Summit 2019

Session 5: Collin Diedrich PhD | Making Friends with Failure: My Journey from LD (Learning Differences) to PhD

Talk Description, Speaker Bio, and Resources

We all know that failure is a part of life that we learn and grow from, yet many of our 2e kids have low tolerance for failure and shut down at obstacles. From struggling student to PhD scientist, Collin shares his inspiring personal journey of overcoming learning differences to finding success doing what he loves! Collin talks about the ingredients that came together for him, from his own acceptance of his learning differences, to creating a resilient mindset that could tolerate failure, to learning how to self-advocate. Collin’s sometimes bumpy road to success was paved in personal perseverance and wonderful support from others, including parents, tutors, and teachers. Grab your older 2e kid and listen to this talk together for inspiration and motivation. In identifying with Collin’s journey, it may help generate new ideas and approaches to the roadblocks currently in your child’s way.

Collin DiedrichDr. Collin Diedrich has a PhD in Molecular Virology and Microbiology from University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, a Certificate in Disability Legal Studies from University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and is a postdoctoral associate researching how HIV changes immunological responses to tuberculosis. Prior to his current position, Dr. Diedrich was a postdoctoral fellow at University of Cape Town in South Africa for approximately 3 years. Dr. Diedrich has multiple learning disabilities and is an advocate and professional speaker for students who have learning disabilities. He is also the founder and president of a newly formed non-profit, Learning Disabilities Association of Pennsylvania that will provide services to students and adults with learning disabilities and those affected by them. You can read more about Dr. Diedrich on his personal website:


  • Dr. Diedrich is currently writing a memoir. It’s in its second draft. If you are interested in learning more please email Dr. Diedrich directly at: or visit his personal website.

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