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Amanda Morin

Writer, author, speaker, podcast host, Wearer of Many Hats

Location icon United States

2020- present: Associate Director of Thought Leadership & Expertise, Understood
2013-2020: Writer and Senior Expert, Family Advocacy and Education, Understood.org
2006-Present: Freelance writer, specializing in education and parenting.

Bylines: Understood.org, Education.com, New York Times-owned digital properties, Parenting Special Needs Magazine, Education Week, Inclusion From Square One, Circle of Moms, and more.

Expert resource for: NPREd, Education Week, Associated Press (AP), The Atlantic, Washington Post, The Hechinger Report, Education World, USA Today, and more.

Winner of a 2017 SmartBrief Education Editor’s Choice Content Award

Portfolio

Books & Recent Articles

Simon & Schuster
2015
On-the-Go Fun for Kids!

From scavenger hunts and word puzzles to educational apps and imaginative play, On-the-Go Fun for Kids! offers 100 engaging activities they'll want to do again and again.

Simon & Schuster
2013
The Everything Kids' Learning Activities Book

Using the word "educational" can be the quickest way to lose a child's interest. But the games, projects, and experiments in The Everything Kids' Learning Activities Book are so much fun, your kids won't even know they're learning!

Understood
08/07/2020
IEP Accommodations During Distance Learning

The coronavirus pandemic is bringing new challenges to special education and distance learning. Learn what accommodations can look like during distance learning for students who receive special education services.

Understood
08/03/2020
School Refusal: How to Help Your Child Cope

Many families feel stressed about back-to-school this year. And some kids may be so anxious that they resist or refuse school. That's true whether they're going back to a school building, continuing distance learning, or doing a mix of both.

Medium
04/15/2020
Every Child is the 1 in 5 Now

Amid COVID19, parents are struggling to figure out how to be teachers, and teachers are struggling to figure out how to accommodate differences in their new learning environments. We're all trying to adapt-and to manage challenges that look like learning and thinking differences.

Recent Media Quotes

Nytimes
08/24/2020
When the World Shut Down, They Saw It Open

“Students can step back and learn at their own pace, and also communicate with teachers in a more comfortable way,” said Amanda Morin, a senior expert at Understood, a nonprofit providing learning resources to educators and families. (The change has not been as positive, Ms. Morin emphasized, for students with physical disabilities, who have lost access to in-school support specialists.)"

The Sundress Blog
08/27/2020
Sundress Reads: What Is Empathy: A Bullying Storybook for Kids - The Sundress Blog

What Is Empathy? A Bullying Storybook for Kids is a children's picture book about social and verbal bullying, which many children encounter every school year. Author Amanda Morin states a clear intention for her book before introducing a highly relatable tale told, alternatively, from the perspectives of Sofia and Ava.

SAFY
08/25/2020
Back to School During a Pandemic | SAFY

According to Amanda Morin writing for understood.org, “The goal of brain breaks for kids is to help their brains shift focus.” She explains that breaks can include exercise, guided meditation or quiet activities. She also offers two ways to schedule breaks, by time intervals (which tend to work better for younger learners) or by a number of tasks completed (which can benefit older students).

Press Herald
05/15/2020
Scarborough author releases children's book

SCARBOROUGH - Local author and former educator Amanda Morin has released her first children's book the goal of which is to teach young students how to be empathetic. "What is Empathy? A Bullying Storybook for Kids" follows best friends Sofia and Ava, as they reach a potentially friendship-ending situation and learn how to see the problem through each other's eyes.

Articles

NAESP | Principal Magazine
January/February 2020. Volume 99, Number 3.
In the Know About IEPs | NAESP

Principals must be conversant in special education terminology to collaborate with parents. By Amanda Morin Consider this scenario: You're sitting in a meeting concerning an individualized education program (IEP), and the discussion over placement or programming gets heated.

TODAY.com
What to say when your child doesn't want to go back to school

As a mom of three wonderfully frustrating kids of varying ages, all of whom have very different ways of approaching learning, I've heard "I don't want to go to school" more than a few times as summer vacation comes to its inevitable end.

Education Week - Leadership 360
07/27/2019
Advocacy Doesn't Have to Begin With a Scarlet 'A'

Once parents feel empowered to share their thoughts in a productive way and an IEP team knows that the parent wants to understand the process better to be an equal participant in the team, the job of the advocate is done.

Inclusionfromsquareone
04/17/2019
Making the Case for Not Having to Make the Case for Inclusion

You already know we're all here because we want to answer the question, " How do we start schools that aren't already inclusive?" We all come from different backgrounds and entry points, but share the mission of creating a more inclusive world.

Motherly
04/02/2019
Does my child have a learning issue? 10 steps to take to find out

If you're wondering whether learning and attention issues may be the reason why your child is struggling in school or at home, you're not alone. One in five kids have dyslexia, ADHD, or other learning and attention issues, and with the right support, they can thrive both inside and outside the class...

Understood.org
The Difference Between Discipline and Punishment

Are discipline and punishment the same thing? People often use the terms interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two. Discipline is a way to teach kids to follow rules or correct misbehavior. There is negative discipline and positive discipline. Punishment is a form of negative discipline.

Education Week - Leadership 360
07/27/2019
Working With Parents to Make 'Outside-the-Box' Learners Successful

Guest blogger Amanda Morin is a parent advocate, a former teacher, the Content Development Manager at Understood.org and the author of three books, The Everything Parent's Guide to Special Education, The Everything Kids' Learning Activities Book and On-the-Go Fun for Kids: More Than 250 Activities to Keep Little Ones Busy and Happy--Anytime, Anywhere!

