App connects parents with other caregivers and experts so they feel less alone and more empowered to navigate challenges and opportunities related to neurodiversity
NEW YORK, Sept. 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Understood.org — the resource for the 70 million people in the United States with learning and thinking differences like ADHD and dyslexia — today announces the public launch of Wunder by Understood®: a free, first-of-its-kind community app designed for parents raising kids with learning and thinking differences. Wunder is a safe place for parents to connect with each other, engage with experts, and find resources to help them feel more supported and confident as they navigate learning and thinking differences with their children.
For many parents of neurodivergent children, it can be difficult to find resources and start conversations with their child, family, teachers, and community about learning and thinking differences. Stigmas and other people's misconceptions are also a barrier to support. In fact, Understood.org's Neurodiversity and Stigma Study found that more than 50% of parents with neurodivergent children are afraid to tell others about their child's difference because of associated biases. Without an outlet to discuss these challenges and seek advice, parents can feel alone and uncertain, often leaving children without the support they need.
"On top of the stigmas and loneliness that many neurodivergent kids and parents experience, they're also facing ever-changing school routines, overwhelming news headlines, mental health challenges, and beyond," said Jenny Wu, co-president and chief product officer at Understood.org. "Creating a safe place where parents and caregivers can connect, ask questions, and seek reassurance has never been more critical. Wunder will bring this community together in a way that's never been possible before — to help families anticipate and navigate the barriers and opportunities that come with neurodivergence, and to help their children thrive."
To give parents and caregivers the most personalized and accessible experience possible, Wunder's key features include:
- Topic-based and local groups: Wunder community members can join a variety of active groups to connect in a judgment-free space. Group topics include ADHD, dyslexia, parenting tweens and teens, managing emotions, school services, and more. Members can also join private groups based on their location or on organizations they're involved in, allowing them to have conversations and share resources related to their specific interests or needs. For example, there are local groups for New York City, Los Angeles / Orange County, and Chicago, where members can share information related to local school districts and referrals.
- Access to experts: Wunder community members can seek advice from specialists in fields related to learning and thinking differences, mental health, and more. Understood.org experts on Wunder include Dr. Ellen Braaten, executive director of the Learning and Emotional Assessment Program at Massachusetts General Hospital; Dr. Kristin J. Carothers, clinical psychologist and assistant professor of psychiatry at Morehouse School of Medicine; and Dr. Jerome Schultz, clinical neuropsychologist and lecturer in the Harvard Medical School Department of Child Psychiatry; among others.
- Resource library: Wunder community members can access a library of hundreds of resources, including articles, activities, podcasts, conversation starters, and printable trackers.
While it can be hard for parents to talk openly about their kids' challenges, Wunder is a safe space designed specifically for parents of kids with learning and thinking differences. Parents can engage as much or as little as they want. To protect their identity, only their first name and last initial will be displayed. Additionally, all members of the Wunder community agree to guidelines about being supportive and courteous, and community managers monitor the groups to ensure that dialogue remains cordial and supportive.
Since Wunder's beta testing began, thousands of parents and caregivers of different ages, ethnicities, and locations have begun to form the Wunder community and discuss topics including ADHD; challenges with reading, writing, and math; homework; the ins and outs of special education; and more.
Wunder is available for iOS users in the United States. For more information about Wunder, visit https://www.understood.org/wunder/en, or download directly from the App Store. For more information about Understood.org, visit u.org and https://mediacenter.understood.org/.
Understood.org is the resource that helps the 70 million people in the United States with learning and thinking differences anticipate the challenges, barriers, or opportunities in life and confidently reach their potential. Our mission is to shape a world for difference so that people who learn and think differently can thrive. We want to build a more equitable world where neurodiversity is championed and celebrated, and everyone can be uniquely understood. Understood.org is a 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in New York. For more information, to donate, or to partner, visit u.org/media and follow us @UnderstoodOrg.