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.
I know this for a fact as our daughter had attention issues. She has chronic Lyme disease that severely hanpered her ability to concentrate and pay attention. At school, and even when we began homeschooling, I’d get mad at her for spacing out or not paying attention. Once I realized what was going on, I knew it wasn’t her being willful or lazy, it was just being HER. She needed to be UNDERSTOOD.
Only 68% of students with learning issues graduate with a regular high school diploma. 55% of students with learning and attention issues have had some type of involvement with the criminal justice system within eight years of leaving high school. But contrary to what many people believe, there is no correlation between learning and attention issues and IQ. With the right strategies and support, these children can succeed in the classroom—and outside of it too. For us, once we realized what was going on with Ally we were able to work with her attention and abilities. She’s done with high school and on to college and has learned ways to cope and what works for her. we UNDERSTOOD her needs and fulfilled them so she can go out and live her life.
There’s a great website, Understood, that had many resources for parents to help their kids. When I explored the site, I found this video that I found really intriguing about young adults learning how to have a great life with whatever issues they might have.
Much more than that Understood offer many ways for parents to help their kids.
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.
For parents whose children have a diagnosis or want to learn more about specific conditions or special services available in schools, Understood offers in-depth information about Individualized Education Programs, 504 Plans, ADHD, auditory processing disorder, communication disorders, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, dyslexia, dyspraxia, executive functioning issues, nonverbal learning disabilities, sensory processing issues and visual processing issues.
If your child has some issued that you would like to get help with learning how to handling with their learning style, Understood is a great resource.