Understood
The Difference Between Tantrums and Sensory Meltdowns

Many people think the words "tantrum" and "meltdown" mean the same thing. And they can look very similar when you see a child in the middle of having one. But for kids who have sensory processing issues or who lack self-control, a meltdown is very different from a tantrum.

POPSUGAR Family
05/27/2017
The Common Discipline Mistakes Moms Make (and Regret)

"Kids will do well if they can" is a basic mantra that Dr. Ross Greene, acclaimed psychologist and director of Lives in the Balance, asks parents to keep in mind when dealing with kids. Moms will do well if they can, too, although when it comes to discipline, we don't always do it as well as we can.

Featured Expert

The Hechinger Report | Featured Expert
07/10/2019
Preschool for children with disabilities works, but federal funding for it is plummeting

Experts say this delay can impact kids when they finally do enter school. “We know ‘wait and see’ doesn’t work,” said Amanda Morin, an expert at Understood, a nonprofit that gives parents resources and information about learning and attention issues. “So kids who are not getting services at younger ages will most likely need services when they get into school.”

Education Week
01/19/2020
Parents Wield Online Tools to Advocate for Children With Disabilities

When Amanda Morin's younger child, Benjamin, was about to start school, her older son, Jacob Lewis, then in 7th grade, told his family that they should switch school districts. "He was really adamant that he didn't want Benjamin to be viewed as a problem," Morin said.

Educationworld
Strategies and Resources for Supporting Students with ADHD

Amanda Morin, who researches and writes about attention issues as a teacher, parent advocate, and mother of two children with attention issues, says the best work with ADHD students starts with “presuming competence..."

The Atlantic | Featured Expert
03/23/2017
How a New Supreme Court Ruling Could Affect Special Education

"Parents of special-needs children are ecstatic about this decision, according to Amanda Morin, a parent of two children with IEPs and a contributor for the parent website Understood.org. Morin said, “I’m thrilled, because I think it really empowers parents to feel confident when they go in the door [of an IEP meeting]. They can say that the law says that this program must be tailored so my child makes progress.”

Washington Post | Featured Expert
9 ways parents can empower a child who has learning issues

Provide the school with work samples, the historical record and any diagnostic information, says Amanda Morin, author of "The Everything Parent's Guide to Special Education" and an expert for Understood, an organization that supports parents of children who have learning and attention issues. Be specific. Parents can say, "My child isn't reading at grade level," or "English causes more outbursts than math."

AP NEWS
03/21/2019
You're not alone: How to recognize and support kids with anxiety and ADHD

Does your child seem anxious about school? Is it something beyond typical stress? A big challenge for parents is figuring out where to turn for support and information when their kids are struggling. Parents often wonder whether it's anxiety or some other issue making school difficult.

Fatherly | Featured Expert
05/17/2019
Parent-Teacher Conferences Don't Have to Suck

“Conferences can be intimidating for both parents and teachers, but they don’t have to be. It’s a time to be collaborative, confident and to communicate clearly,” says Amanda Morin. Morin has ten years’ experience as a classroom teacher and early intervention specialist and is the author of The Everything Kids’ Learning Activities Book.

Educationworld | Featured Expert
Exceptional Two Ways - Gifted Students with Disabilities Often Miss Out On Support

"When a student is mostly doing well, the school can sometimes be hesitant to evaluate him for special education services,” says Amanda Morin, an expert at Understood and the author of three books on childhood learning issues. "But academics aren’t the only thing to consider. There are other challenges that can point to learning and attention issues, too. These can include things like trouble making friends or managing emotions."

Podcast Appearances

Apple Podcasts
02/27/2019
‎In It: Raising Kids with Learning and Attention Issues on Apple Podcasts

‎Discover In It, a podcast for and about families of kids with learning and attention issues from Understood for Parents. Hosts Amanda Morin and Lexi Walters Wright talk with families of kids with learning disabilities such as ADHD, dyslexia, sensory processing issues and dyscalculia-as well as str...

The Mind Matters Podcast
05/15/2019
Episode 32: Being a SPED Advocate for Twice-Exceptional Kids

About the guest - Amanda Morin worked as a classroom teacher and as an early intervention specialist for 10 years. She has been working as an education writer since 2007 and played an integral role in launching Understood.org in 2014.

Parenting ADHD & Autism | Guest
02/06/2019
PODCAST: IEPs, 504 Plans & Advocacy

In this episode of the Parenting ADHD Podcast, I'm talking IEPs and 504 Plans with former teacher and educational advocate, Amanda Morin.

Tilt Parenting
08/07/2018
Ep 120: Back-to-School with Understood's Amanda Morin

This week's episode is a special back-to-school episode to help families prepare for easing into the coming school year with as much confidence and serenity as possible. I'm grateful to be joined by Amanda Morin, a writer, parent advocate, a former educator...

Maine Public Radio |Maine Calling | Guest
Dyslexia: Recognizing the Signs; Learning How to Help

In advance of an October 22nd dyslexia awareness event at USM, we'll discuss dyslexia, a learning disorder that involves difficulty in reading. It is widely believed that dyslexia is often undiagnosed or diagnosed too late.

BlogTalkRadio
10/10/2014
Teaching Students to Self-Advocate

Amanda Morin and Robert Rummel-Hudson join The Inclusive Class Podcast this week! Amanda Morin is an advocate and author of The Everything Parent's Guide to Special Education. Robert Rummel-Hudson is author of Schuyler's Monster. Together.

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