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For All Abilities

Jun 15, 2020

For All Abilities – The Podcast: Adult ADHD with Stacey Kovoloft 


In this episode, I interview Stacey Kovoloft. We discuss the challenge of her diagnosis of ADHD as an adult and how she has navigated school and work with the diagnosis. To connect with Stacey, please go to her community for parents, educators and other professionals at, follow her on LinkedIn (Stacey Kovoloft) and on Instagram at dyslexia_girl.

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Please follow me on Instagram @forallabilities, LinkedIn (Betsy Furler) and on Facebook (For All Abilities). Go to our website for information on our software that enables employers to support their employees with ADHD, Dyslexia, Learning Differences and Autism.

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Full Transcript from


Betsy Furler  0:05  

Welcome to for all abilities, the podcasts. This is your host, Betsy Furler. The aim of this podcast is to highlight the amazing things people with ADHD, dyslexia, learning differences and autism are doing to improve our world. Have a listen to for all abilities, the podcast, and please subscribe on whatever podcast app you're listening to us on.


Hi, everybody. Welcome back to for all abilities, the podcast. This is your host Betsy Furler. And I'm so excited to be here with another special guest, Stacey Kovoloft. Stacey, thank you so much for agreeing to be on my podcast.


Stacey Kovoloft  0:49  

Thank you so much, Betsy for having me. Very excited.


Betsy Furler  0:53  

Yes. So why don't you introduce yourself to my audience so they know a little bit about you before we launch into my interview.


Stacey Kovoloft  1:01  

I'm I'm Stacey Koval off, and I have been an educational consultant, and advocate. And I'm also currently on admissions at an independent private school called RJ. I'm the mother of four. My children are 2522 12 and eight. Um, and I'm also the founder of an educational startup called hopes, dreams journey. And hosting journey is a community of educators and consultants, experts and parents working together to help kids succeed, despite their learning differences. We are an educational platform that we'll be bringing parents and educational professionals together. And we're going to be using something called gamification to help motivate professionals to add their content and resources and also


reach out to as many providers parents as possible


Betsy Furler  2:13  

about is so awesome. So I will definitely link to that in the show notes and we'll talk a little bit more about it at the end of the interview as well. So how I usually start my interviews is always asking my guests what they were like as a child. So what were you like when you were a little girl?


Stacey Kovoloft  2:32  

And I was curious. I had more energy than I think any of my family members knew what to do with. Uh huh. Um, I was never able to sit still. So obviously I self diagnosed myself with ADHD. Um, I was a very anxious child I I was always afraid of failure. failure. I didn't accept failure very well. School was really difficult for me. I really believe that by the fifth grade


my formal educational


Unknown Speaker  3:18  



Unknown Speaker  3:19  

was put to bed. Oh, wow, that's so young.


Stacey Kovoloft  3:24  

It was really. I, I had dysgraphia dyscalculia and was labeled by my teachers. I remember in second grade, not being able to sit still in the classroom and I would go use going to the bathroom is a way of being able to get up and move my body around. Uh huh. I peed myself in my second grade seat because the teacher stopped allowing me to go to the bathroom.


Betsy Furler  3:52  

Oh, cuz you're done up, gotten up so many times.


Stacey Kovoloft  3:56  

Not too many times. Yeah. And then I think it was fifth grade. I used to chew gum, it's a form of sensory integration. And my teacher made me stick a ball of gum on the tip of my nose. Oh, awful. It was really awful. Um, my family. My mom got quite ill when I was young, and I was separated from her by the age of 11 years old. So I had trauma with and I think that made my anxiety levels increase. And I was brought to California, and I went into the private. I went into the independent private educational system, I was at it. I was at a Jewish Day School, where instead of the educators being honest with my parents about my educational needs, I was pushed through


Unknown Speaker  4:45  

and Well,


Stacey Kovoloft  4:47  

yeah, so I had a father that believed in me, and told me that I could do anything on my mother's side of the family who were all very well educated. I'm really At a very young age told me I had no choice but to get married, I would never be able to stand on my own two feet and take care of myself. And I did just that I got married at 23 and had my first child by the time I was 24. But I made a commitment that I would not and my kids would have the opportunity to go to college, they would go to college and whatever resources that they would need, I would be there to help provide them. Um, so to back up a little bit, I ended up not finishing high school. I left high school in 11th grade. Um, I had it I was I was always self driven. And I was not a follower. And I ended up getting a job with Project headstart. Mm hmm. And so by the time I was 18, I was with headstart full time, and I was with headstart for five years and We became we ended up losing our funding, and we were a federally funded program and became a state funded program. At that time, I ended up going back to school and getting my early childhood units and worked up to local independent private schools in Los Angeles. And I must say it's 20 years ago, I found that school shop la Hmm. After teaching nursery school for 20 years.


