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Take N.O.T.E. of the 1 in 5 children with learning and thinking differences


Understood is on a mission to shape the world for difference with the goal that everyone—especially the 1 in 5 children in the U.S. with learning and thinking differences—can thrive. Today, many of these children are not getting the support they need and face an unfortunate reality. They are:

  • Thirty-one percent more likely to be bullied;

  • Three times as likely to drop out of high school;

  • And twice as likely to be jobless as adults.  

This situation is further complicated by the impact of COVID-19 as families are overwhelmed with the back-to-school season and hungry for resources to help them meet their kids’ academic and social-emotional needs. A recent Understood/YouGov survey* found that nearly two thirds—62 percent—of parents with diagnosed children said they wished they had a tool or resources to help them track changes in their child’s behavior.

Today, Understood launched Take N.O.T.E., an easy memory device and content-rich experience that empowers all families to take control, spot the signs of learning and thinking differences, and get the guidance they need for their children so they can thrive.

The Take N.O.T.E. initiative, which was developed in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics and through research with parents, centers around a simple, four-part memory device to help families remember the steps to identify possible learning and thinking differences in their kids. The four steps include:

  • Notice if anything is out of the ordinary

  • Observe behaviors to determine patterns

  • Talk to a teacher, social worker, or caregiver to validate

  • Engage with trusted professionals, like pediatricians

“I am a parent of three children, two of whom have been diagnosed with learning differences,” said Amanda Morin, a former teacher, and Understood senior expert and writer on family advocacy and education. “The process to reach our older son’s diagnosis taught us to pay attention to our instincts and collaborate with our pediatrician, and as a result, we were able to pursue a diagnosis for our younger son much earlier. Take N.O.T.E. would have been a welcomed resource for our family.”

The Take N.O.T.E. launch comes at a time where learning environments are rapidly evolving and parents are finding themselves spending more time with their children. The same survey uncovered that 69 percent of parents have become more aware of the challenges their child faces​ in school than before the pandemic, and more than a third (37 percent) report noticing changes in their child’s behavior. 

“We hope that with Take N.O.T.E., Understood will enable more families to start their journey of identifying learning and thinking differences, and provide them with a directional path with actionable steps,” said Nathan Friedman, Chief Marketing Officer at Understood. “Our ultimate goal is to shift those statistics from what can happen if you don’t get a diagnosis or identification early, to what can happen when you do.”  

For more information about Take N.O.T.E., please  visit our multimedia news release.

*YouGov, on behalf of Understood, conducted an online survey of 2,049 parents of children ages 5-17 in the U.S. between July 22 and August 3, 2020.

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