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6 Places to Find Other Families of Kids Who Learn and Think Differently

By Erica Patino

At a Glance

  • Understood’s community offers different ways for you to connect with other parents.

  • Your child’s guidance counselor may be able to put you in touch with other parents in your community.

  • Some national groups that focus on learning and thinking differences have local chapters that hold events.

Friends and family can be very supportive. But unless they also have kids with learning and thinking differences, they may not fully understand what you’re going through. That’s why meeting other parents of kids with similar challenges can make a huge difference.

Learn about our community and how you can use it to make connections. And find other resources that can help you meet parents in your area.

1. Understood

There are many ways to find other parents on Understood. You can send and receive connect requests directly through Parents Like Me. You can also join our groups to participate in discussions with other parents about subjects you’re interested in.

Social media is another option—follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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2. Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA)

LDA is a national education and advocacy group and a founding partner of Understood. It promotes research in the field and works to protect the rights of people with learning disabilities.

LDA has more than 100 state and local branches in the U.S. They offer informational meetings and support groups. Some state branches also hold conferences. All of these events can be good places to meet parents of kids with learning and thinking differences.

3. PEN (Parents Education Network)

This regional organization is based in San Francisco and is a founding partner of Understood. The group runs conferences, lectures and workshops for parents and teachers. It also runs a group for teens with learning differences and acts as a liaison between parents and schools.

Every year PEN holds a daylong event for families and professionals called EdRev (Education Revolution). The goal of the event is to provide information, resources and a sense of community. PEN has affiliates in Phoenix, Silicon Valley and Sacramento.

4. Your Child’s School and Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

Ask the PTA at your child’s school if it has a group or committee for parents. These groups include parents whose kids have learning and thinking differences.

You can check with your state PTA office to see if there’s a special education PTA (SEPTA) that brings together parents from different schools in your district. You may even want to consider starting a SEPTA.

You can also ask a school counselor about support groups in your area. Due to privacy rules, school staff can’t give you the names of other parents whose kids have issues similar to your child’s. But the school can give you contact information for local groups or let other parents know you’d like to start a support group.

5. Community Youth Organizations

National organizations like the Y and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America aren’t devoted specifically to learning and thinking differences. But contacting your local branch may still be useful. It probably fields many questions on support groups for learning and thinking differences and may have contact information for them.

6. Your Local Community Calendar

Keep an eye on community events through your local library, newspaper or city website. Sometimes groups like the Rotary Club hold talks on topics related to learning and thinking differences. Or there might be a fundraising event, like a walk-a-thon to raise money or awareness about a particular issue or program.

You may also be able to find support groups by contacting a local hospital that evaluates kids for learning and thinking differences and provides treatment services. Local mental health centers or clinics are two other places to try.

If there aren’t any local support groups that work for you, you might consider starting one yourself. It’s important to connect with other parents whether it’s online or in person. Having the support you need can help you feel more confident about raising a child with learning and thinking differences.

Key Takeaways

  • You can use Understood’s Parents Like Me to search for parents by location as well as by your child’s issues.

  • Your local PTA may have a special education group for parents of kids with learning and thinking differences.

  • Hospitals and libraries can be helpful resources for finding other parents.

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  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Email
  • Text Message
  • Coming soonGoogle Classroom