Ep. 137: Helping Kids Understand Their Amazing Brains with Dr. Liz Angoff

Jun 13, 2023 | 0 comments

A common struggle for parents and families is how to help their children understand their developmental and learning differences. For some parents, they don’t want to have the conversation at all. But today’s guest not only explains why it is important for a child to understand their brain, but the language we can use to start shifting a negative narrative.

Dr. Liz Angoff is an Educational Psychologist who provides assessment and consultation services to children and their families. She is also the author of the Brain Building Books, tools for engaging children in understanding their learning and developmental differences as part of the assessment process.

In our conversation today, Dr. Angoff shares the language and strategies she uses with the children and adolescents she works with to help them understand their strengths and struggles with the perfect balance to normalize and validate it all.


Show Notes:

[2:22] – Kids know that they are different in some way and it shouldn’t be kept a secret from them.

[3:38] – When kids don’t have the understanding of the way their brains work, they create their own narrative, which is often negative.

[4:52] – When we can be realistic and transparent with kids, they can shift this narrative.

[6:17] – The vast majority of the kids that Dr. Angoff works with express relief when they learn about their differences.

[7:10] – Striking the balance means acknowledging both strengths and areas of struggle.

[8:19] – Dr. Angoff shares a metaphor that helps kids understand how their brains work.

[10:43] – This language normalizes always having something to work on and the process of learning new things.

[12:53] – Kids need to understand that all adults also have ongoing construction projects as we are all always learning.

[14:16] – Assessment should be approached from a place of curiosity.

[16:06] – Many parents choose not to share a diagnosis with their child. The concerns are understandable.

[17:29] – When we name what’s going on, we are giving kids a container for all these feelings and experiences. It also gives you community.

[19:31] – Dr. Angoff shares some language and verbiage to use that becomes empowering and validating.

[21:21] – When we understand how kids think about their experience, we can work on shifting their narrative.

[24:23] – Dr. Angoff shares an example of how to address a struggle and area of frustration with a child.

[27:28] – When kids understand why they are receiving an intervention, they are more invested.

[29:58] – Dr. Angoff shares the experience of a child who became curious about her own disability.

[32:27] – These are ongoing conversations and not a one time thing.

[34:12] – Every child is different, but Dr. Angoff offers resources on how to talk to your children about their differences.


About Our Guest:

Liz Angoff, Ph.D., is a Licensed Educational Psychologist with a Diplomate in School Neuropsychology, providing assessment and consultation services to children and their families in the Bay Area, CA. She is the author of the Brain Building Books, tools for engaging children in understanding their learning and developmental differences as part of the assessment process. 


Connect with Dr. Liz Angoff:

Links and Related Resources:


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The Diverse Thinking Different Learning podcast is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or legal advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Additionally, the views and opinions expressed by the host and guests are not considered treatment and do not necessarily reflect those of ChildNEXUS, Inc or the host, Dr. Karen Wilson.