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Crucial conversations: Collaboration with families and educators


Why Conversations are Important

Beginning the conversation about learning and thinking differences is an important step in supporting children academically, socially, and emotionally — but it can also be the hardest part. Recent research by Understood and UnidosUS revealed that 44% of parents find it difficult to approach their children’s teachers and initiate that first exchange.

Last month, as Understood celebrated Learning Disabilities Awareness Month, we focused on encouraging conversations during parent-teacher conference season. By providing resources and educational tools to understand how to take this crucial first step, we want to help families and teachers build on that momentum and continue talking, sharing, and learning how to best communicate with each other all year long. 

Check out how to take that first step or continue to work on conversation skills below:   

Real-Life Online Resources

Conversation Guides for Parents and Educators: Our new e-guides are full of tips, insights, and information that can help parents work with teachers (and vice versa) to get the best support for their child.  

Take N.O.T.E.:  A free digital tool, available in English and Spanish, that helps families identify early signs of learning and thinking differences. Designed as a mnemonic device, Take N.O.T.E. allows people to:

  • Notice if anything is out of the ordinary with their child

  • Observe behaviors to determine patterns

  • Talk to a teacher, social worker, or caregiver

  • Engage with trusted resources, like pediatricians

Conversation-Starting and Community-Building

Asking questions and seeking support can sometimes feel scary or embarrassing for parents and families. Finding community and forums online can be a more accessible and less nerve-wracking way for people to take that first step. Here are some ways to engage with Understood’s experts and community: 

Twitter Chats and Webinars: Building on the “Talk” step in the Take N.O.T.E. initiative, we’re working with Education Week to encourage and enable important conversations across the board.

At the end of the day, enabling meaningful conversations between parents and educators is how to set the wheels of change in motion. We encourage you to be a conversation starter too.   

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