The #1 ADHD podcast

on iTunes, hosted by

The #1 ADHD podcast on iTunes, hosted by

Classroom Curriculum Training for Neurodiversity, Social Emotional Learning + ADHD: The Work Ahead

by Faster Than Normal

We are thrilled to be joined again by the makers of Skylight Frame! Enjoy this podcast knowing  that we used it to get this one to you on time! You can get yours too! Enter discount code:  PeterShankman to get 10% off, of up to $30 off! https://www.skylightframe.comhttp

Having ADD or ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Hear from people all around the globe, from every walk of life, in every profession, from Rock Stars to CEOs, from Teachers to Politicians, who have learned how to unlock the gifts of their ADD and ADHD diagnosis, and use it to their personal and professional advantage, to build businesses, become millionaires, or simply better their lives.  Our Guest today in their own words: Lisa M. Navarra, M.S. in Special Education, SDA, award-winning educator, behavior specialist and published author of children’s books, music and teacher resources provides powerful training and tools to help children self-regulate in school and at home. Lisa has been invited to speak at conferences, schools, libraries and organizations where she has transformed resistant learners into students who learn the skills in how to focus and believe in themselves! Lisa’s dedication to supporting schools and families extends beyond her books and resources and includes her podcast, “Student Success Beyond Expectations” Podcast and therapy dog Rosie! Check out Lisa’s resources and information at  Reflecting on significant changes in education over the past decade, Lisa wonders how they have benefitted children. She shares her experiences dealing with parents of children with special needs or neurodiversity, highlighting the challenges they face. #SpecialEducation Today we learn more about the challenging work yet ahead. Enjoy!

[You are now safely here]

00:40 – Thank you again so much for listening and for subscribing!

00:41 – Introducing and welcome Lisa Navarra!!

05:21 – On Lisa’s journey of choosing a career in Special Education and Behavior Consulting

07:30 – On pedagogical paradigm shifts in teaching; focusing on teaching children how to learn and self-regulate via parents, teachers and even administrators #ASL

07:40 – On educators and parents learning cognitive skills, using positive self-talk #CBT

11:28 – Practical vs theoretical knowledge/help, and TikTok’s impact on kids’ advice.

13:00 – This is so great, we hope you are listening.

How do our subscribers find out more about you and your work Lisa?


Socials: @LNavarraCBC on Facebook  X  YouTube and LisaNavarraEDU on INSTA

15:23 – Thank you Lisa, stay safe, stay well!

00:00 – 00OhHello hello? Beep beep beep hello there?! YEs, yoU. We are so happy that you are doing good, here & learning with us!! I’ll say it till I die.. ADHD and all forms of Neurodiversity are gifts, not curses. -Peter Shankman. And ooh-ooh now.. and just by the way, if you haven’t picked up The Boy with the Faster Brain yet, it is on Amazon and it is a number #1 One bestseller in all categories. Click HERE or via My link tree is here if you’re looking for something specific.  [We will siphon-in BlueSky and learn about that in October, or when eX-Twitter stops eating itself and we figure out hash^tag threads or whatever it all and in the Newnew is then whatAmess  -Ed]

TRANSCRIPT via and then corrected.. mostly but somewhat.

You’re listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast, where we know that having Add or ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Each week we interview people from all around the globe, from every walk of life in every profession. From rock stars to CEOs, from teachers to politicians who have learned how to unlock the gifts of their add and ADHD diagnosis and used it to their personal and professional advance edge to build businesses, to become millionaires, or to simply better their lives. And now, here’s the host of the Faster Than Normal podcast, the man who doesn’t understand how anyone could have leftover Pizza- Peter Shankman!!

