Many Parents Fail to Recognize the Signs of Learning and Attention Issues; Stigma and Misunderstandings Are Common, New Survey Shows

As part of Learning Disabilities Awareness Month, Understood.org releases new survey showing how parents view conditions like ADHD and dyslexia

NEW YORK--()--More than three-quarters (78%) of parents believe children can be more successful in school simply by trying harder, but most don’t realize things like poor handwriting, refusal to do homework, and not wanting to go to school can all be signs of an undiagnosed learning and attention issue.

These findings come from a new survey sponsored by the Ad Council and Understood.org, a free online resource for parents of children with learning and attention issues. The survey also found 48% of parents incorrectly believe kids grow out of learning and attention issues, and nearly half wouldn’t want anyone else to know if their children received a learning and attention issue diagnosis.

The survey, conducted in September 2016 by Lightspeed GMI, polled a representative sample of 1,000 parents from across the country. When it comes to spotting potential warning signs of learning and attention issues, it found:

  • Only 30% of parents know a child not wanting to do his/her homework can be a sign
  • Only 28% of parents know a child not wanting to go to school can be a sign
  • Only 27% of parents know a child having a hard time making friends can be a sign
  • Only 27% of parents know a child always losing homework can be a sign
  • Only 19% of parents know a child having bad handwriting can be a sign
  • Only 17% of parents know a child saying their teacher doesn’t like him/her can be a sign

“We want parents to know that learning and attention issues are real, brain-based issues. They are not the result of where or how a child grows up, and they are not a reflection of the child’s intelligence. With proper identification and support, kids can thrive academically, socially and emotionally,” said Kevin Hager, managing director of Understood.org.

The survey results revealed many other misconceptions about learning and attention issues, such as the nearly 20% of parents who believe children with these issues are not as smart as children who don’t have learning and attention issues.

The survey also found:

  • 78% of parents think any child can do well if he/she simply tries hard enough
  • 68% of parents believe other kids are mean to kids who have these issues
  • 48% of parents think kids can grow out of these issues
  • 48% of parents agree most parents wouldn’t want others to know if their child had a learning and attention issue
  • 47% of parents battle with their kids about homework, which can be a sign of a learning and attention issue
  • 47% of parents think children with learning and attention issues shouldn’t have to be held to the same standards as other kids

One in five children in the U.S. struggles with brain-based learning and attention issues in areas such as reading, writing, math, focus and organization. To reduce the stigma that surrounds these issues, and help these children get the support and resources they need to thrive, Understood.org has launched a campaign called #BeUnderstood. The national public service advertising (PSA) campaign, launched in partnership with the Ad Council, is bringing awareness to Learning Disabilities Awareness Month in October, and includes television, radio, print, outdoor and digital PSAs designed to help parents see the challenges of learning or attention issues from their child’s perspective, encouraging parents that “when you can see it from their side, you can be on their side.”

If you would like to learn more about the survey, or conduct an interview with a parent or an Understood.org expert, we will coordinate an interview right away. For more information about Understood and to access free expert resources about learning and attention issues, visit understood.org. Follow #BeUnderstood on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to hear personal stories of how learning and attention issues affect people’s lives.

About Understood.org
Founded by 15 nonprofits, Understood.org is a free and comprehensive resource for the parents of the one in five children in the U.S. with brain-based learning and attention issues. Winner of the 2015 Webby Award for Best Family/Parenting Site and the 2016 Cynopsis Award for Best Branded Digital Platform, Understood.org gives parents daily access to experts, personalized resources and connection to other parents and experts in its onsite community. Understood.org believes that with the right support, parents can help children unlock their strengths and thrive in school and in life. For more information and resources, visit Understood.org, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

About the Ad Council
The Ad Council is a nonprofit organization with a rich history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver crucial messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has effected, and continues to effect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit AdCouncil.org.

Contacts

Understood.org
Aaron Gouveia, 508-930-9731
AGouveia@SchneiderPR.com

Release Summary

A new survey from Understood.org, a free online resource for parents of children with learning and attention issues, shows many parents are misinformed about kids with issues like ADHD and dyslexia.

Contacts

Understood.org
Aaron Gouveia, 508-930-9731
AGouveia@SchneiderPR.com