Having seen firsthand family members who have struggled through learning and attention issues – I am very aware of how important it is to find the right help and support to guide both parents and children through the ups and downs that come with those issues. Missing school, frustration, anger, sadness. It’s only natural to want the best for your child. We all want our children to have a happy and fulfilling life. With encouragement and the right support, your child can build a strong sense of self-confidence and a solid foundation for both academic and lifelong success.
This October, Understood.org has 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. These issues can sometimes directly correlate with chronic absences in children who are bullied, struggle to feel like they have a place in the classroom, or altogether dislike school. Being misunderstood can be frustrating as an adult, so imagine what these children are going through.
By understanding the different types of learning disorders and their signs, you can pinpoint the specific challenges your child faces and find a treatment program that works. Your job as a parent is not to “fix” the learning and attention issues, but to give your child the social and emotional tools he or she needs to work through challenges. In the long run, facing and overpowering a challenge such as learning and attention issues can help your child grow stronger and more resilient. This can lead to higher self-esteem, feeling a sense of self-worth in the classroom, and eventually enjoying getting up and going to school.
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.
Children who are chronically absent due to learning, attention, or other issues, in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade are less likely to read on grade level by the third grade. Students who cannot read at grade level by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.
There are resources out there for parents, there is never a reason to go through this alone. Absences Add Up is a resource for any parent who may have a child struggling in school due to learning and attention issues. And Understood.org just launched the #BeUnderstood campaign 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.
Whether you have worked with your child on dealing with this struggle for years or this is something new for you, Understood and Absences Add Up have resources for everyone to learn how to help these children with whatever challenges they face.
If you think your child is misunderstood and might have a challenge with learning, please do not wait. Every second counts.