Ladies Gentlemen, welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal. My name is Peter Shankman. I want to give a shout out to Skylight frame. If you guys have been around for a while, you remember Skylight and specifically the Skylight calendar. They were kind enough to sponsor Faster Than Normal last year. And you guys did such a great job and had such a great result with Skylight calendar that they’re back. So what is Skylight calendar? I have one in my kitchen. It essentially is a digital calendar that connects to all of my regular calendars, like Google and everything like that. It also shows all the photos I want. It sits on my kitchen wall. And every morning, my daughter gets up, sees the tasks she has to do, sees the schoolwork she has to do. She has to do this reading, or she has to change the dog’s weebly pads, whatever it is,  it’s on there. The second she does it, she runs back to the frame and she’s the calendar, and she clicks it and it goes away. She loves it. It keeps us on track. It keeps us together. You can find them  www.skylightframe.comUse code Petershankman. They’ll get you a nice discount. It is the greatest thing. We have no more fights. We have no more arguments anymore. She does what she has to do because she sees it on the calendar every morning. And when we’re not looking at it, it just shows awesome photos of us and our dog and all of our trips and stuff like that. So strongly recommend it. Check out the calendar. Use code. Peter Shankman you’ll get a nice discount.

Peter Shankman [00:02:01]:  All right, who are we talking to today? We’re talking to Lisa Navarro. Lisa is an MS in special education. She’s an SDA award winning educator. We’re talking about education sake. She’s a behavioral specialist. She’s published authors of children’s books. She’s music, done music. She’s done teacher resources. She provides training. I don’t know what she doesn’t do. Apparently, she’s also a spy in 14 different countries and can kill you with just one pinky. So it’s very cool. She has a podcast called Student Success Beyond Expectations, and she’s a therapy dog named Rosie. That’s obviously the most important part to me. But Lisa, welcome to the podcast.

Lisa [00:02:34]: Thank you so much for having me. Peter, I’m so excited to be here with you.

Peter Shankman [00:02:38]: So tell us your story. How did you A, get into this and B, how did you start working with children with special needs?

Lisa [00:02:46]: Well, I guess I started with how did I get involved with children with special needs? I think it was always in me. I wanted to help people. And so when I was going through college, I kind of just kind of meandered a little bit. I love the deaf world and hearing. And then I ended up changing my major that allowed me this certification for special education. Zero to 21 at the time. I’m old also for gen ed k to six. But Peter, what I realized the first day of my first real job as a classroom teacher was not only do I not know what I’m doing and how to help these kids, but the even more sad part is no one else around me was able to. So when I say these kids, I said I want to teach children who were then classified emotionally disturbed. So I had all the behavioral kids and I was at a complete loss. It was at that point in time I said, wow, you know what? I need to either figure this out for these kids because they need me or I need to bail because I’m not going to be good enough for them.

Peter Shankman [00:04:04]: Right. It’s a tough decision to come to when you realize that basically you have to change virtually everything.

Lisa [00:04:12]: It really was sincerely. I cried from this is back in like gosh, when did I start? 1990, 719 96. It’s been a while.

Lisa [00:04:21]: But I’ve cried before too. But anyway, yeah, I cried from September through December. I mean, I had children who would kick, bite, hit some that were abused. They made the newspaper a foster child. One would bang their head so hard on the concrete and actually join school with his forehead already kind of curved because it was something that he had been doing for years. And I was teaching children four years old through seven all in the same class. So it was kindergarten, first and second grade. So it was quite the challenge. But you know something? I believe that when we do things for the right reason and we become inspired, then we empower ourselves and the are ways to do that. Even if it’s not quite the way of the system that we’re in. But we can overcome those challenges to help kids.

Peter Shankman [00:05:16]: I imagine that it’s incredibly gratifying.

