This is a social good post on behalf of Element Associates.
Has there ever been a time when you looked at your child’s behavior and wondered if they were “just being kids” or if there was a deeper concern? Maybe it is difficult to hold their attention, perhaps test scores raise some apprehensions, or maybe something just doesn’t “feel” right.
Our first experience with this was with our niece. It was difficult for her to focus, she was easily distracted, and she had a hard time sitting still; just to name a few patterns. She was later diagnosed with ADHD. Now that my daughter is in school, we are keeping a close on her as she often mixes up B and D and P and Q when writing. Teachers have told us not to really worry about it until she reaches third or fourth grade but we will continue to monitor this closely. In both cases, this has caused frustration. It’s heartbreaking to watch but by being involved and letting our little ones know that we understand, we are helping them “fight” through their concerns.
We all want nothing more than to be understood. But for some kids, it isn’t as easy as it seems. Learning and attention issues are much more common in children than most people realize. It isn’t uncommon for parents to think that their children are just being lazy, need to work harder, or that they are in a phase that they will grow out of. Raising a child with learning and attention issues is a journey. And it’s one that’s full of ups and downs, successes and challenges, questions and decisions.
Understood.org is a nonprofit organization that offers free online resources for parents of children with learning and attention issues (like ADHD or dyslexia). It is a resource that all parents, even those who have children who are undiagnosed, need to know about. It will help them understand what they are seeing, understand what their child is experiencing, and understand what they can do to help their children.
The #BeUnderstood campaign was created support of Learning Disabilities (LD) Awareness Month in October, and to raise awareness about kids with learning and attention issues. In the U.S., 1 in 5 children struggles with brain-based learning and attention issues that affect reading, writing, math, focus and organization. These issues are a lot more common than most people think, and while learning and attention issues may not be as visible as other health issues, they’re just as real.
The goal of #BeUnderstood is to generate awareness about learning and attention issues and encourage people who are seeing or experiencing signs of learning and attention issues to visit Understood.org, learn about these issues, and take that crucial first step in getting their kids the help they need to thrive in school, at home and in life.
Understood.org is a safe online community that encourages parents to reach out to and learn from each other and a suite of specially designed, first-of-their-kind tools including:
Through Your Child’s Eyes: A series of interactive simulations and videos that enable parents to experience firsthand how smart people can struggle with a seemingly simple task when they have reading, writing, math, organization or attention issues.
Tech Finder: Expert-approved apps and games searchable by a child’s grade and issues.
Just For You: An opt-in system that provides additional levels of personalized content recommendations. (Parents don’t need to sign in to start getting customized recommendations on Understood; all they need to do to hit the ground running is check the boxes about their child’s grade and issues.) Parents who choose to complete a secure, confidential profile will receive recommendations for each child in their profile as well as for topics they’ve expressed interest in, such as siblings, travel and communicating with family and friends.
You & Your Family: Actionable tips and understanding advice for unique challenges families face with learning and attention issues.
Decision Guide: Key questions to help parents think through big topics, such as whether it’s time to request a formal evaluation, let a child start dating or decide which path to pursue after high school.
Available in English, Spanish and read-aloud mode, Understood provides parents with clear explanations about learning and attention issues. It also offers practical advice for parents on everything from how to partner with their child’s teachers and help with homework to how to explain their child’s issues to friends and relatives and plan family gatherings that are less stressful and more fun for everyone.