Betsy Furler  6:36  

What is interesting to me that you while while school was so hard for you and didn't work well for you, then you ended up going into education, actually, at a really young age.


Stacey Kovoloft  6:48  

I wanted to prove, you know, I think my mission was, you know, for the longest time to prove to my family, that I was smart, because I was always I always felt dummy down. I always felt that broke in, I think till this unit I just turned 50 and I think till this day, I'm constantly trying to prove myself and weight it in almost unnatural ways. You know, in my, in my immediate family, my mother, my, my, my aunt, my uncle, and even my, my, the young, my younger sister, or any of my siblings for that matter. Um, but yeah, and you know, I've always been very very passionate because you know, I've never I I don't want though it it's not the case I've never wanted you know, anyone child to have to leave. We live what what my educational experience was?


Betsy Furler  7:43  

Yeah, that's it's i i think it's so wonderful when people take what could have been a will probably was a terrible experience, but you've taken it and made something good out of it. And also, you're so you've never been you've never Ever been officially diagnosed? Correct with ADHD or dyslexia or dysgraphia? So can you talk tell my audience a little bit about kind of how, how that's come about and what happened there.


Stacey Kovoloft  8:14  

So ADHD, and you know, I have really focused on things that I'm interested in, you know, education I could read educational read for hours, listen to lectures for hours, but things that are not like most people, but I really, I I have a harder time with things that are not of interest. I also have to move around. Um, you know, I move around a lot. I multitask. I can't you know, if I'm, if I'm reading I always have I believe it or not have the TV on I could be, you know, organizing something and reading at the same time, maybe works better with multiplayer. You know, multi facilitated activities. I'm just scrappier, you know, I have brilliant ideas, I can dictate wonderful emails and letters. I implemented technology on my computer. But when I try to type something out myself, it sounds like I'm drunk. My, my, my children till this day get really aggravated with my text messages. At work, we use something called slack. And I've been labeled by other colleagues of mine, which you know, is as far as I was concerned, it was slander. And when you're working in an educational environment, there's not tolerance for those who have disabilities. Mm hmm.


So as incredible as the work that I've done,


I'm still so misunderstood by a lot of my colleagues.


Betsy Furler  10:09  

Wow. Yeah, that's and I've heard that from other people too, who are in education and have their own differences or disabilities that they have felt very misunderstood.


Stacey Kovoloft  10:22  

100 misunderstood. I have, you know, other colleagues of mine that have had podcasts and, you know, unless unless they have a PhD or master's or doctorate, they don't, you know, they're like, Oh, my God, you might hinder our program, as well. Yeah. But meanwhile, you know, I've been successful. I have, you know, two very well adjusted young adults. I, uh huh. So we're very younger children. I, you know, financially self sufficient. But that was a homeowner at 24 years old.


Betsy Furler  10:55  

Wow. That's amazing. Yeah. And, and you've been a mom for a long time. time when you were talking about how old your kids were, that's what I thought I was like, Wow, she's been a mom for a really long time. So tell us a little bit about what you're doing now. So everybody can connect with you but also benefit from the resources that you that you're developing.


Stacey Kovoloft  11:16  

So what we're doing now is I am still an educational consultant, but we're focusing on hdj. We are reaching out to educational providers, educators of behavioral therapists and therapists, speech therapists, OT PT, pediatricians, reading specialist, dyslexia specialist, and we are trying to get them to sign up for our for our site.


Betsy Furler  11:50  

And what So give us a kind of a walkthrough of what that will look like. So will you have professionals members and ORS are how am I gonna work?


Stacey Kovoloft  12:04  

We are a destination for parents to learn more about their child and how to help them succeed. This all starts with education. Our network of professionals has the knowledge and experience to educate parents by adding articles, resources and videos. the more you'll The more you contribute to our site, the more visible you'll be in our hdj community.


Unknown Speaker  12:25  

That's a great idea.


Unknown Speaker  12:27  

Cuz it kind


Unknown Speaker  12:28  

of motivates people to put more information up,


Stacey Kovoloft  12:33  

right? We're going to be promoting all of our content on social media and advertising online, and AR will be the destination for parents who want to help


Betsy Furler  12:44  

their children succeed. That's awesome. It is it isn't location specific at all, or is it us specific or is it going to be information for kind of everybody?