Lisa [00:05:21]: You know what’s really gratifying, and I say this honestly, very humbling, is that throughout the years you had mentioned that I wrote books, add, I’ve got these programs and whatnot my career had been a special education teacher, behavior specialist for almost ten years. Back into the classroom. I’m back to being behavior specialist within the district, plus having cold behavior consulting where I see clients and I provide professional development for educators and for parent, of course, because they need to be involved. But what’s the most gratifying is knowing that the time and years add efforts spent on researching peer reviewed articles and then creating trainings and tools to help children are working. That is the most gratifying thing ever because I feel like it’s putting the pieces together for them, and when they’re happy and they feel empowered, then that’s what it’s really all about for me.


Peter Shankman [00:06:28]: Tell me what it’s like to deal with parents. When I was growing up and ADHD didn’t really exist, there was special education. It was literally this is the era of the special ed short bus back in the, which of course we don’t refer to as now. But when you deal with parents, I often wonder what it’s like for a parent that has to sort of get the news than the child is either neurodiverse or needs special attention or whatever. And a lot of parents I’ve talked to say that this is sort of just dropped in their lab. Right. They’re given this news and they’re not really given many resources from the school or from the teachers or whatever they say, yeah, you might want to get them evaluated. Well, how do we do that? That’s good luck on you. What has to change for that?

Lisa [00:07:22]: I can’t believe you’re actually asking this. You just opened up a whole can of worms, Peter. I hope you’re okay with that.

Peter Shankman [00:07:29]: Go for it. All you.

Lisa [00:07:30]: So listen, my everything in this world is to create a paradigm shift in the pedagogy of teaching. And I have been a staunch advocate in every single way to be able to do this, and it involves parents. So here’s what I propose. I propose that children need to learn how to learn so they can understand what’s being taught to them. Okay, so what does that mean? That means that educators and parents need to learn the cognitive skills in how to learn so children can engage in what’s called, you know, goal oriented behaviors. We need to teach towards children’s ability to self regulate we in the classroom and then support that at home. We don’t need to be teaching them just the standards and curriculum. It’s obviously not enough. These kids need to know that they can overcome challenges by using positive self talk, identifying that they’re off task and they’re not focused. Okay, well, how do we focus? So honestly, that’s where my training tools come in. That’s where my parent workshops come in. That’s where my educator workshops come in, and they’re all aligned. So education needs to now meet finally with research from years ago that we need to support executive functioning skills to support self regulation in the classroom and couple it and integrate it with social emotional learning, and it becomes part of our daily teaching and style of teaching.

Peter Shankman [00:09:03]: What do you think it is about the system currently that makes it so reluctant to change.

Lisa [00:09:12]: So I think we do have some inspired leaders. I think we have very well intended people too, who are in leadership positions. However, I still believe that there’s two things here. I think that there’s a disconnect between what the know and what is really truly needed. And also what I’m talking about here is I’m talking about integrating psychology and education and it truly hasn’t happened in public schools. And so it’s kind of also the unknown. Does that make sense?


Peter Shankman [00:09:48]: Yeah, it does. I think that a lot of times, more often than not, you get stuck in a situation where the system or the department or whatever says, well, that’s the way we’ve always done it and it seems to be working well, it’s not working, but it’s easier to stay the course. Add it is to change. Change is always scary. Where have you found the best success when working with children, parents, teachers, whatever? What makes a teacher successful in understanding that children learn in different ways?


Lisa [00:10:20]: First of all, I believe it’s the passion, right? They need to be passionate. Teaching now more than ever is so hard. It’s a lot of micromanagement, we’ve got a lot of behaviors, a lot of academic achievements, gaps. There’s a lot working against the teachers now. So I than first, that passion is number one because that’s going to allow them to be open to learning new things. And I think it’s also presenting this type of information in ways like I do. You know what I do if you read my presentations, Peter, I have real classroom footage of students learning and applying the information. So it’s not theory. There’s so many programs out there now than throw around these terms executive functioning and self regulation and okay, well, show me what you’re talking about in real time. Right? And a lot of these programs, it’s either theory, they’ve done studies, they have maybe clients of their own, but have they been in it, doing it and seeing a success? I think that’s huge for really making that turning point within education.

