A recent survey found that 69% of parents have become more aware of their child’s learning challenges during COVID-19. As a result, Understood and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) teamed up to launch Take N.O.T.E. — a new, free digital tool to help parents spot signs of possible learning disabilities and ADHD in their children.
“With many kids doing distance learning, parents and caregivers are getting to really see up-close how their child handles academic demands, and whether they struggle or thrive in certain areas,” Dr. Nerissa Bauer, Behavior Pediatrician and AAP member, tells Parentology.
Take N.O.T.E. — A Digital Guide
The initiative helps families with the following steps:
- Notice if anything is out of the ordinary.
- Observe behaviors to determibe patterns.
- Talk to a teacher, social worker, or caregiver to validate.
- Engage with trusted resources, like pediatricians.
The interactive site takes parents step-by-step to figure out if the struggles they see in their kids may be signs of a learning or thinking difference. Through Take N.O.T.E., parents can get advice on noticing and observing their children’s behaviors, talking with their children and family members about what they’re seeing, and then connecting with professionals to get their children the support they need.
“I hope that other parents will use Take N.O.T.E and its resources to not only start that conversation but also to keep it going,” Amanda Morin, writer and senior expert at Understood, tells Parentology. “A tool like Take N.O.T. E. can help us realize we’re not alone, there’s nothing to be ashamed of, and that talking about these concerns makes it easier for others to start speaking up, too. “
In Understood’s new survey, they collected data from more than 2,000 parents of 5- to 17-year-olds. More than 37% of parents reported changes in the child’s behavior. Of those who noticed changes, fewer than one-third (28%) of parents sought guidance or support from a health care provider. Take N.O.T.E. aims to increase that number.
“My hope is that more families will come to realize that their pediatrician is a source of support, not just for their child’s physical health, but their academic and social-emotional wellness as well,” Dr. Bauer tells Parentology. “We want to know how kids are doing at school, whether they’re struggling to make or keep friends, or if they’re having trouble managing their emotions.”
Over half (57%) of parents of children diagnosed with a learning and thinking difference reported it took a long time for them to get diagnosed. Among these parents, 62% wished they had a tool to help them track their child’s behavior prior to the diagnosis.
Morin, who also worked with her own child’s diagnosis, tells Parentology, “I hope that other parents will use Take N.O.T.E and its resources to not only start that conversation but also to keep it going. A tool like Take N.O.T. E. can help us realize we’re not alone, there’s nothing to be ashamed of, and that talking about these concerns makes it easier for others to start speaking up, too.”
Take N.O.T.E. is currently available in English and Spanish.
Learning Disabilities Parent Resources — Sources
Amanda Morin, Writer and Senior Expert, Family Advocacy and Education, Understood
Dr. Nerissa Bauer, Behavior Pediatrician, Health Services Researcher, Child Advocate, American Academy of Pediatrics member