Stacey Kovoloft  12:56  

Right now we're launching Los Angeles, Chicago, and believe it or not, My next our next will be in Houston, Florida, we hope, you know to eventually be all over the United States and then possibly International. We will also be connecting families with schools because I think with distance learning becoming so prevalent is educational, you know, daily resources being needed, we're going to we're going to be adding schools and such to our site.


Betsy Furler  13:27  

Awesome. Yeah, I was gonna I wanted to ask you, um, how has COVID-19 and the stay at home order affected both you from your workflow? And, you know, from a personal standpoint, as far as with your ADHD, and your other, your other differences, and how has it affected the thought process on how to go forward because I know when, when you and I talked to the other day, we talked about the fact that education is probably going to be changing, it's going to look a lot different And so anyway, I was interested in finding out what you thought about that


Stacey Kovoloft  14:05  

about how it's affected me personally. Well, I, I have two young kids at home that were assisting to be homeschool to young students at home right now that I'm working with, and how is it affecting me as far as my consulting business? I've been receiving a lot of phone calls. I think a lot of parents are scared. Globally, you know about what is going to be with their public educational programs, a lot of learners that public schools are not doing a great job with their online learning. Mm hmm. I have a lot of parents that moved into local great school districts that are realizing that their local public school is not working up either I've been receiving a lot of requests for information for private schools, but also a lot of families with fear of how they how are they going to be able to sustain the cost of private school?


Betsy Furler  15:13  

Right, right. It's kind of a catch 22. Also, I know for the schools, you know, how are they going to survive? How are the parents going to be able to pay for tuition, there were so many issues. So it's interesting that you It sounds like you've been really busy. Since this has all happened really


Stacey Kovoloft  15:31  

busy. Rotate the school that I'm at admissions at is is a totally different kind of a model. We really have focused and honed in on 21st century education. Instead of finals. There's symposium. There's roundtable discussions, all the information even today is very relevant to what's happening in the world. We're not teaching teaching to the textbook, which is generally speaking for most, most people Students who are bored in the classroom, students with ADHD are students that get frustrated easily or even students that are chewy. Our RTI has been ideal. I think that whole independent private school model is probably just in general going to have to change because of affordability. So I've been busy speaking to families, I've been busy and super excited working on this startup. Next Wednesday, next, sorry, the the evening of the third educational professional series and I'm starting out with two educational attorneys that will be speaking about what families need to know about accessing


resources during this time. Uh huh.


The second week, I have a neuro psychologist that's going to be speaking in the third week. I have a global educational college consultant that is going to be doing an event. And then I have a friend who's involved




she has a podcast called overthrowing education. And she is going to be speaking about what is what needs to be acquired to receive 21st century education.


Unknown Speaker  17:30  

Oh, that's fantastic.


Stacey Kovoloft  17:32  

Yeah. So I'm putting a lot of different events together but also really honing in and kind of making a shift for myself to focus on our educational startup and bringing providers to our to our space.


Betsy Furler  17:45  

Yeah, that's that sounds amazing. It sounds like it's the perfect time for my listeners to go onto your platform and get get signed up and start utilizing those resources. Well, this has been amazing. Stacey, thank you so much for joining me today.


Stacey Kovoloft  18:04  

Everybody to sign up for host dreams it's hope dreams


Betsy Furler  18:11  

Awesome. And I will put that in the show notes. And can I also find you on LinkedIn? What's the other like? Is there another social media platform?


Stacey Kovoloft  18:20  

Yes. Behind dyslexia girl on Instagram. Okay.


Unknown Speaker  18:25  

And what's your girl on Instagram?


Stacey Kovoloft  18:28  

Yes. So we have we have, we've just started a Instagram for hdj. And then you can also find me on LinkedIn.


Betsy Furler  18:39  

Perfect. And I will put links to all of that in my show notes. Because I'm sure there are many people that are listening that will really benefit from this. And so it was great talking to you today. Thank you so much. And to my listeners. Thank you for tuning in, please rate review, subscribe to the podcast. Wherever you are listening to it on whatever podcast platform you're listening to, and I will talk to you all soon.


Stacey Kovoloft  19:08  

Thanks so much. Thank you.


Betsy Furler  19:11  

Thanks so much for listening to the for all abilities podcast. This is Betsy Furler, your host, and I really appreciate your time listening to the podcast. And please subscribe on any podcast app that you're listening to us on. If you'd like to know more about what we do in our software that helps employer support their employees with ADHD dyslexia, learning differences in autism, please go to www dot for all abilities calm. You can also follow us on Instagram. And you can follow me on LinkedIn at Betsy Furler f isn't Frank, you are le AR Have a great day and we will see you soon.


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