Back-to-School Stress: Why I Believe Self-Advocacy Can Help

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As president of Eye to Eye, the largest national mentoring organization for kids with learning and thinking differences (and an Understood founding partner), I get to talk to a lot of parents. Right now, the biggest thing on their minds is back-to-school.

Academics is a big concern for many parents. But there’s also a social-emotional side of the new school year, especially the stress and anxiety that kids face.

I understand this firsthand because I went through these struggles as a kid. I remember my ninth-grade year as being a particularly tough back-to-school transition.

During the first week of ninth grade, my English teacher assigned us Shakespeare’s Macbeth to read.

“Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.”

—Macbeth, Act 4, Scene 1

I have dyslexia and ADHD, and I started worrying that reading this play was going to be impossible for me. How was I going to do this? I could feel my hands shaking and my palms sweating—my stress level went through the roof. Click here to read more.