mom had to do. She is a very intimidating person. If she didn’t go to school and ask questions, I probably wouldn’t have gotten as far as I’ve gotten, and graduated from high school and college like I have. Because they wanted to put me in easy classes. And I knew they were too easy. And my mom knew that I knew that it was too easy.My mom demanded answers. And when you back them up against the wall, they have no choice but to answer. But it’s just frustrating that it has to get to that point because people don’t understand Black people unless we get disrespectful and irate. And it shouldn’t have to get to that point.Olivia: Yeah, and that’s the stereotype right? Every Black woman. It shouldn’t have to go that far. Instead of demanding answers, the school should have said: Here, here are the answers.COVID is not going away. It seems to just be getting worse. We need to work better, harder, smarter. We need to do justice to our Black kids. So we don’t go backwards.Atira: I think until people take full responsibility for the way the system is set up, this is going to keep happening. Thankfully, we have news reporters who are keeping a record of these things.This teen is not the only kid who had problems going to school online. Our education system should have worked with her, not against her. But with how the system is run right now, I don’t see that happening. But as far as who put her in detention, they need to be held accountable. We need answers. More than an “I’m sorry.” Because “I’m sorry” isn’t going to take away the emotional trauma that this girl is going through.Editor's note: After this interview was published, the Michigan Court of Appeals ordered the release of the 15-year-old girl.Read about Ryan’s experience in school as a young Black boy with ADHD. And check out statistics on how school suspensions impact students with learning and thinking differences.

  • The Opportunity Gap

    Schools are facing a huge shortage of special education teachers. What’s the impact on special education students and kids of color? Schools around country facing huge shortage special education teachers staff. teacher shortage impacting kids disabilities learning thinking differences? kids marginalized? Co-host Marissa Wallace starts episode story husband, Black man, offered special education teaching job even though he’s field finance. kicks discussion co-host Julian Saavedra there’s teacher shortage — impact. Julian Marissa share experiences parents teachers, react news stories around country. also share tips families schools say can’t deliver services staff shortages.Related resources10 smart responses school cuts denies services7 tips improve relationship child’s teacherPodcast: IEPs different wealthy schools?Episode transcriptJulian: Welcome "The Opportunity Gap," podcast families kids color learn think differently. explore issues privilege, race, identity. goal help advocate child. I'm Julian Saavedra.Marissa: I'm Marissa Wallace. Julian worked together years teachers public charter school Philadelphia, saw opportunity gaps firsthand.Julian: we're parents kids color. personal us.Welcome back "The Opportunity Gap." I'm co-host, Marissa, producer, Andrew. Marissa, you?Marissa: I'm good, Julian, know, crazy story tell you. wild story. today, working one students, I, like, overhear conversation. Romario phone. Romario husband. And, um, he's phone, conversation, sounds jazzed. He's saying, know, "Oh, well, choice, like, I'd either choose Washington, DC, New York City." I'm like, this? sounded kind job-related. gets phone. says, "Listen, got this, like, great offer." I'm like, oh, tell more.Now, mind you, husband school finance. is, know, someone prior finance engineering. that's, like, area expertise. like, "Yeah, company called, wanted know would interested taking special education teaching position could relocate." Right? "And they'd give sign-on bonus."And I'm like, oh, we're desperate? desperate United States right now, looking people's LinkedIn like, "Oh, hey, even though nothing LinkedIn page screams educator, you're certified, let call offer red carpet much need teachers." Isn't wild? ready go it.Julian: No, shade brother, good brother Romario, shade him, he's qualified special education teacher all.Marissa: all. Even maybe, like, math teacher, science, but, like, went right special education teacher.Julian: I'm floored came nowhere.Marissa: I'm, like, curious. I'm like, LinkedIn site? Like, know picture, I'm like, they, like, profiling? They're like, "Oh, Black male, let call guy offer job." something in, like, made company think going get special education teacher, things?Julian: So, Marissa, actually really good introduction we're talking today, specifically teacher shortage impacting entire nation.Marissa: Absolutely.Julian: Andrew research regarding teacher shortage. Andrew, want tell us little bit findings were?Andrew: Yeah, here's really interesting article ABC News. start 2021–2022 school year. Massachusetts governor deployed National Guard bus drivers take kids school.Julian: What?!Andrew: Here's another article, "New York Times." Title "Substitute Teachers Never Got Much Respect, Demand." staff shortages, schools canceling classes. Others basically hiring whatever substitute teachers find. article, I'm looking now, they're talking Oregon, passed law executive order basically saying could bypass regular certification become substitute teacher.Julian: don't know y'all familiar phrase "glow up," talk glow substitutes. went bottom highly demand.Marissa: hard part, though, there's enough though.Julian: ever enough?Marissa: Right. that's I'm saying. They've tough time. know, like, currently there's, um, what's happening son's school they're actually point substitute shortage real too. goes teacher's out, kids get dispersed throughout school. good friend mine whose daughter also there, fifth-grade student spent last week third-grade classroom.Julian: Yeah. mean, it's also coupled amount teachers calling stress potentially quarantining children. amount teacher absences definitely increased, combined lack people fill in, problem. else have, Andrew?Andrew: Yeah, next one, "Washington Post" article. Title "The Principal Cleaning Bathroom: Schools Reel Staff Shortages." interesting article think first time saw mentioned actually kids disabilities students disabilities losing services.Julian: Yeah. mean, definitely think experiences last four months, we've become jacks trades. know, tools office use fix things. one day might find cafeteria; one day might cleaning. it's funny, it's also really difficult, especially students disabilities getting services need staffing shortages.Marissa: kinds complications.Andrew: Yeah, reports federal government statistics this, put, like, real hard numbers.Marissa: Yeah.Andrew: 460,000 unfilled state local education jobs, right school year. That's almost three times many start last school year. educators, workers general, tends happen schools. tends bigger impact ones parents families see.Julian: repeat number again? Like, many unfilled state local education jobs there?Andrew: Yeah, looked government statistics this, said 460,000 unfilled state local education jobs start school year — 460,000. That's half million. It's almost three times many start last school year.Julian: Wow. mean, speak experience. school, experiencing pretty major shortage special education. mean, need fill least 12 positions, that's including food services, bus drivers, climate staff, secretaries, mean, general, everybody overworked. really hope it's going start negatively impacting students.Andrew, thank much sharing information. think it's great start-off conversation.Andrew: Anytime.Julian: So, Marissa, think this?Marissa: definitely agree there's teacher shortage year. However, I'd like push there's teacher shortage think especially area special education for, honestly, since remember. know back first started friendship, working together, wasn't bad time. don't remember teacher shortage particular time school severe now.Within last five years specifically now, thick pandemic, especially think kids going back person, feel like that's impacted decline sure. added, course, teacher shortage.Julian: think happening? reasons shortage prevalent right now?Marissa: mean, look whole, feel like there's multiple layers this. One reason feel like shortage teachers special education real lot new teachers coming it, they're coming teaching profession interesting time history there's lot areas gray figure best serve students. even though might've went got certification classes this, that, whatever support students, might know information, putting practice virtual slash in-person world, think added extra layer stress new teachers coming leaving quick.And opposite, right? veteran teachers work 10, 15, 20 years. also either gotten burned again, it's, like, adding additional parts workload navigate pandemic alongside supporting students, writing document

Wunder The first community app for parents and caregivers of children who learn and think differently.

Available on Android and iOS

Learn more

Copyright © 2014-2023 Understood For All Inc.