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My Labor Day was Triumphant! And I was resilient.

I accomplished everything on my list:
  1. Got rid of the ants in my kitchen
  2. Basked in the glory of finishing my triathlon! (Yes, I did it)
  3. Read buckets of personal statements
  4. Booked a college trip to Oberlin and Wooster 
  5. Sent good wishes to my seniors starting college
  6. Watched several movies!

Speaking of movies…

Have you ever seen  Akeelah and the Bee?

 It is such a great feel-good film about Akeelah Anderson (Keke Palmer) a bright girl who lives in a tough neighborhood; Akeelah finds solace in her love of spelling, and she discovers that she has a natural gift.

When Akeelah wins the school spelling bee, her principal, Dr. Larabee (Laurence Fishburne), encourages her to compete in the national competition. Dr. Larabee becomes her mentor and they begin training together

so love the  “Our deepest fear” scene where Akeelah reads Marianne Williamson Quote:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson 

I always get teary-eyed in this scene because it makes me face the reality of my own Self-doubt and I feel the weight of all my students who have to manage all of the spoken and unspoken expectations.

It’s amazing to me how many students come to be “beaten down” by the education system.  There is no other place besides High School where we expect students to be GREAT at EVERYTHING.

I was honored to do a webinar for ADDitude Magazine this past week, where I got to dive into The College Application Process for Neurodiverse students. 

In this webinar, I explored:

  • When the application process should ideally begin to ensure a less stressful experience
  • How to conduct a college search that considers neurodiversity factors, including support services, campus accommodations, and inclusive communities
  • About effective techniques for creating an organized system to keep track of applications, deadlines, and required documents
  • About practical tools to help both students and parents stay on top of the application timeline
  • How to help your child articulate their unique experiences, strengths, and aspirations in a college essay
  • Appropriate ways caregivers can support their neurodivergent children during the application process while fostering independence

I have spent much of my life advocating for neurodiverse students who have amazing strengths and amazing challenges! I often tell them: JUST WAIT until you get into the REAL world and focus on the things you love and study the things you WANT to STUDY!

It’s amazing!!  In the “real world,” we don’t have to be experts in calculus, AP Lit, Biology, star athletes, and artists all at the same time!

Instead, we go into the world and try and fail and try and try again. And the measure of success? We build resilience instead of a GPA.

There are many different paths to launch and thousands of different gap programs, trade, colleges, and universities that can support an individual’s passions and visions.

As we head into the fall months, I wish for ALL OF US that we do NOT  PLAY SMALL and instead let our LIGHT SHINE IN THE WORLD! 

Additional Resources: 

Join our Parent Community 

Join the Counselor Community 

Listen to our Growing Good Humans Podcast 

Check out the Neurodiversity Guide to The College Education Process