We All Learn Differently: Empowering Neurodivergent Middle Schoolers

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About the Guest(s): Bari Levin is a retired special educator with over 34 years of experience, predominantly working with middle school students with learning differences. She is actively involved with the I Am Able Foundation, focusing on storytelling to remove the stigma associated with neurodiversity. Bari co-leads the We All Learn Differently campaign to foster understanding and empathy for neurodivergent students in middle schools.

Episode Summary: In this episode of the Think Inclusive Podcast, host Tim Villegas interviews Bari Levin, a seasoned special educator and advocate for neurodivergent students. The discussion dives into the We All Learn Differently campaign, an initiative that leverages storytelling to eliminate the stigma around learning differences in middle school students. Bari shares his insights on the importance of understanding and empathy in fostering a supportive learning environment for all students.

Bari Levin elaborates on the origins and objectives of the We All Learn Differently campaign, which she co-developed under the auspices of the Educating All Learners Alliance and the I Am Able Foundation. The campaign specifically targets middle school students, promoting a deeper understanding of learning differences through engaging videos, an interactive playbook, and classroom activities. Bari’s extensive experience in special education is evident as she discusses the impact of recognizing diverse learning styles and providing tools for students to advocate for themselves.

Bari emphasizes the significance of creating positive dialogues around learning differences both in the classroom and at home. The campaign’s playbook includes practical resources and activities designed for teachers, counselors, and parents to facilitate these crucial conversations. With the backing of the community and ongoing feedback from participants, Bari aims to expand the reach of the We All Learn Differently campaign, fostering environments where every student feels understood and valued.

Transcript: https://otter.ai/u/ClPrq7tWRreQJ71QvtJOhpu5ImY

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding Learning Differences: The campaign highlights the importance of recognizing and accommodating diverse learning styles in middle school students.
  • Empowerment Through Storytelling: The campaign aims to foster empathy and reduce stigma by sharing personal stories of neurodivergent individuals.
  • Parental Involvement: Resources are provided to help parents have open conversations with their children about learning differences.
  • Practical Classroom Integration: The playbook offers accessible activities that can be seamlessly integrated into the existing curriculum without overwhelming educators.
  • Ongoing Development: Continued feedback and data collection aim to refine and expand the campaign’s resources and impact.


I Am Able Foundation: https://www.iamablefoundation.org/

We All Learn Differently: https://www.wealllearndifferently.com/

Thanks to our sponsor: https://dcmp.org/

MCIE: https://www.mcie.org/

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