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Understood by us

Because all of us who learn and think differently want to be understood.

Atira Roberson

“Trust me—if I can do this, then I know for sure you can!”

  • In grad school

  • Passionate about advocacy, education reform, and community

  • Differences: Dyslexia, dyscalculia (math), ADHD

Shadi Abdalla

“You’ll never unlock your full potential unless you accept your differences and learn how to manipulate them to your benefit.”

  • In college

  • Premed student, philosophy enthusiast, table tennis fan

  • Differences: ADHD

Ilena Katsonis

“What is your loudest voice? It took me so long to accept art as mine. Whatever it may be, we all have a voice in us and it isn’t a linear path to finding your own.”

  • In the workforce

  • Muay Thai fighter, freelance artist, loves to create

  • Differences: ADHD, OCD, anxiety, physical challenges, avoiding self-sabotage

Ryan Douglass

“What has been done should be less of a concern than what could be done.”

  • In the workforce

  • Published author, advocate for better representation of queer people of color

  • Differences: ADHD, dyslexia

Henry Lang

“Only an attention-deficit hyperactive 8-year-old would manage to swallow an entire Tostitos chip without chewing first.”

  • In college

  • Camp counselor, theater addict

  • Differences: ADHD, processing speed, dysgraphia (writing)

Savannah Treviño-Casias

“Embrace your difference, and show the world that you are capable, successful, and empowered.”

  • In grad school

  • Expert in all things self-advocacy

  • Differences: Dyscalculia (math), anxiety

Jo Shaffer

“ADHD runs in my family, but I’m the first generation to get tested and seek treatment.”

  • In the workforce

  • Obsessed with 3D animation, bass player in a band (The Ophelias)

  • Differences: ADHD, trouble with math

Mimi Schweid

“Glorified nerd for all things comics, film, and television. A writer of all things fantastically strange.”

  • In the workforce

  • Writing books since 2008, avid comic book and cosplay fan

  • Differences: Dyslexia, anxiety

Jay Oliveras

“In life, there are two routes you can go down. There’s the route traveled by most. Then there’s the route everyone is scared of. Don’t try to fit in.”

  • Starting college

  • Focused on becoming a world-class journalist, enjoys sports and video games

  • Differences: ADHD, autism, social anxiety

Andrea Toledano

“I have all this energy to burn—and I don’t know where it comes from. Imagine 80 open tabs on Chrome: That’s how my mind has always worked.”

  • In the workforce

  • Candidate for public office, freelancer writer, passionate about education reform

  • Differences: ADHD

Ben Shapiro

“Give in to the treatment. Stop fighting it. It never helps to say it just gets better or this is just a crappy phase in your life.”

  • In the workforce (Understood staff)

  • Aspiring comedian

  • Differences: ADHD, OCD

Olivia Thomas

“I want anyone reading this to understand that you may not be perfect—but if you are failing and learning, you are so much better than perfect.”

  • In the workforce 

  • Preschool teacher; loves watercolors, cooking, and writing poetry

  • Differences: Dyslexia, processing speed