Harry Wong
Oct 2017
Vol 14 No 3

“#BeUnderstood” Campaign Helps Parents Experience Learning and Attention Issues Through the Eyes of a Child

By Teachers.Net News Desk

78% of parents believe that any child can do well in school if he or she tries hard enough. But in reality, many children are already trying as hard as they can. One in five children in the U.S. struggles with learning and attention issues in areas such as reading, math, writing, focus and organization, and many of them may never get the diagnosis and support they need to thrive. Today,, in partnership with the Ad Council, has launched a new national public service advertising (PSA) campaign which shines a light on what learning and attention issues can look like from both an adult and child perspective.

Created pro bono by Publicis North America, the new campaign helps kick off October’s Learning Disabilities Awareness month, and is also timed to coincide with a time of the year when signs of learning and attention issues often start to become noticeable in school-aged children. As students and teachers settle into the school year and the real work begins, it’s not uncommon for kids who are struggling to say to their parents, “My teacher doesn’t like me,” “My homework doesn’t make any sense,” or “I don’t want to go to school.”

According to a new survey conducted by the Ad Council and Understood, 7 out of 10 parents aren’t aware that a child not wanting to do his or her homework could be a sign of these kinds of issues. Sometimes parents mistakenly think their children are just being lazy and should try harder, or that it’s a phase their children will outgrow. But in some cases, such as when a child repeatedly avoids or delays doing their homework, it could be an unidentified learning or attention issue.

“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, these kids can thrive academically, socially and emotionally,” said Kevin Hager, managing director of “Identifying learning and attention issues early and getting help through can make a real difference in ensuring that teachers and parents get kids the support they need.”

The stigma associated with a diagnosis is one barrier that can keep parents from seeking the help their children may need. Nearly half of parents surveyed agree that most parents wouldn’t want others to know if their child had these challenges. To help counter this stigma, and the Ad Council are also kicking off a social media campaign using the hashtag #BeUnderstood. The campaign invites the general public to use #BeUnderstood on social media to share personal stories of their experience with learning and attention issues, and offer messages of encouragement and hope to kids and parents who are struggling. This social movement will help raise awareness of the prevalence of learning and attention issues, and how parents, teachers, family, and friends can support children who are struggling.

The campaign includes television, radio, print, outdoor and digital PSAs directed by Emmy®-winning director Lauren Greenfield (The Queen of Versailles, the Always “Like a Girl” campaign). The emotional new ads bring to life the “two sides” of the learning and attention issues story by depicting both the parent and child perspective and encouraging parents that “when you can see it from their side, you can be on their side.” All materials were developed in partnership with the Ad Council and created pro bono by Publicis North America.

The PSAs direct parents to, a comprehensive free online resource that offers parents interactive tools, daily access to experts and a supportive community of fellow parents. Over 1.5 million people have visited in the last month.

“This work truly humanizes and personalizes the challenges faced by both parents and children when it comes to learning and attention issues,” said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “Through this powerful creative, we hope to help more parents discover the resources available at for their child’s success both in and out of the classroom.”

Susan Gianinno, Chairman, North America, Publicis Worldwide, commented, “Publicis is very proud to tackle the misunderstanding still associated with learning and attention issues, and through smart, thoughtful communications, truly effect change. We have had the privilege of working on Ad Council campaigns for decades and are delighted to support, a brilliant and truly helpful resource.”

The PSAs will be distributed to media outlets nationwide and will run in time and space completely donated by the media. Launch partners for this campaign include Meredith Publications and, both of which will debut exclusive new online videos in October to help further the message of the campaign. Meredith Publications is also donating media to support the new creative.

The survey was conducted by Lightspeed GMI on behalf of the Ad Council and Understood in September 2016, surveying 900 parents nationwide.

For more information about Understood and resources for learning and attention issues, visit To share your message of encouragement about your experience with learning and attention issues, use hashtag #BeUnderstood on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.



Comment on this article...

Next Article...
This entry was posted on Saturday, October 1st, 2016 and is filed under *ISSUES, Newsdesk, October 2016. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.13 No.9 Oct/Nov 2016
Cover Story by Susan Fitzell
Co-teaching Models Respectful Collaboration and Debate for Students
More Teacher Articles...
»Classroom Management Articles by Harry and Rosemary WongHarry K. & Rosemary Wong
»Pictures Worth 1000 Words – Visual NotetakingSarah Powley
»Teach EmpathyDede Rittman
»5 Sure-Fire Tactics to Improve Writing Skills for ESL LearnersRose Scott
»OMG, I'm Tired of Yelling! Coaching the Urban EducatorDré Cleveland
»Stop Telling Preschoolers to Take Turns and Share!Cheryl Hatch
»Fostering a spirit of Entrepreneurship in Young Children
»Free Cookie for Teachers on World Teacher Day
»When Students Ask: Am I Ever Going to Use This?Ruben Stemple
»The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: How Teacher Modeling Improves Student WritingCassandra O'Sullivan Sachar
»Too Few American High Schools Offer Physics ClassesStewart Brekke
»Where's Willy Whalley? A Peace-Building Story With Alternate EndingsAnn Mason
»Arts in Education – Why we need it
»Apple Seeds – Quotes for EducatorsBarb Stutesman
»Journal of Research in Rural EducationInternet Scout Report
»I Wish My Teacher Knew…
»Mizlett’s 3D Snowflake Craft Project
»Free Stock Photos for Lessons, Presentations, Newsletters
»Co-teaching Models Respectful Collaboration and Debate for StudentsSusan Fitzell
»Special Ed Lesson Plans
»National PTA and Guitar Center Team Up to Spark Student Creativity
»US Army Veteran Announces Kickstarter for Crayon Box Designed to Be Accessible to Kids with Manual Dexterity Issues
»National Autism Center Offers Free Resources for Educators

By State
AL   AK   AZ   AR   CA   CO   CT   DE   DC   FL   GA   HI   ID   IL   IN   IA   KS   KY   LA    ME   MD   MA   MI   MN   MS   MO   MT   NE   NV   NH   NJ   NM   NY   NC   ND   OH   OK   OR   PA   RI   SC   SD   TN   TX   UT   VT     VA   WA   WV   WI   WY