Two of our favorite organizations - The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Understood - have teamed up to create a tool for parents to help them recognize when and how their children may be having learning difficulties and the steps to take to help them.
Take N.O.T.E. breaks learning issues down into four steps:
NOTICE is the first step, with subject by subject guidance on how a parent can be certain there’s something going on with their child that’s out of the ordinary. Areas of concern need not be academic and include:
- Reading and writing
- Focus and organization
- Self-control and hyperactivity
- Frustration, stress, and anxiety
- Developmental milestones
OBSERVING comes next. Once parents notice a problem, the program guides parents in how they can learn how to find and keep track of patterns in their child’s behavior with downloadable observation tools.
The third step of the process is TALKING. The program includes tips and conversation starters for parents to use when talking with those who know their child best, like teachers, aides, and other caregivers, as well as talking to their child about what they are observing.
The final step is to ENGAGE, helping parents figure out how and when to connect with experts like pediatricians and school specialists, who can help you figure out if your child might have a learning and thinking difference.
The Understood site includes links to helpful articles and videos designed to illustrate the issues in each of the steps involved. So far, so good, since Understood is known for its helpful information for parents. But Take N.O.T.E. goes further, and that's where its partnership with the AAP comes in. The AAP urges pediatricians to be familiar with the steps in the Take N.O.T.E. program and shares links to information from Understood. Furthermore, it offers guidance to its members on how to discuss learning and developmental issues with families, including suggestions to start with open-ended questions, asking for details, and getting more information.
Dr. Yellin serves as one of Understood's "Experts" and is a resource for numerous pediatricians who seek to refer their patients for a better understanding of their learning, behavioral, and related difficulties. Parents and professionals are welcome to contact our office for more information.