We are quickly approaching the holiday season. A time that all kids and most adults look forward to! It tends to be a busy season for family, friends and food. But a slower season for school and learning. Understood.org just launched the #BeUnderstood campaign in support of Learning Disabilities (LD) Awareness Month in October, and to raise awareness about kids with learning and attention issues. Have you ever wondered why there are so many learning-related awareness months at this time of year? The period between the start of school and the holidays is a critical time in the school year – when parents and teachers are beginning to notice children struggling with new material, yet it’s early enough that there’s still time to get children on track!
Did you know that 1 in 5 children struggles with issues related to reading, math, writing, focus, and organization, yet many children with learning and attention issues do not have a diagnosis? A very sad but very true statement. What is worse is that so many of these children have to suffer the consequences of going undiagnosed. Consequences such as anxiety and low self-esteem. No child should ever have to wear that burden.
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.
So how can we fix this issue? How can parents, professionals and people with learning and attentions issues continue to advocate for kids and adults who have learning and attention issues? How do we as a community keep the momentum going beyond October? We need to advocate for kids and adults who have learning and attention issues year-round.
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. Here are some of the tools that you can utilize to discover what Understood has to offer:
- Interactive Quizzes: to determine what might be happening with your child
- 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.
- 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.
Encouragement and interaction can go a long way in helping all kids. As busy parents, it is sometimes hard to come up with things to keep our kids from getting “brain drain” over the holiday breaks. There are lots of fun ways to encourage kids to keep learning, even while they’re not in class.
Maybe you are a parent of a struggling child or even a friend or family member who is watching the struggle from afar. Understood has resources for everyone to learn how to help these kiddos face these challenges. The You & Your Family section helps families with practical solutions and advice for social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. Having the gift of extra time with your child over the holidays means the opportunity to help them overcome whatever struggles they are facing.