Peter Shankman [00:11:28]: It’s interesting because I think that you make a really good point, the concept of theoretical versus practical. I get that all the time. I see these people when I’m giving my keynotes, I see other people giving keynotes and they’re like, oh, and they’re telling how to handle the customer and how to do this Add. I’m like, this is all from your book, but what practical experience? I started Add sold three companies. Where’s your experience in that? Where’s the practical aspect of that? And I think that’s something that unfortunately, with the rise of social media, TikTok and all these, you have 50 million people on TikTok explaining how to manage your ADHD, right? And 49.99 million of them are not trained in any way whatsoever, right? And so we become sort of this meme generation where we’re helping people through memes. But are we really helping? Is the question. It’s interesting. I’m good friends with someone. I’ve had her on the podcast countless times. Dr. Jennifer Hartstein. She was the CBS Early Show psychology contributor. She’s a child psychologist on the show. She has her own practice in New York City, and she’s constantly talking about, know, the fact that you can’t diagnose or treat any condition through TikTok. It’s so true. But it’s amazing. What have you seen? What’s the biggest thing you’ve seen in, say, the past ten years or since in your time doing this that you never thought you’d see? What has happened that’s beneficial? What has changed in the education world that you see as an actual, very strong positive for kids?

Lisa [00:12:57]: Well, I think the identification of we’ve had a lot of problems, and kids have a lot of challenges, and finally we need to address them. I think COVID and we’ve probably heard people say this a lot before, that there were preexisting conditions, but with the rise of COVID now we can’t deny it anymore. And so more schools are talking about social emotional learning. I’ve sat on a number of panels and discussions. I was the moderator for New York State Assembly panel and discussion, Mental Health in the Classroom and think, yeah, really cool stuff. So I think that the awareness and the push toward meeting students’needs are there. But I still think that we need to be careful, Peter, because people are putting mental health in a very wide umbrella, and it’s kind of loosey goosey. And I think when we’re talking about kids who have ADHD or even kids who maybe have an attention challenge or, you know what, that they feel like they’re not good enough because they have a learning disability. All these cognitive skills and social emotional learning entwined together can help all of them. So I’m seeing school districts be a little bit more open now to hearing about some of these programs, what kids need, and saying, okay, we might need to be doing something different.

Peter Shankman [00:14:27]: I think it’s the premise also that a rising tide raises all boats, that if you’re helping one segment of the population, than can be beneficial to every segment of the population.

Lisa [00:14:37]: I agree. And it makes you a stronger educator. It makes you a more effective parent and communicator. It makes children in the classroom work with each other, better interpersonal skills, better modeling, because they’re confident and not afraid to take a risk. They have more growth mindset. So how can any of that not be a good influence on kids who technically, quote unquote, need it or not? Right?

Peter Shankman [00:15:02]: Yeah, 100%. Lisa how can people find you if they want to get more from you?

Lisa [00:15:06]: you can find me on social media, @LNavarraCBC or you can always give me a call. 631-617-1958 but is the website and has a lot of information there so people can reach me in lots of different ways.

Peter Shankman [00:15:23]: Very cool. Really great to have you. I’d love to have you back as well at some point. Definitely, I’d love to be back. So thank you so much for taking the time, guys. As always, you’ve been listening to Fast than Normal. I want to give a shout out again to Skylight Frame. Check them out@ The calendar they have that sits on my wall has stopped about 300 arguments between me and my ten year old daughters. Best thing in the world, discount using the code PeterShankman We will see you next week with a brand new guest. Stay safe, stay well. ADHD and all farms in our diversity is a gift, not a curse. We’ll talk to you soon.

Credits: You’ve been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We’re available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at I’m your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you’ve heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We’ll see you next week!

“I would rather a child start therapy at an early age and learn that they’re brilliant; than spend the next 30 years undoing the belief that they are broken.”   -Peter Shankman  June 7, 2023


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