NEW YORK, June 29, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Understood.org, the nonprofit dedicated to serving the 70 million people in the United States with learning and thinking differences like ADHD and dyslexia — is launching a new resource for pediatricians, created in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The learning differences resource hub for patient education contains key tools and information for pediatricians to share with families who need guidance on learning and thinking differences.
Families of kids who learn and think differently often struggle to find resources and a supportive community. According to Understood.org's Neurodiversity and Stigma Study, more than half of parents with a child who learns and thinks differently are afraid to speak openly about their child's differences. And 69% of these parents report that stigma negatively affects their child's mental health. However, around 80% of parents who've become involved and engaged around their child's challenges reported that their child's life has improved.
Annual pediatricians' visits — often required by schools — provide a unique opportunity for pediatricians and families to recognize and support children with learning and thinking differences. Pediatricians are frequently the most reliable source of information for families with kids who may be experiencing learning struggles or behavior challenges. But health care professionals don't always have the time or easily accessible resources to give families the information they need to navigate school and home life.
The learning differences resource hub for patient education is the second resource Understood and AAP have created together. In 2021, they worked together to develop Take N.O.T.E.®, a simple step-by-step tool to help families spot signs of learning and thinking differences. The new hub expands support, giving pediatricians a host of relevant articles and downloads to share with families. It includes a conversation starter toolkit that guides parents on how to raise concerns and ask questions about challenges related to learning and thinking differences with pediatricians and other adults in their child's life.
"By providing pediatricians with digital and printed resources to share with families during wellness visits, we aim to support both families in need as well as physicians and their practices" said Nathan Friedman, Understood.org's co-president and chief marketing officer. "We're excited to be partnering with the American Academy of Pediatrics to help physicians support families to understand, manage, and embrace their child's unique strengths."
Understood and AAP are meeting families' needs by offering downloadable resources for pediatricians and families of children with learning and thinking differences — diagnosed or undiagnosed. These resources explain the traits and behaviors of learning and thinking differences, like ADHD and dyslexia, in language that's easy for families to understand. Parents can get tips on how to help their children succeed both academically and socially, plus advice on how to access more support if needed.
"Our goal is to facilitate critical interaction and collaboration between families and pediatricians," said Sandy Chung, MD, FAAP, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. "By equipping pediatricians with resources from Understood, we can make it easier for them to integrate these resources into their practice in order to meet the unique needs of families with learning and thinking differences."
This joint effort builds upon the long-term partnership between Understood and AAP aimed at helping all children reach their full potential. By offering practical tools and actionable resources, both organizations are empowering families to get what they need to help their kids thrive in the classroom and beyond.
Understood.org is a nonprofit focused on shaping the world for difference. We raise awareness of the challenges, skills, and strengths of people who learn and think differently. Our resources help people navigate challenges, gain confidence, and find support and community so they can thrive. Together, we can build a world where everyone can reach their full potential. 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.
About the American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists, and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.
The research cited above is from Understood.org's Neurodiversity and Stigma Study, which surveyed 1,500 parents of both neurotypical children and those with learning and thinking differences across the U.S. (April 2022). In addition to this latest study, Understood.org worked with MarketCast, a leader in youth and young adult research, in 2021 to conduct Understood.org and MarketCast's Impact Study (2021). This multiwave study surveyed ~1,000 U.S. parents of neurotypical kids, kids with learning and thinking differences whose parents did not know Understood.org, and kids with learning differences whose parents used Understood.org once or more in the last six months. Both studies are nationally representative. Full data can be found in the Understood Media Center.